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Could Cannabis Cosmeceuticals be the Next Billion Dollar Idea? Mark Gobuty’s Next Project – CBD Acres, a 4,500 acre hemp farm dedicated to CBD extraction for pain relief therapies.
By Eric Vengroff, Cannabis Daily
Mark Gobuty, former CEO and co-founder of The Peace Naturals Project, one of the earliest federally licensed and regulated commercial medical cannabis-growing operations in Canada, is one of Canada’s cannabis pioneers.
Cannabis Daily recently had a chance to speak with Mark. The insights were fascinating, and so is his next venture. So read on…
CD: Tell us about your latest venture? What have you been doing since Peace Naturals?
MG: CBD Acres has been created to essentially drive the new niche in cannabinoid therapy. My interest is and always has been medical applications of cannabis and the multiple cannabinoids. The new regulations and legislation with respect to hemp farmer, of which I am one, creates an opportunity to make Canada a leader in cannabinoid production through industrial hemp.
Before my Peace Naturals iteration, I had the second hemp company ever licensed in Canada – it was called Mum’s Originals [Inc.], and we literally had the second hemp license in Canada and contracted a lot of farmers across the country, and we sold hemp as a food – with many limitations… I personally visited over 80% of all the hemp farms in Canada and have an acute understanding of the opportunities and also the challenges in front of the big hemp farmers today. I’ve been cultivating this opportunity (pardon the pun) for about a year and a half and with the updated regulations [permitting outdoor cultivation], it made it a no-brainer to use Canada as the jump-off point to produce high cannabinoid content industrial hemp that is no-THC but full-spectrum cannabinoids.
CD: What conditions or ailments will you be looking to treat with your products?
MG: What we know from what’s gone on globally and specifically within Canada, the #1 indication for people seeking cannabinoid therapy is pain -that would be about 70% of all the consumers; and with 65% of those people it’s arthritis conditions.”
Mark recognizes the importance of using cannabinoids for other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, autism and so on, but his passion and focus is around pain related therapies.
“This company will focus on topical therapy – I don’t want to make any structure or function claims [so] the target is relief, no cure, for those suffering pain from arthritic conditions and age. Topical delivery will be the #1 product in terms of efficacy and desirability for consumers to deal with pain management when it comes to cannabinoid therapy.”
Mark’s outlook for edibles as a treatment for pain management is not favorable. “It will be a disaster”, he said. There is insufficient understanding at this point to understand how ingestible cannabinoids will interact with our livers. Transdermal delivery, via topical creams or other means, bypasses the liver entirely by penetrating the cannabinoid receptors in our skin.
CD: With respect to cultivation, given that the emphasis is on outdoor growing and GMP, what would you like to say to reassure consumers about outdoor production?
MG: I think the approach to being 100% GMP and managing our field cultivation, is to emulate the best practices of ACMPR. When you’re harvesting, if a flower falls on the floor, you aren’t allowed to take that product and further process it – it needs to be destroyed. We are setting the bar very high for ourselves and we are going to meet, and hopefully exceed the standards of the indoor cultivators.
CD: In terms of product offering, what is or will be market-ready over the coming months?
MG: Within the creams there are 20 lifestyle products, and everything is CBD-beauty -there is collagen, premium organic European ingredients, truly wonderful lifestyle products, and the other product that I am a big proponent of, based on the past couple years of research, is gum. We are into our first R&D production on the gums, we have worked with different companies and have acquired our own equipment. Because of the saliva, it is able to go directly into the bloodstream and bypass the liver, that is the last piece we will be focusing on in the short term as far as delivery systems.
Although not fully researched at this point, Mark stated that the time-lag typically experienced with digested cannabis is not seen here, with time to noticeable reduction in reported pain occurring in and around 30 minutes. There are plans to manufacture the products for market at their facility in Barrie, Ontario, and have the products sold at a number of high-end flagship beauty salons to provide treatments to the targeted demographics and audiences for their products.
Biome has placed orders in excess of all of the production of CBD Acres for 2019, so there will be little or no excess production beyond the company’s own needs. It is clear that Biome’s management have seen something in this company’s products that they like and intend on exploiting that relationship for both domestic and export revenue.
CD: What do you see for Canada in the future as far as the cannabis industry?
MG: At this point [Canada] will continue to be a driver and a leader; I’m a little afraid that Canadian resources are being dispensed internationally to a point that it’s going to impact the focus and concentration in Canada and to bring products to market. Whether people are looking at Latin America or Germany and these massive populations, the efforts and expense will go to those jurisdictions. We’ll see Canada continue to be an innovation machine. But I worry for the Canadian consumers a little bit with respect to the share of resources that they’re going to get. Many Canadian companies treat Canada as a jump-off point and then leave.
Mark believes that there hasn’t been great brand equity developed by any of the major players, notwithstanding their deals, growth and apparent size. None have firmly established themselves as a preferred brand in the consumers’ minds yet. It’s way too early for that anyway. He believes that as more and more established, or Wall Street backed funds and companies come into play, Canada will once again be an afterthought. Personally, I hope Mark is wrong. The one BIG deal in this equation is that as the first major sovereign nation to legalize adult, recreational-use cannabis, sub-economies, businesses, and innovations may flourish until other countries decide to follow suit. It is probably safe to say the progress won’t be rapid or smooth, so Canada’s advantages may endure for some time.
CD: What do you see for CBD Acres in the future?
MG: I believe that our unique cultivars [ed. note: ie. plant varieties that have been produced by selective breeding] are going to allow us to ultimately license [them] and ultimately acquire specialty hemp and CBD companies. We will be an aggregator of specialty hemp processors. Mark’s believes his deep experience in the consumer package goods and beverage industries, notwithstanding any previous experience in running a licensed cannabis grower, will serve him well in today’s corporatized cannabis environment, from the regulatory and compliance side to the consumerism that is inevitable as the industry matures. Moreover, his team of professionals also collectively possess these skills, understanding and experience to execute the vision. “The cosmeceutical that we’re creating is unlike any that is on the market today.”
One of the areas that we both agree on is that 50+ demographic will be among the most prospective and most in need of the product offerings of CBD Acres “Cannabis cosmeceuticals”.
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