Company Name: House of Jane (Management Company) General Beverage Consulting (Marketing)
Year Founded: January 2014
Ownership Structure: Not for profit Mutual Benefit Corporation
Management Team: Jill Amen, Founder & President; Ben-David Sheppard, Chairman & Managing Partner
Headquarters: San Jose, California
Industry Segment/Category: Processor
Current Markets/States Served: California
Current Number of employees: Nine (9) plus outsource 11 other positions currently
Market Strategy/Goal: At Jane’s Brew it is our goal to educate, facilitate and provide access to those patients that may benefit from one of the best tasting and most responsible edible products on the market!
2014 Revenues: Developed packaging and product mix and pilot distribution to over 100 clubs & dispensaries in California.
Current Retail Product Mix: Gourmet Infused coffees, teas and edibles
Expansion Plans: Nevada slated to begin distribution in 2015 if licensee producer and processor is up and running by beginning of Q4. They plan on being in all legal and licensed medical and adult-use markets once licensing agreements are consummated in each state.
Financing strategy: To date from friends and family as well as seed capital, currently raising additional capital through The ArcView Group.
East meets West to produce the very best: Jane’s Brew
Like so many of us in the Cannabis Industry, there were two big events that got the ball rolling for our start-ups. The November Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas was ground breaking for its attendance and number of industry exhibitors, but the 2014 NCIA Summit in Denver in June not only represented the coming out party for CBE Press LLC, but also was a key event in the evolution of House of Jane (HOJ) and its product line, Jane’s Brew.
Two entrepreneurs, one from the West Coast, Jill Amen of San Jose, California, and Ben David Sheppard from Maryland, met at the conference and the venture that Jill had started in 2013 took on new life with the two partners combining their complimentary skill sets.
Jill’s vision, inspired by years cultivating experience and her involvement in two previous start-ups, one involving a woman-owned spa, artisan gallery and fashion boutique of American made products, and the other a marketing agency, was to create a line of gourmet Infused coffees, teas and edibles to serve the health conscious consumer of medicinal cannabis. Ben who was looking to leverage his start-up experience and commitment to seeing prohibition end, had formed Mother Ship Holdings, a financing company focused on health care — and the House of Jane platform fit the bill nicely.
I met the two at the recent May ArcView Group Investors conference in metro Washington, D.C. and was immediately drawn to their booth, which included a finely packaged line of coffees, teas and sweeteners that immediately grabbed my attention. After hearing Ben speak and watching several other presentations of new brands seeking investment, I was sold on their concept and wanted to share their up and coming story with CBE Press’ readers.
The combined entity of House of Jane and General Beverage Consulting are currently in the process of forming relationships with licensed Producers and Processors who will have the rights to reproduce the HOJ IP and Trademark to gain distribution in their home states. They have established manufacturing and distribution in their home state of California. House of Jane cultivates its own plants in state and currently outsources extraction; with their own dedicated sales team, they currently have distribution in over 100 dispensaries and clubs with hopes of being in over 200 retailers by year-end.
They have signed a licensee to manufacture, package and distribute the Jane’s Brew line in Nevada, Qure HH Wellness, which is building out a 40,000 sf grow in Reno. They hope to begin selling in Nevada by year-end 2015. They licensee and General Beverage will co-promote the brand to consumers in state.
Ben and Jill hope to have licensee agreements completed with partners in Colorado (close to signing a big name PPR), Arizona, Washington state, Oregon, and overseas in Amsterdam this year to complete the trifecta of sin cities (Las Vegas and Los Angeles already signed!)
From a marketing perspective, Ben and Jill have come up with a classic Push/Pull effort to create a market that doesn’t really currently exist in their eyes.
To build interest among potential distributors, they are promoting their product mix as the exclusive sponsor of Oaksterdam University’s new Washington DC, first certified career training program for candidates seeking to enter the legal cannabis industry on June 27 & 28, 2015. The training will provide participants with the critical information they need to pursue a cannabis career, from opening a dispensary or delivery business, to structuring a legal cannabis entity, understanding their legal rights under the District’s and other states’ laws, bud tending, vending and more. The Washington, DC, certification program is a good testing ground for Oaksterdam as it eyes Washington, DC, as a potential headquarters for its planned East Coast campus.
And to create consumer awareness and interest among those seeking a new medicinal experience, and removing much of the stigma normally associated with smoking cannabis, their product mix of gourmet coffees, teas, hot chocolates, creamers, sweeteners and medi-mixes, HOJ has formed Jane’s Army, to educate and dispensaries about the responsible, medicinal use of cannabis-infused beverages. HOJ also requires all licensed dispensaries that wish to carry Jane’s Brew to undergo training before it is placed on their shelves.
The Jane’s Brew product line, which was officially launched in January at the 2015 HEMPCON Cup, was awarded two first place awards for the Best Edible and Connoisseur’s Choice. The game for this new brand now boils down to winning licensees in legal markets to be the first to establish shelf position across the U.S. (legal retailers) and to grab market share before copycats and other major brands throw their weight into this lucrative market. With a solid plan and financial resources behind them, CBE believes that they have a good chance of winning a Kewpie doll!