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Circling Back with Steep Hill Labs: What’s New and What’s Next

Last year, CBE came out with a Hot List of Lab Testing services and decided that the top company on our list should be Steep Hill out of Berkeley, CA. A lot has happened since February for the segment’s leader and we had the opportunity recently to talk with CEO David Lampach about his company, the competition, and what’s next.

David L

CEO David Lampach

This year (2015) has really been about expansion into new states, both with licensees and directly, as well as rolling out innovations like GenKit™, QuantaCann2™, consulting services and genetic /biotech services. It has also been about raising capital to allow Steep Hill to scale and serve the rapidly growing communities of Producers, Processors and Retailers with a clear goal of expanding into all regulated markets over time.

With the opening of the new Albuquerque, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada facilities, Steep Hill is now serving PPRs in five states and will enter Oregon in 2015. They are also in discussions to operate in Jamaica as well, making them the largest cannabis lab network in the U.S., and perhaps the world.

New MexicoNew Mexico Training

It also a year where mudslinging has been rampant in the testing sector, both on the regulatory side and in reports challenging the veracity of labs promising to play-for-pay, which has not helped anyone in the space. Steep Hill has been aggressive in championing lab testing and analytics by working closely with state regulators and finding solutions to problems like the ones surrounding the use of pesticides approved by the EPA for other ingested crops covered by the regulatory body.

When we caught up with David, we were curious to know how Steep Hill’s expansion and scaling plans were coming along as a result of recent and future product launches and fundraising efforts. Since we spoke with Steep Hill earlier in the year, they have been raising a capital pool of $5 million when they issued common stock offered through the Jobs Act, Section 506, which allowed them to access investment capital from a larger pool of accredited investors.

The funds have not only been used to help with the expansion and new product efforts mentioned above, but also to support their active genetics research program and Ynsight Research Lab. They have seen their revenue mix diversify along the way. Lab testing services and Quantacann2™ sales revenues make-up a significant portion of the projected $3 million in sales, with GenKit™ (determines sex of plant) and Consulting Services to states, countries and municipalities adding increasingly meaningful new top line dollars.

David expects to see GenKit™ sales to contribute upwards of 30 percent of their revenue mix in the not-too-distant future. They have also begun offering financing for their QuantaCann2™ line, correcting a mistake David acknowledges that they had made by not offering credit terms to customers from the outset.

Part of the expansion into new markets plan has included licensing their lab testing services to third party providers. Steep Hill signed deals with M.A. & Associates, which will use Steep Hill testing and technology protocols in Nevada, and, Pazoo Inc subsidiary Harris Lee in Oregon and Colorado.

They also plan on expanding their presence into Southern California and the legislation regulating the state’s medical marijuana industry (that is expected to be signed shortly by Gov. Jerry Brown) should represent a strong revenue pool and opportunity for Steep Hill and their California competition to benefit from in the near future.

Stay tuned sports fans, the lab testing, analytics and genetic/biotech services arena is heating up!

Background

Company Name: Steep Hill Labs, Inc. (This is the legal name – we go by Steep Hill for media and customer purposes – CBW)

Ownership Structure: Private Company Incorporated in Delaware

CEO/Management Team: David Lampach

Headquarters: Berkeley, California

Website: www.steephill.com

Industry Segment/Category: Lab Testing Services,Genetic/ Biotech Research, Consulting

Current Markets/States Served: California, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, and soon in Oregon

Current Number of employees: 30ish

Business Strategy/Goal: Offer products and services that increase patient and consumer knowledge and safety about the cannabis products they are consuming. Develop products and intellectual property that meet critical needs in the supply chain. Develop intellectual property around the cannabis plant in general.

2014 Revenues: $1.2 million

2015 Revenue Projection: $3 Million

Current Service/Product offering Mix: QuantaCann2™ and GenKit™ in addition to lab services, consulting services, and genetic/biotech services

Expansion Plans: To open and/or license, labs in states with a legal Recreational or Medical Marijuana Program involving dispensaries, grows, edible and infused manufacturing and/or lab testing services

Financing strategy: $5 million raised in 2015 to finance growth initiatives.

 

Rob MeagherRob Meagher

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]

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