Iconic Entrepreneur Joe Mimran Excited by Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN)
Renowned Canadian entrepreneur Joseph Mimran joins James West to discuss his strategic counsel to Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN) (OTCMKTS:KHRNF) (FRA:4KH). While Mr. Mimran is internationally recognized as a brand and retail concept visionary known for iconic brands such as Joe Fresh and Club Monaco, he also provides Khiron with expertise on packaged goods and retail development for the Latin American market. The Moroccan-Canadian entrepreneur adds tremendous value to Khiron’s already experienced management team and Board of Directors with a proven record in brand development and will help distinguish Khiron’s products from the competition. The Dragon from CBC’s Dragons’ Den believes Khiron “are sitting on so much potential” having first-mover advantage in the multi-billion global market in Latin America and is excited by the talent the company has attracted as well as the expanding Kuida product lines and distribution.
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Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements and are prospective in nature. Forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather on current expectations and projections about future events, and are therefore subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking information includes that Khiron Life Sciences Corp will be a big, successful company in the cannabis sector; that cannabis use and sales will grow and KHIRON’s sales along with it; KHIRON’s intended acquisition of various foreign companies and expansion into the European and South and North American markets; that cosmeceuticals is and will continue to be a fast growing and profitable sector of the cannabis industry; and that it will be able to carry out its business plans.
Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results or events are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on KHIRON. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things: that a regulatory approval that may be required for the intended acquisitions and subsequent sales are not obtained or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; growing competition for intended acquisitions in the cannabis industry; potential future competition in the markets KHIRON operates for sales; competitors may quickly enter the industry; general economic conditions in the US, Canada and globally; the inability to secure financing necessary to carry out its business plans; competition for, among other things, capital and skilled personnel; the possibility that government policies or laws may not permit legal cannabis sales or growth or that favorable laws in place may change; KHIRON not adequately protecting its intellectual property; interruption or failure of information technology systems; the cannabis market may not grow as expected; KHIRON’s technology may not achieve the expected results and its accomplishments may be limited; even if it is granted patents, it may not have success at licensing its technologies or sell its products at the rate expected; planned acquisitions and partnerships may not materialize because of inability to agree on terms with prospective partners or targets; KHIRON’s business plan also carries risk, including its ability to comply with all applicable governmental regulations in a highly regulated business; incubator risk investing in target companies or projects which have limited or no operating history and are engaged in activities currently considered illegal under US federal and foreign laws; and other regulatory risks relating to KHIRON’s business, financings and strategic acquisitions, including securities laws, trade rules, and foreign country regulation that is not the same as Canadian or US regulations.
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James West: I’m joined in studio now by Joe Mimram. Joe, welcome.
Joe Mimram: Thank you, thank you. Good to be here.
James West: Yeah. Joe, you recently joined the Board of Khiron Life Sciences, and your presence in the cannabis sector, you’ve revealed, is not new because of that, and you were actually a participant in a much earlier deal.
Joe Mimram: Yeah.
James West: Tell me about how you first got involved in cannabis.
Joe Mimram: Got involved in 2004; it was a company called Cannasat, and I was one of three founders. And it was very early days, and it was the, we had an arrangement with Prairie Systems in Flin Flon that had the only license to grow in Canada for medical purposes. And it was a very cumbersome system back then, you know. You’d have to get a doctor’s prescription, it would have to go out to Flin Flon, it would get filled, and there was a whole process. And at the time, we were really, you know, far too early, because the market gave it no attention at all.
And that can happen. It can happen in the fashion game, it can happen in business, where you see a seam in the market, you see an opportunity, but the market is not there yet. And it morphed into being a pharmaceutical-led business; it turned into Synapsis, and then there was a successful exit. But that was my first taste for it, back in 2004.
James West: So you did that while you were busy creating iconic brands in the fashion space.
Joe Mimram: Correct.
James West: Alfred Sung, Club Monaco…I actually was just in conversation with my associate: I’ve got two hats that I bought from Club Monaco which were those giant furry things.
Joe Mimram: Yes, the big, yeah.
James West: Earflaps, and I wear those every winter, because they are, in fact, the warmest hats in my house. But so, tell me: is it the expectation of Khiron that you’re going to bring that sort of brand and marketplace development expertise to bear on Khiron’s?
Joe Mimram: Yeah. I think that that’s where I can really add a lot of value to Khiron, is to help them in thinking that through, and certainly, when you look at how the industry is going to move forward, it is going to become not just a pharma play, not just a recreational play, but then it will be more of a CPG, a classic CPG play. So how you brand your product, how you go out to consumers, how you speak to them, I think, will be very important.
You know, there’s a million CBD oils out there today; how do you distinguish one from the other? So you either have to have some science that really distinguishes it, or you’re going to have to have a brand that really resonates with the consumer. And for some people, that whole idea of brand development, there’s a lot of magic that goes into it; it’s a bit of a black box as to how that gets done. And you know, it’s what I’ve been doing my entire career.
James West: Right, interesting. So then, do you find that the sort of global legal patchwork when it comes to the legality of cannabis, particularly in non-medical, recreational, cosmeceutical brands, do you find that a bit of a challenge in developing a plan for a global rollout?
Joe Mimram: Definitely. I think that is probably one of the biggest challenges, but it’s also what gives these companies an opportunity, because if it wasn’t for those hurdles, you would find the big players would get involved and they would crush the small guys. So here’s an opportunity to actually get involved and get ahead of the market before you’re faced with competition that would roll you over, normally.
James West: What about the future for hemp clothing? I mean, hemp clothing has existed as a sort of novelty…
Joe Mimram: Yeah, hemp clothing never worked. Yeah, it never worked. They’ve been trying the hemp clothing thing for a very, very long time; there will be, obviously, a real big supply of hemp by-product, certainly as hemp farming – so perhaps it’ll gain some more traction. But historically, hemp clothing has not meant very much in the market.
James West: Okay. So among all of the non-medical applications for cannabis – cosmeceuticals, foods, beverages, etcetera – where do you see the greatest opportunity for uptake by the average consumer?
Joe Mimram: Yeah, I think there’s going to be, there’s a few places that I see it. I see it, first of all, in the cosmeceutical side. I think as, you know, as it relates to a beauty and skin treatment, I think that will be a very, very big area. I think pain relief, obviously, is a huge area; I think there’s a pharma pain relief direction and then there’s just an over-the-counter, and when you think about the amount that is sold over the counter for pain relief today, it is $100 billion-plus market that can easily get attacked by a more natural, more effective product.
So I think you’re going to see a lot of development in that area. And then the beverage area, I think, is trickier. I think onset, the issues of onset, the issues of bioavailability, shelf stability, flavour, you know, all the masking agents that are used to hide some of the flavours – I think that will be a bit trickier.
And I think the onset time, you know, anytime you get into edibles and that, although that is starting to really look like a very, very exciting area as well. But at the end, it’s all going to be, you know, consumer product. You’re going to need brands, you’re going to need distribution, and it will follow a normal suit, depending, of course, on the regulatory issues.
James West: Sure. You started the brand Club Monaco in Canada; it eventually became 150 stores across Asia and the United States before you sold it to Ralph Lauren.
Joe Mimram: Yeah.
James West: What needs to change in the Canadian regulatory landscape before you can replicate that sort of rapid success and market penetration that you achieved?
Joe Mimram: Yeah, I’m not sure that you can effectively build a brand in Canada in this case, currently.
James West: Due to the limitations –
Joe Mimram: Due to the limitations. I think you can play at the fringes of it, but if you really, truly want to build a brand, I think it’s going to have to be in the CBD space. In particular, it’s going to be in the United States, because there are no regulations in terms of crossing state lines. And yes, there are regulations in terms of packaging, but not in terms of building a brand.
So to me, the US is really where you’re going to – where the brands are going to emanate from.
James West: Okay, so now, in the case of Khiron, their focus is primarily Latin America, but secondarily global. Do you see the branding opportunities in Latin America with less restrictions and therefore, more potential for the Latin American audience?
Joe Mimram: Yes. I think where Khiron is going to be so effective is, Khiron is in a part of the world that’s very similar to where Canada was five to seven years ago, or where even the States was five to seven years ago. And so Khiron has first mover advantage. If you look at them, you compare them to, say, a Canopy, they are doing things, they are seeding the market now. They are doing so many things right in terms of social media, medical associations, clinics, you know, communicating with the doctors in all of these countries. And you look at the size of the population that they have to work with, and a population that also relates to herbal remedies.
So I believe that they are sitting on so much potential. 680 million people just in the countries that they’re currently looking at right now. So you look at that size of population: 68 million medical users of marijuana and CBD. So you look at that market and you think, My goodness; what a great opportunity. And that’s what excites me about Khiron. And also, the talent that they’ve attracted. You look at Alvaro Torres: I mean, he is used to, you know, big projects. SNC-Lavalin with 2,000 employees, you know, that’s not a small business to manage. It shows that the operational skills, they’ve already got more than 150 people on the ground there now. They’ve got the ability to grow more efficiently, probably, than almost anybody. And I think that just positions them perfectly well.
And they’ve already developed their Kuida line, which is in stores, and is selling, and, you know, certainly has a lot of potential as well.
James West: Great. All right, Joe, that’s a great conversation about Khiron. We’ll come back to you hopefully in the future and see how it evolves. Thanks for joining me today.
Joe Mimram: Thank you so much.
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