VIDEO: WeedMD CEO Bruce Dawson-Scully on Opening a New Facility
WeedMD (TSXV:WMD) (OTCMKTS:WDDMF) (FRA:4WE) is a licensed producer of medical cannabis focused on the medical market. CEO Bruce Dawson-Scully talks about their new production facility in Strathroy, Ontario, as well as tackling the opiod crisis and enhancing the life of seniors with cannabis.
James West: Bruce, thanks for joining me today.
Bruce Dawson: Thanks for having me on the show, James.
James West: Bruce, WeedMD recently announced the completion of a $15 million bought deal private placement that contemplates some convertible debentures. Tell me about the deal: what’s the money for?
Bruce Dawson: Well, the money is for our new announcement for expansion in Strathroy, Ontario, which is about half an hour from our current facility.
James West: And what’s the size of that new facility?
Bruce Dawson: So we’re currently looking at 616,000 square feet under glass, on a 100-acre parcel of land. We also have 10 acres under glass brand new build in current production.
James West: Oh wow, really, eh?
Bruce Dawson: Yeah. So it’s a big jump from where we are currently.
James West: Sure. So the 660,000 square foot facility, is that a retrofit of a greenhouse that’s growing something else currently?
Bruce Dawson: It is. They’re actually one of the top producers of produce in Ontario, and we’re kind of phasing it in and they’re coming onto our team. And we’re looking at Phase I being about 220,000 square feet of retrofit for our production purposes.
James West: Hm. And how much cannabis does WeedMD currently move?
Bruce Dawson: So we currently are able to produce about 1,500 kilograms per year. Our Phase I expansion will increase that to about 20,000 kilograms per year.
James West: Sure. And what is your current all-in cost of production per gram?
Bruce Dawson: Well currently, we are indoor, so we’re looking at about just north of $3.00. With our expansion and moving to greenhouse and hybrid production, we’re looking to target just under $2.00.
James West: Oh, okay.
Bruce Dawson: And then track lower from there as we find efficiencies and really hone in on our production, and become more efficient in the way that we operate and the way that we grow.
James West: Sure, you bet. So if I was to ask you what is the big competitive differentiator for WeedMD relative to other ACMPR growers, what would you tell me?
Bruce Dawson: Well, I think the biggest differentiating point about WeedMD compared to other ACMPR growers is the fact that we have a very medical focus and targeting the enhancing quality of life for seniors. We are, really our specialty in our medical team, is in the long-term care business, and we have always looking at enhancing the quality of life for seniors. And our differentiating point is looking at medical cannabis to treat conventional indications for seniors, and building out a program that really looks at tackling the opioid crisis, looking at reducing the use of Oxycontin and all the other drugs that are overused in the market. We’re looking at polypharmacy issues, and we’re really looking at enhancing the quality of life for seniors.
James West: Sure. So is WeedMD’s strategy focused exclusively on the medical market?
Bruce Dawson: Well, we have a very, very profound program that is in the medical arena, and this expansion will allow us to make sure that we’re always serving our medical patients. I mean, to get in to the recreational and legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes is something that WeedMD will be doing, but we want to make sure that we have product that is specific for our medical patients, and that we will ensure that we always have product for them.
James West: Great. So then what is the number of patients that you currently serve?
Bruce Dawson: So we started selling to patients in June of this year. Currently we have over 1,000 patients that we serve. We have our production license for extract, and the medical target demographic that we’re going after really looks at the use of extract, and cannabis oil. So we’re really looking forward to hitting that milestone and achieving success for sales of medical extracts of cannabis.
James West: Sure. So is export and the international market part of your strategy going forward?
Bruce Dawson: We are absolutely looking at opportunities globally. We believe that our program would be well suited to target the seniors’ demographics and seniors in long term care and assisted living across the world. We took a lot of time over the last couple of years developing this program, and believe that it is well tailored and suited to fit that niche market, and develop policies, procedures, and also to really look at the quality initiatives and tracking key performance indicators, benchmarking progress, and enhancing the quality of life with seniors. And it’s no different in Canada than anywhere else in the world, so, absolutely.
James West: Great, Bruce. Well, that’s a great introductory interview for WeedMD. We’ll come back to you in a couple of quarters’ time and see how you’re making out. Thanks for coming in.
Bruce Dawson: Hey, that’s great. Thanks for having me on the show.
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