There are no perfect formulas for entering the increasingly competitive cannabis industry as a licensee. However, if I were looking for skill sets to enhance a company’s chance for success, Dan Anglin, CEO of AmeriCanna’s resume would be roadmap.
After a nomadic Air force family upbringing and serving in the Marine Corp, Dan used the GI Bill to pursue and earn his degree before building a career of experiences that ultimately created his perfect storm to eventually start the edible manufacturer AmeriCanna. In his own words Dan has publicly stated, “My time as a legislative analyst, lobbyist, and owner/operator of multiple marijuana businesses has been a blessing, in that I am able to help create policies that both protect public safety and promote good business in this emerging marketplace.”
His entry into the Cannabis Industry began as Research analyst/Constituent services specialist working for the Colorado Legislative Council which he leveraged to become a Governmental Affairs Representative (nice title for a lobbyist!) with the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry in 2009, right in the middle of Colorado’s Medical Marijuana program rollout.
These experiences helped Dan land a managing partner position at Edipure, one of the first Manufacturer of Infused products entries in Colorado in 2013. After helping the company establish a stake not only in the Medical Marijuana channel but also the new Recreational space in the state, Dan decided to move in a different direction and start his own company with some key partners including Frank Falconer (a sales and marketing professional with extensive retail relationships in the state) and his wife of the last 20 years, Diana. The two are the VP of Sales and Marketing and the COO respectively at Americanna.
Oh and let’s not forget, Dan founded the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce in 2014, an organization dedicated to the economic advancement of the cannabis industry in the state. It’s headed by Executive Director Laura Harris who served as Director of the Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division. The Chamber includes members who support a self-regulating model to buttress public safety, promulgate best practices and establish consistent industry standards.
The Americanna team started a LLC and purchased the assets of Boulder Pharma in October 2015 which, at the time included 8 Colorado licenses (both cultivation and MIP). They marketed Boulder Pharma Brands until they officially rolled out Americanna in April of 2016.
From the outset, Dan and his team reflected upon what they had learned in their past efforts. One direction they wanted to pursue focused on growing their own raw material to avoid the pesticide tainted product that others had experienced and been cited for by the marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in Colorado. They originally also included concentrates that they manufactured in the initial offerings to state retailers. In both cases they have already moved in a new direction.
Americanna still runs a cultivation facility, but increasingly turns to carefully vetted suppliers who Anglin frankly told me could produce extremely high quality oil with more efficiencies than are possible with his in-house cultivation and extraction processes. The company’s edibles product line now consists of Gummies and CannaPuffs, which are soft gummies that were launched in December after offering sample drops at key retailers. Sales on CannaPuffs are rocketing.
The gummy line was unique from day one. Americanna invested heavily in molds to develop a product that met and surpassed all MED requirements — the company’s gummies, for example, are shaped like a cannabis leaf to avoid the confusion that some manufacturers caused after creating gummy confections that looked like mainstream, non-infused candies. Also, Americanna was the first confection in Colorado to comply with state regulations to stamp every piece of infused candy with a THC stamp. Americanna now distributes 18 skus of sweet and sour gummies in 5 flavors.
One of the unique aspects of Americanna’s products from the outset has been precise micro-dosing. Americanna also is in the process of creating micro-dosed infused cookies that range in concentration from 1-10 MGs per piece.
Another goal that the team has stuck with from day one is creating affordable products. A compliant and clearly labeled child resistant bottle of 10 gummies that carry a 10 mg dosing can be purchased for $14-$18 at retail.
Dan told me that they will focus on candy and cookies, no concentrates moving forward and will be releasing another new line in 2017… you will have to wait like CBE to find out about it in the near future!
The business plan that Americanna is following may be one to watch regarding state expansion. Because Americanna’s candies are infused after manufacturing the candy on a mass scale, the Americanna expansion model will allow them to become part of their licensees’ supply chain. They plan on manufacturing at centrally located distribution sites and shipping pre-infused candies to the licensees of the infusion intellectual property so that quality, consistency and taste can be controlled nationwide. All the local licensees have to do is produce the oils to Americanna specs to make sure that the product they distribute tastes the same and acts the same as Americanna’s Colorado product. The company is working with processors in Maryland and New York as those markets go online and increase their product mix.
Dan tells me that Americanna ended 2016 with over $3 million in sales — not bad for a company that recently launched its gummy brand and believes that it will do over $7 million in 2017 in Colorado alone. In fact, even though Americanna did not launch until 4/20 of 2016, the company still sold the No. 1-selling edibles product in the state last year — the Sour Leaf Gummies. Wait until their supply chain strategy kicks in with new cannabis markets come online. Perhaps Americanna will become a volume manufacturer before the competition catches on!
Company Name: His Way Herbs, LLC. DBA: AmeriCanna, DBA: Live Labs, DBA Boulder Pharma (not used since purchase of business)
Year Founded: 2013 – Purchased by me in October 2015 – Founded the brand in 2016
Ownership structure/operating entities: LLC
Management Team: Dan Anglin, President/CEO, Frank Falconer, VP Sales and Marketing, Diana Anglin, COO, Tim Allen, Operations Manager, Austin Sims, Asst. Operations Manager – Cultivation Manager, Jayson Jarimillo, MIP Manager, Kelly Illum, Kitchen Manager, Kevin Rice, Sales Manager
Headquarters: Boulder, CO
Number of Locations: 2, both in Boulder
Number of Licenses by State: 8 in Colorado: 2 Med MIP’s, 2 Rec MIP’s, 2 Med OPC’s, 2 Rec OPC’s
Industry Segment/Category: Cultivation/Manufacturing; Edibles, Gummies
Current Markets/States Served: Colorado
Current Number of employees: 40
Market Strategy/Goal: To establish brand positioning in top 5 brands in ancillary products; shelf space; establish consumer confidence through quality distillate oils and edibles line – move into other lines currently under development; new products at least twice a year to remain relevant to consumers and promote the brand.
2014 Revenues: $400,000
2015 Revenues: $1,400,000
2016 Revenues $3,200,000
2017 Projected Revenues: $7,300,0000 (current line of edibles products)
Product/Revenue Mix: Edibles, more to be introduced 2017
Expansion Plans: Licensing the brand in other markets, partnering with operators in other markets, brand expansion into the publicly traded marketplace, clothing, merchandise, procurement agreements.
Financing strategy: Currently pursuing a capital raise for Procurement and IP for licensing opportunities in new markets before pursuing a public play in the not too distant future.