Flower-Side Chats Part 8: A Q&A with Andreas “Dre” Neumann, Chief Creative Director of Jushi Holdings Inc.

In this “Flower-Side Chats” sequence of content articles, Inexperienced interviews built-in hashish organizations and flower brands that are bringing special company products to the field. Certain notice is centered on how these businesses integrate impressive practices to navigate a fast altering landscape of restrictions, provide chain and shopper desire.

Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS: JUSHF | CSE: JUSH) is a multi-point out operator with a countrywide footprint and main marketplaces in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with building marketplaces in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Ohio. In addition, Jushi maintains workplaces in Colorado, New York and Florida. In Q1 2021 they posted $42M in earnings symbolizing 30% growth over Q4 2020 and 77% of their profits have been conducted on-line. Jushi brands consist of Over and above / Good day, The Financial institution, The Lab, Tasteology, Sēchē, Nira CBD and Nira+ Medicinals.

We interviewed Andreas “Dre” Neumann, Chief Creative Director of Jushi Holdings. Dre joined Jushi in February 2020 just after connecting to the founders by a colleague and running a massive user knowledge analysis challenge. Prior to Jushi, Dre cut his teeth in marketing and branded entertainment. He was a startup founder at TalentHouse.com and a Spouse at Idean, which he afterwards sold to Capgemini.

Aaron Green: How did you get included in the hashish sector?

Andreas Neumann: I’m a person who has been fascinated in lots of genres – I’m generally seeking for the upcoming big thing. I commenced out in promotion and then I pale into branded entertainment when the classic advertising wave was variety of shaky owing to the digital attack of the world-wide-web with platforms like Facebook and Myspace.

I have also been fascinated by digital which led me to go into Silicon Valley. I experienced a startup termed TalentHouse.com which was like LinkedIn for imaginative individuals. I discovered a ton there about creating a corporation in Silicon Valley. It was the initially time I was confronted with expert customer and user experience individuals. CX and UX was currently type of a thing in Silicon Valley at the time. My last enterprise I was a partner in was a enterprise known as Idean, a Silicon Valley-based consumer working experience organization which we bought to a French enterprise known as Capgemini about four a long time in the past.

I continue on to be associated in the leisure field as type of a artistic outlet. I’m operating with a large amount of major rock bands like The Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. I just did the final Foo Fighter album. Pictures is my very last area of overall creativeness where I can do whatsoever I want especially in the rock company.

Andreas “Dre” Neumann, Chief Resourceful Director of Jushi Holdings Inc.

Coming to the hashish stage, I was actively wanting for a husband or wife to do a hashish brand name with The Queens of the Stone Age. I satisfied Jushi via a pretty interesting coincidence. I was on the way to do a shoot in Silicon Valley with a man named Les Claypool, who is from a well-known band known as Primus. I shot Les there and I was driving as a result of Silicon Valley and remembered I had a pal nearby I need to converse to. So, I called him and he was in Singapore. He identified as me appropriate again (he never ever phone calls again generally) and stated “You’ve got to discuss to Jushi! You have obtained to talk to these fellas Jim Cacioppo and Erich Mauff (two of the founders). They are beginning a thing really interesting. They could be your partners.”

This is where the conversation commenced. It was my 1st time confronting a cannabis MSO and comprehending how this will work. I experienced just exited from my very last agency and put jointly the best people today from my past endeavor to produce a new type of “creative collective” of UX and advertising and marketing experts. We did a test challenge for Jushi, a major study task on hashish for California in retail, which was tremendous intriguing. It was a 200-page doc – the to start with phase of person working experience of the system in advance of you make some thing – and as a result of that I saw this as a significant option. I spoke to the founders again and came completely onboard in February 2020, just just before the pandemic hit. From then on, it’s been a actual amazing journey with me and the staff. And it was the correct instant to bounce on the Jushi prepare as it was just about to go away the station.

Inexperienced: Can you converse about some of the geographies you are lively in?

Neumann: Jushi is a multi-state operator. The most vital state for Jushi is Pennsylvania. That’s where we have the most merchants and we are building far more outlets there this calendar year as effectively, pretty aggressively. We presently have 13 Outside of / Hi there clinical cannabis dispensaries in the condition with lots of extra to come, bringing an unmatched in-retail outlet encounter, coupled with online reservations and in-retail store express decide on-up.

The subsequent vital industry for us is Virginia. We have a exceptional posture there in Manassas with a cultivation facility and producing and extraction facility, with the license for up to 6 stores. We started out store variety a person in the facility, and we are rolling it out in HSA II. We are the only kinds who can open outlets in HSA II and this is straight on the border to Washington D.C. We get in touch with Virginia the “sleeping large.” So substantially transpired in the past 12 months in Virginia all-around regulation and the marketplace, and now flower is eventually lawful.

Then we have Illinois – super attention-grabbing stores there. We have two flagship merchants positioned straight on the border of Missouri, essentially in East St. Louis. They are our largest performers in the entire community since of the location. You have people today coming more than from Missouri, which is definitely in the beginnings of a medical marketplace, and Illinois, which is now grownup use. It was a tremendous cool knowledge to see a healthcare industry change to grownup-use and be portion of that transform.

In other states, we just lately introduced the acquisition of Nature’s Solution in Massachusetts, where by we will have cultivation, processing and outlets there. In Nevada, we have a grower-processor and we’re searching at prospects in retail as nicely. At the minute, we have all our models introduced there. We are also continuing to establish out our processing and cultivation capabilities in Ohio.

Very last but not least is California. I’m dependent in California and the full innovative workforce is below. It is a vainness marketplace and it’s quite aggressive, but you are in the money of the entire world of hashish in terms of makes and retail. California is in the upcoming as opposed to the other states. So, we need to have to be in this article. It is just like a soccer workforce. You will have to compete versus very good people or you’re not likely to grow. So, which is why competing right here in California is important.

Inexperienced: How do you believe about model development, especially in the hashish CPG room?

Neumann: California is the king of brand names. There are far more products and solutions than manufacturers in the hashish sector at the moment. The products may perhaps have wonderful packaging, but makes are not seriously out there but. The only states in which you have “brands” as I would get in touch with them are California, Colorado and Oregon. I consider we are just about to get to the put where the first hurry is about and people today with extra working experience about manufacturers occur in and create on the story of the manufacturer. The myths, the cult, the legend of that story is critical, and I feel this is just about to get begun.

Our brand names, The Lender and The Lab, have excellent stories. They have been around a extended time. We obtained them from a firm in Colorado and we rolled them out in Nevada with a whole revamp of glance and feel as perfectly as story. The Financial institution is celebrating this form of roaring 20s strategy. We have a whole lot of pictures, from black and white prohibition-style pics to this black-gold, extremely substantial-conclusion, grownup use tailored manufacturer.

Vaping products and solutions from The Lab brand name in Colorado

The Lab is a good vaping brand name from Colorado, and a single of the 8th ideal-marketing vape makes of all time. We revamped The Lab picture to “take the lab out of the lab.” So generally, take the hairnet and the lab coat out of the vibe and insert a entire new vitality, with symmetry and nature in a major role.

Tasteology, which is one of our self-manufactured, self-designed models, was all dependent on customer investigation. In Pennsylvania, we have 1000’s of individuals we can communicate with, and we can examination our manufacturers. So, we’ve completed aim groups and testing to see what sticks, and the title Tasteology arrived out of a big research job with hundreds of names.

The past brand name arrives again to your dilemma “Where are the models heading?” I believe our brand name Sēchē is the initial one of our very own creation and has this whole life style sense. It’s fantastic grind flower which typically could make its way to extraction. We deal with it nicely and then we provide the raw flower, as effectively as a pre-roll line. It is this form of a youthful, expense effective, pretty inexpensive pre-roll and pre-floor manufacturer, which is fabulous. And Sēchē really will get a good deal of traction – flies off the shelves in Pennsylvania. It is a terrific solution.

So, this is now the very first phase where by makes are created, but I assume general, there is not many models nonetheless. They have to come across their stories and their authentic objective, I consider. But California is in advance of it. And there’s some of them coming out now. So, I imagine there is a new wave coming. It always goes in phases.

Environmentally friendly: How do you imagine about model associates?

Neumann: We did the initially stage in direction of exterior partnerships recently. We just partnered with Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks’ son, on his handkerchief line known as Hanks Kerchiefs and we’re going to offer these in our stores. Hanks Kerchiefs has nothing to do with cannabis, but it normally takes our merchants to a position where by it is not only hashish items, it is additional the retail scene, the way of living scene. If we go into long run partnerships with persons, we would spouse with big talent agencies to develop a thing unique. Maybe it’s limited editions, maybe it is a thing more story-driven, but it doesn’t have to be there for good. I see applying outdoors partnerships for much more “drops,” as we simply call it. But we will see. You cannot drive these collaborations. They have to come at the right time and will need to be serious. That’s what persons come to feel. If it’s real you can experience it.

Eco-friendly: Do you see any distinctions in customer tastes amongst the states you are in and do you have to tailor your messaging differently?

Neumann: This is a tremendous appealing issue. I’ve been doing the job in Europe, and you have all these diverse international locations, so each market place is distinct. Every single current market will get different messages. Each individual market will get unique commercials. It’s the same in hashish in the United States! The only variation is that it’s so regulated. I could launch a gummy in Virginia and all Virginia would know about it. It would come to be a home identify, and everyone makes use of that gummy. But in California, no one particular will listen to about it. No 1 would care about it. And the similar vice versa, appropriate?

So, distinct states, diverse brands. With our acquisitions, we are attaining new brands, which then live only in those people states. Then we have to assist that. If the info would show we should really then we do it. When we get anything we shopper test in many states, and especially in the states where the acquisition took place.

Overall, you can say flower is usually what individuals want. But in marketplaces like Virginia, we simply cannot promote flower at the moment. In Pennsylvania you have flower, but you just cannot have edibles. Do Pennsylvanians want edibles? Of program, they want it but it’s not authorized but. So, there is usually this to contemplate.

Environmentally friendly: What are some of the ahead-looking chances that you see to merge product or service with know-how?

Neumann: It is attention-grabbing that flower, the most outdated-fashioned matter you could have, is the greatest point. If you get into it, it’s pure, you can scent it, you can believe in it. Flower has its very own appeal.

The Outside of / Hello retail place in Scranton, PA

So, asking about merging technology and product is like inquiring what technological know-how will come with drinking wine. There is a lot of things close to it. I think in the conclusion the technology will be more about how you can generate a products which provides higher THC, rapidly and managed. The know-how that goes into producing stuff like reside resin has a significant upcoming, for the reason that not every person can make it. It has a extremely sophisticated procedure of freezing the product or service within 4 hours just after the harvest, and then chilly extraction. So, I believe technology there has a major effects and gets the practical experience of the usage proper.

In the customer globe, persons have attempted a large amount of issues with know-how. For illustration, limiting doses and inserting flower into a device. There are individuals seeking all kinds of stuff. Widespread perception is constantly the critical. What do you want to use most? Do you want to have a pre-roll and just get pleasure from it? A lengthy a single when you have mates around? A brief one if you’re by yourself going for walks a canine? I think you have to keep it straightforward. That’s the most hard thing most of the time.

Green: Final dilemma below. What are you most interested in mastering about? This can be personal everyday living or hashish.

Neumann: When I entered the hashish marketplace, I hadn’t been a shopper because I was 18. I was much more of an alcoholic beverages dude, but then later on I stopped drinking alcoholic beverages, so I was thoroughly clean the past 15 years until eventually I entered the hashish sector.

When I do a thing like creating films about a jet fighter, I have to fly the jet fighter. If I make a movie about jumping out of a plane, I have to soar out of the aircraft. So, if I operate in the hashish firm, I have to eat hashish. I can’t not consume it. So, I commenced professionally consuming hashish every day. From day one particular when we started off exploration, every day I tried using other goods and I became a genuine consumer. Not for the duration of the working day, but in the evening when it is the suitable time.

Initial of all, I review it a whole lot with new music. It is like a experience. Everyone feels it in another way. I feel what it does – and this fascinates me about it and it’s why I adore to be in this market – is it appears to be slowing down the globe a very little bit and your desperation. This slowing down of desperation in fact opens you up to obtain and when and you get superior stuff it arrives to you sort of very easily. Not only is it wonderful for clinical use – it has assisted me for pain as nicely – but also as a receiver of vitality. I believe it clears a great deal of the “signal.” I’m often fascinated in mastering a lot more about this amazing plant.

Green: Many thanks Dre, that concludes the job interview.

Neumann: Many thanks Aaron.