Flower-Side Chats Part 5: A Q&A with Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed, Inc.

In this “Flower-Side Chats” series of articles or blog posts, Inexperienced interviews built-in cannabis firms and flower brands that are bringing exclusive business types to the field. Certain interest is concentrated on how these enterprises combine ground breaking procedures in order to navigate a speedily transforming landscape of regulatory, source chain and client desire.

Multi-point out operators (MSOs) are on the rise in the United States, navigating advanced regulatory frameworks to travel profitability as a result of economies of scale and scope. As an MSO and an early mover in the space, a significant component of MariMed’s recent tactic is to entire the acquisition and consolidation of the licensed condition cannabis businesses it has created. It usually takes seasoned management to make that take place, and MariMed’s is led by just one of the most experienced and successful MSO management teams in the business. Over the last 8 several years, Bob Fireman and his colleagues have received 17 licenses in 6 states, and built and created more than 300,000 sq. toes of hashish cultivation, production and dispensing facilities.

MariMed has also made a portfolio of award-successful hashish makes and infused merchandise which are licensed, manufactured and dispersed in Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. A recently announced $46 million funding for a facility with Hadron Healthcare Fund will aid repay all MariMed debt other than home loan-backed lender financial loans and just one convertible be aware, as very well as enable enhance and grow the company’s owned and managed hashish services.

We spoke with Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed. Bob started off the foundations of MariMed in 2008 following acquiring into large-scale hydroponics for city sustainable agriculture. Prior to MariMed, Bob served as a startup law firm targeted on tech and emerging industries.

Aaron Green: Bob, inform me about how you bought started out in the hashish marketplace.

Bob Fireman: I practiced law for decades. Part of my observe was to enable startups in all sorts of industries, particularly technology and new emerging markets. At one stage, I was launched to a fascinating sustainable foods business enterprise chance – to establish hydroponic farms on rooftops in metropolitan areas throughout the nation.

Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed, Inc.

When just one of our jobs in San Francisco hit some roadblocks, our staff there pivoted to what was becoming the Wild West of California hashish. My mate and existing MariMed CFO, Jon Levine, and I started investing and managing a cultivation site there. That is where by we developed our early foundation of industry knowledge.

Quick ahead a few many years, and I was afforded the option to be involved in the drafting of the proposed Massachusetts professional medical hashish laws.

Through that operate, we met a crew that had received one particular of 3 cannabis licenses in Rhode Island. We shaped a serious estate LLC and raised the money to create a seed to sale cannabis facility in Providence, which was afterwards leased to the Slater Centre, a not-for-profit health-related cannabis certified organization. Now, the Slater Centre is a nationally acclaimed procedure that services around 10,000 clinical sufferers.

From there, we took our know-how and shaped a new entity that was the official starting of the business we now know as MariMed. In the beginning, we served gain licenses for clients in Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois and Nevada. We also provided administration solutions, working funds and other necessities. Underneath our management, we organically crafted these firms from the floor up, advancing most effective practices and somewhat quietly generating a community of greatest-in-course operations through the marketplace.

That led to the consolidation of people companies that we’re targeted on nowadays as a main strategic pillar.

I’m exceptionally happy of our workforce, the main of which has been at this for 10 decades. We’ve watched other MSOs attempt distinct types of achievement, with different levels of success. For us, focusing on advancement marketplaces, constructing at a fair and scalable clip, attracting extraordinary talent at all levels of the organization, and building amazing brand names that buyers appreciate, are the substances that have translated to wherever we are now – powerful performance and an exceptionally bright foreseeable future. “Slow and steady wins the race” has grow to be a mantra.

Inexperienced: What traits are you looking at appropriate now? What’s on your radar?

Fireman: My radar has a singular concentration, and that’s to build shareholder value. Which is why finishing the consolidation of the hashish licensed organizations we’ve produced and deal with into our community enterprise is so critical. Again in the day, the original offered licenses have been in healthcare-only point out packages where by candidates had been needed to be not-for-revenue state companies. Accordingly, we raised the capital in the real estate entity which leased amenities to the licensees. Our earnings was from rents, administration expert services and licensing costs.

Panacea Wellness in Middleborough, MA is one of MariMed’s grownup use cannabis dispensaries

In 2019, we implemented a new strategic strategy to consolidate these enterprises. While that translates to our currently being structured likewise to other MSOs in that we are a vertically integrated seed to sale firm, we are unique in our operational excellence, high-quality item portfolio, and robust harmony sheet. Other MSOs have lifted significant quantities of funds to fork out massive sums to obtain licensed condition cannabis businesses and have observed themselves more than-leveraged and challenged to assimilate other companies’ methodologies and cultures. By consolidating the companies and gifted people we designed and managed from working day one particular and employing our greatest tactics and processes system-large, we understand monumental funds efficiencies.

Our system is having to pay off. Our main hashish revenue in 2020 improved 207% to $50.9 million, and our 10k claimed EBITDA of $16.3 million. And now we’re on track to double our income in 2021.

The past piece of the puzzle is to permit the planet know what we’ve been doing. Slow and continual has worked for us but gone are the days of performing so quietly. We’re proud of what we have accomplished and exceedingly bullish on what is to arrive.

Eco-friendly: What do you glimpse for in an M&A goal?

Fireman: When M&A will make feeling for us, we initially search for one operators and entrepreneurs in states wherever we are not lively and search to associate with business leaders that had the eyesight and the bravery to get into this industry and build stable cannabis corporations from the ground up. I’m searching for firms that could benefit from currently being element of a bigger, extra experienced and effectively-capitalized enterprise like MariMed. Of course, as an MSO with a good system, MariMed is approached consistently by other MSOs and banks suggesting candidates for M&A possibilities. Lining up with a firm that has complementary cannabis licenses in other states and who shares our vision and ethics could be a win-get predicament. They need to embrace our determination to range, the ecosystem and good company governance. We have been rather reticent to do this until finally we see some raise in our share rate and industry capitalization.

Eco-friendly: Are there any new products, or products trends that you are wanting at?

Fireman: Marimed looks to be the most reliable resource of significant-good quality hashish merchandise that continually provides innovative health and fitness and wellness remedies to our patients and shoppers. Our lab researchers are constantly creating and screening new and ground breaking formulations of cannabinoid compounds including CBD, THCa, CBG, CBN and other people that will boost the overall health and wellness of our consumers.

Our model portfolio is ever-expanding with new and much better product or service offerings. Our award-successful Betty’s Eddies Fruit Chews model is introducing new SKUs of versions and flavors for both equally professional medical and grownup use systems. Our Nature’s Heritage flower and concentrates model is adding a line of solventless concentrates, dwell rosin, as well as new formulations for RSO, an oil popular with clinical people. Kalm Fusion is expanding its prosperous line of powdered drink mixes as we see a lot more motion in the hashish beverage classification.

Microdosing is vastly popular correct now, and we’re rolling out products in the 2-5mg dosage assortment. Wellbeing and nutritional considerations are major of thoughts as perfectly, and we supply products that are vegan, sugar-totally free and gluten-free of charge. Finally, we want to be certain that we have anything on the shelves for every single one purchaser. The economical hardship developed by the pandemic has built individuals more attracted to benefit additional products and solutions this kind of as popcorn buds.

Green: You not long ago announced an fairness financing from Hadron. I’m curious to understand additional about it from a nuts-and-bolts point of view if you can share any of that info.

Fireman: Over the last yr, entry to the capital markets for fairness raises in cannabis public organizations was hard. The value of credit card debt was and is even now higher, and we have been seeking for a long-time period money spouse that recognized the sector and could guide us. Hadron Money has been effective for various a long time investing in some of the most thriving MSOs and they observed the worth and opportunity in MariMed’s experienced management and excellent belongings.

Hadron invested $46 million in equity in MariMed this March. Approximately $16 million was used to retire all our small- and lengthy-expression debt but for financial institution secured personal debt and a single convertible note. $7 million is dedicated to funding our capex and expanding the capabilities of our services, enabling us to mature more flower and automate production. The harmony of funding will help our consolidation strategy to fund two much more roll ups of state accredited cannabis organizations into the public business.

Likely forward, it is comforting to have a capital husband or wife to help us in long term acquisitions and M&A chances.

Eco-friendly: I’d enjoy to master additional about your Nature’s Heritage brand, particularly as it relates to the cultivation and the flower merchandise.

Fireman: Our COO Tim Shaw has assembled a cultivation and manufacturing crew with experience in all features of genetics, rising methodologies, extraction strategies, and packaging innovation. That’s supplied us a wealthy selection of top quality genetics that make up Nature’s Heritage, our top rated-advertising flower, oil and focus manufacturer in Massachusetts and Maryland. We’ve just lately expanded the line to contain Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and solventless concentrates (such as live rosin) and have been acquiring stellar feed-back.

Eco-friendly: What are you intrigued in understanding a lot more about?

Fireman: Over the very last 10 years, the MariMed core crew has witnessed the emergence and amazing development of the cannabis business. The original professional medical applications in California and Colorado have now led to some form of legal clinical or adult use hashish applications in over 33 states and districts.

We are most fascinated in discovering and pursuing the federal, condition, and global legal guidelines and rules. It is crucial to know how these laws will have an affect on our enterprise and the field as a total. When may possibly comprehensive federal legalization develop into a fact? What may unique versions of the legislation be? Will state lawful programs be guarded as nicely as the providers that took the possibility in investing in the industry at its nascent state and how? What will Fda demands and laws glimpse like? What healthcare claims will firms be allowed to make, and what kind of investigate or trials will be demanded to put a item on the shelf? What are the ramifications of the Extra Act or the Protected Banking Act?

Liable MSOs need to be well prepared to rise to or over the requirements of treatment of other industries. A ton of this was extremely hard in the earlier simply because of federal prohibition regulations. Soon, if not presently, labs and producing processes will need to be GMP licensed and additional. Customer data will require to be HIPAA compliant. Hashish businesses have to be great company citizens: diversity and equivalent possibility should be embedded in organization conclusions, and commitment to ESG and sound environmental and social guidelines with fantastic corporate governance require to be in arranging and applied.

Pursuing the laws and holding ourselves to the greatest feasible protection and company specifications will let the hashish market to ultimately become “mainstream.”

Environmentally friendly: Alright, terrific. Thank you, Bob. That concludes the job interview!