FSD Pharma Inc (CNSX:HUGE) Co-Founder on Role of Cannabis in Medical Paradigm Shift
FSD Pharma Inc (CNSX:HUGE) (OTCMKTS:FSDDF) (FRA:OK9) Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Anthony Durkacz discusses the appointment of Dr. Sarah May as President of FV Pharma, FSD Pharma’s wholly owned subsidiary. Durkacz describes the progress the company has made on Phase 2 construction at the former Kraft plant in Cobourg, Ontario. He explains that FSD Pharma’s goal is to convert the space into the largest hydroponic indoor cannabis facility in the world. Durkacz talks about the benefits of indoor grow and why moving away from greenhouse product is vital in Canada. As a cancer survivor, Durkacz believes in the company’s medical focus and suggests that the cannabis industry is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in medicine.
Narrator: FSD Pharma, Inc. is a Toronto-based, publicly traded company whose wholly owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, is a licensed producer under the Cannabis Act and Regulations.
The company is focused on the development of indoor grown pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, and on the research and development of cannabinoid-based treatments for several central nervous system disorders, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
FSD Pharma has 25,000 square feet available for production at its Ontario facility, with an additional 220,000 square feet currently in development.
FSD Pharma Inc. is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol HUGE.
Howard Glassman: Yeah, we’re just talking about the other thing I do. Anthony Durkacz is here from FSD Pharma. He’s the co-founder, co-chairman…I love the symbol HUGE. Anthony, nice to see you.
Anthony Durkacz: Pleasure, thank you.
Howard Glassman: You were asking where am I, now?
Anthony Durkacz: Yeah, you used to –
Howard Glassman: When you were younger…
Anthony Durkacz: Driving to work, I used to listen to 102.1 in the morning.
Howard Glassman: From 1989 to 2001, the Humble & Fred show was on 102.1 The Edge. In 2001, Fred and I, we got a – we were at a Christmas party, the president of the company, the president of Corus, walks across the Christmas party and says, Hey, Humble and Fred, I got a great idea for you. And then we went to an AM station, and we’ve been all over the place ever since.
Anthony Durkacz: Wow, I can’t believe it’s that long ago.
Howard Glassman: Then we were on The Mix, then we were on Sirius XM, then we were on – now we’re on an all-comedy radio station…all sorts of stuff.
Anthony Durkacz: Well, you definitely made me laugh in the past.
Howard Glassman: Oh, did we? Well hopefully, hopefully this little segment won’t be too disturbing for you. Let’s talk a little bit about the world of weed. I know there’s some announcements; recently, Sara May was appointed president of your company. Let’s talk a little bit about your company. What do you want people to know about it? Where do you land in the cannabis world?
Anthony Durkacz: Well, so we’re – the shareholders have bought the former craft plant in Coburg. It’s a very big facility, so the target has been to turn it into the world’s largest indoor grow-op. So not to focus on any outdoor or greenhouse, but specifically on indoor. The reason why we think that’s important is because, at the end of the day, we believe that, you know, because it’s a commodity, the price over time is going to go down, and that the margins are kept best from indoor flower, if you’re going to sell flower.
Howard Glassman: Really?
Anthony Durkacz: And we’ve seen that happening throughout the United States.
Howard Glassman: Well, I was going to ask you, is that an industry-wide thing? Is that where most of the industry – because it seems to me a lot of the industry is already indoors.
Anthony Durkacz: Well, it’s not.
Howard Glassman: It’s not?
Anthony Durkacz: So in fact, most of the industry today in Canada is in greenhouse.
Howard Glassman: So the difference between the greenhouse situation and completely indoors is, you’d be able to control it better? Or…
Anthony Durkacz: Well, so, yeah. The beauty is, from a quality control standpoint, you will have the exact same repetitive product. You do have some changes in greenhouses in Canada for different seasons; just where the sun ends up running can cause some changes, and you can’t, you know, create that consistency which we think is going to be important moving forward, especially in the flower market.
Howard Glassman: Is – and again, I’ve had, on the show that you’ve heard of, the Humble & Fred show, we’ve had conversations for years now about where markets are moving. Is it more medical focused, is it the rec market, is it a retail play…so your company, FSD Pharma, is it more therapeutic?
Anthony Durkacz: Focused on medicinal. And part of the reason why I was interested in focusing on medicinal is because I’m a cancer survivor from just over 20 years ago.
Howard Glassman: Amazing. And 20 years ago, did you avail yourself of some – ?
Anthony Durkacz: Yeah, I would use it. I found it was better for me for pain at that time than taking prescriptions. I don’t know if they had Oxy back then, but they definitely had Percosets and stuff like that, so just on a personal level, that’s what ended up sort of convincing me. And then now that the more and more that we learn about cannabis and the different molecules, and this is – we are on the forefront right now of what I think is a paradigm shift in medicine, and to me, it’s like comparing it back to when they discovered penicillin.
And you know, when you look or you hear about it, or you read the news and people say it’s good for pain and it’s good for sleep and it’s good for glaucoma and it’s good for inflammation, and that is true, and most people – any of us – have probably met someone that claims that cannabis has helped some form of disease that they’ve had. But it’s like a one shoe fits all. There’s still an entire industry, and more scientifically, you can’t have the snake oil, you know, salesperson on the street that’s giving you an oil that, you know, is going to cure your particular type of cancer, because that’s not true; we also know that.
Sometimes it does, but that is by total chance.
Howard Glassman: And I love this conversation, because this conversation is similar to other ones that I’ve had in terms of, you know, medical efficacies. And you know, I’m older that you are; back in the 1970s, you know, there was just weed. I never heard of indica or sativa. So you start to avail yourself of the knowledge, but then you realize there are literally thousands of permutations and applications, and a company like yours, focusing on that, is only going to – I think it’s a great growth idea, because that’s where it’s all…like, I’ve said it on this show, I’ve said it on my show: one day very soon, they do, they just did a deal with Walgreens in the States and Shoppers Drug Mart. You know, walk in there and there’s going to be regular medicine, there’s going to be vitamins, and there’s going to be the cannabis counter.
Anthony Durkacz: Yes.
Howard Glassman: And you’re going to walk in there with a prescription from your doctor saying this is the strain, this is the amount, and companies like yours are the ones that are going to be making those available.
Anthony Durkacz: We definitely hope so, and we’re also seeing, you know, the movement that we’ve seen in Canada in terms of legalization starting to happen in the USA. And so I think that opens up just a whole other dynamic and a very large door of opportunity.
Howard Glassman: You think?
Anthony Durkacz: On the medical side.
Howard Glassman: Who needs marijuana more than the Americans? Seriously! Chill the F out, America. Get high, get rid of the guy, let’s move on. Sorry, just a little –
Anthony Durkacz: No problem. And we think, we think the, you know, when eventually they are – the first step, the Farm Bill was passed at the end of last year. Trump passed it, which means that hemp and CBD is now legal federally in America, and that’s very important because you can create a business where you can open a bank account. You can’t do that in these legal states that are selling cannabis, even though it’s state legal, it’s not federally legal. That creates a very big challenge. So they’re taking in cash, you know, and they can’t transact on debit card or credit cards –
Howard Glassman: Well, we talked about this yesterday. That’s huge news. We spoke to a Professor in the States yesterday, and this is a huge thing for companies like yours to make these products available.
Anthony Durkacz: A hundred percent. And at least now that CBD is available, CBD is seen as one of the, you know, one of the molecules that you find either in cannabis and thankfully in hemp, that have medicinal properties. It’s not psychoactive, so it doesn’t get you high. People believe it has medicinal qualities. So really, even from a, someone that doesn’t want to get high or feel high, but believes that there’s a medicinal quality attached to, that market could probably be multiple times bigger, at the end of the day. And that’s just – we think is the most exciting. We think that America now is beginning to wake up, because that was that first step towards complete legalization. There’s, I think, a very, very big business, and we think that there’s going to be access to capital that even hasn’t been seen before in Canada, and there’s been a great two and a half years so far in this country. But it’s just beginning in America.
Howard Glassman: I just wonder with companies like yours and people like you that have been thinking, working toward, you know, legalization in Canada was just a step along the way, and you know, it may be five to eight years away in terms of, you know, universal adoption in the States, or maybe it’ll always just be a state-to-state thing, but I think it’s interesting that a company like yours is going to be there to help us dose correctly for ailments, especially – I’m going to tell you: forget giggling about getting high. We could always get high, it’s easy. It’s the Baby Boomers, the 60s and 70s and early 80s, that are going to have a different later stage of life experience.
Anthony Durkacz: Absolutely. And even what we found in Coburg, which is where our plant is, you know, we have the community’s support, but the political – I can’t remember the name, but you know, where it is politically, you know, the average person’s age, I believe, is in the mid-50s. You know, we’re getting a lot of support. I don’t know if that support would be there 10 years ago.
Howard Glassman: I think the support would be there 10 years ago, but it would – they would – people 10 years ago were shy to talk about it. People 10 years ago were shy to share that they were, you know, maybe using marijuana for not just getting high and watching Netflix, although it’s great for that, I must say. [laughter] I have this worry, though, that I’m – because I’m going to be 60 next year.
Anthony Durkacz: Maybe people are watching this show, getting high.
Howard Glassman: Maybe. I know as soon as it’s over, I’m going to get high. I just have this idea, this vision of the future, where there’s a bunch of people, you know, grandmas and grandpas walking around just a bit high trying to remember their passwords for shit. [laughter] But your company, and companies like yours, I think, are doing great work in that I want to be able to go to my doctor at 68 and say, listen, my shoulder is killing me. I don’t want any more anti-inflammatories that will affect my liver. Give me something different.
And the fact is, that something different is going to be available, and it looks like you guys are doing great work with that.
Anthony Durkacz: And it’s, I think probably going to be, you know, one of the most exciting industries in the next few years, and I think we see people in Canada, because we’ve now seen this unveiled and it’s happening – legalization became a reality – maybe a little bit, you know, the party on October 17th I think was dampened just because of the challenges on the retail side.
Howard Glassman: For sure.
Anthony Durkacz: But you know, I think on the medical side, there’s just absolutely astronomical opportunities out there, which I’d say are going to be hard to find in any other industry in the next five years, unless there’s a technology that comes about that we don’t know about, yet.
Howard Glassman: Well, I mean, there’s a bunch of things you just said. I mean, October 17th, when everyone was – in fact, that’s the first time I was on this show, October 17th – everyone was excited. October 19th, the government ran out of weed.
Anthony Durkacz: Exactly.
Howard Glassman: And I remember saying to somebody, What, they didn’t think there was going to be a demand for this? People have been waiting for years!
The other thing is where it’s going with edibles and all that kind of thing. Where, so that’s just one stage. We’re so far down the road I’m sure you guys – there are things that will come up in the next five years that you don’t even know now.
Anthony Durkacz: Correct, for sure. There are things that are coming up now that no one’s seen it in the industry, but it’ll begin to become unveiled in the next few months.
Howard Glassman: What about this company? Co-founder, co-chairman, FSD Pharma. It’s on the CNSX, HUGE.
Anthony Durkacz: Yes.
Howard Glassman: Big things. Company’s growing.
Anthony Durkacz: The company’s growing.
Howard Glassman: When you leave here, should I just call my broker: I met Anthony!
Anthony Durkacz: I don’t give buy and sell advice ever, because I can’t.
Howard Glassman: I know.
Anthony Durkacz: Our stock has been under pressure lately, and you know, not one of the top performers recently, and we did have some news releases that were challenges that we had to deal with. But today, the company is still in phenomenal financial shape and has a very large amount of market-valued assets within the company and has zero debt.
Howard Glassman: Amazing.
Anthony Durkacz: And there are a lot of opportunities, but we’ve, before we were, I think, we would news release things to keep investors informed, and some of that ended up backfiring on us, frankly. And so I think we had to take a step back and think, from now on, everything that we’re going to put out – not that nothing’s, if anyone thinks that nothing’s happened, it’s absolutely not the case. I mean, if you look in my eyes, I hardly sleep, and it’s because I’m working to build shareholder value.
Howard Glassman: Good. As an investor in your company, I don’t want you sleeping!
Anthony Durkacz: [laughter] Exactly. And so you know, the whole focus has been, you know, to make sure we do the right things. From now on, we want to completely under-promise, you know, and ultimately, hopefully over-deliver. And, but, the times are extremely exciting, and especially in the medicinal side is amazing. And really, I think, morally, is also a great thing.
Howard Glassman: Absolutely.
Anthony Durkacz: Because, you know, they’re going to – well, this will impact a lot of different areas in medicine, and will give people, I think, a lot of choice or option that, you know, was probably not servicing them well. You know, I have personal people in my family that, you know, certain painkillers, if they take them, they have all sorts of different problems, whether it’s constipation or stomach-ache, or –
Howard Glassman: Just side effects, all kinds of side effects.
Anthony Durkacz: And there’s certain side effects –
Howard Glassman: And I think, I love what you said, that it’s almost like a moral obligation. There are people who, and oftentimes I used to wonder as a kid, you know, if a drug has all these side effects, why would you take them? Sometimes it’s, you have to endure the side effects to get some relief, whereas with the products your company and other companies like yours will make, as I said yesterday, the only side effect of weed is sometimes I want to have 7-11 chicken.
Anthony Durkacz: It might be a little bit more than that because we haven’t done it, but –
Howard Glassman: Oh, my chair broke. [laughter]
Anthony Durkacz: But it’s –
Howard Glassman: This is a good look. No, keep this. I like it. Anthony…
Anthony Durkacz: Either I just grew a foot, or you’re just shrinking.
Howard Glassman: I don’t know. You know, it’s a Friday show, my friend.
Anthony Durkacz: Thank you very much for having me, Howard.
Howard Glassman: Hey guys, can we just put me – there we go? [laughter] Okay, Anthony, co-chairman, FSD Pharma. Durkacz, great to meet you. Humble & Fred show…
Anthony Durkacz: Whatever –
Howard Glassman: By the way, if you want to listen to my show, Humbleandfredradio.com. Go there, listen, laugh, come and join us.
Anthony Durkacz: I will do that.
Howard Glassman: Come and join us, Anthony.
Anthony Durkacz: One day I will do that.
Howard Glassman: All right. I’m going to have you on my show.
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