From licensed producers to consumer facing retail, these B.C. cannabis operations are going up—in smoke
As of March, the value of Canada’s six largest cannabis companies totalled almost $43 billion—that’s a lot of cash (or kush). But not all the buzz is reserved for the biggest firms. Take these four B.C.-based companies, all of which have the potential to play in the pot space for the foreseeable future.
CATEGORY: Cannabis products, accessories and clothing
LOCATION: Its first, flagship store just opened in Port Coquitlam…on 4/20
ACTIVE SINCE: 2019
BUZZ: Design-savvy bricks-and-mortar and online seller of streetwear, dope accessories and, well, high-quality, carefully selected dope: “Our stores will sell cannabis, apparel and accessories,” notes founder John Kaye. “More than that, we’ll be selling culture”
SELLING POINT: Combining slick branding with an upscale buying experience
I WANT IN: Privately owned
ON THE HORIZON: Burb is planning to “start low, go slow.” In addition to the original location, it will gradually add seven more retail storefronts by 2021, all in the Lower Mainland. The company has the ex-COO of Loblaws on its board and an advisory team that includes Starbucks’ EVP of U.S. retail operations and the founder of hip NYC-based Paper magazine
PROSPECTS: Well-designed apparel and accessories, a gorgeous, clean-lined modern store and select B.C. cannabis products bode well for the new venture
CATEGORY: Small-batch cannabis grower, online retail and lifestyle
ACTIVE SINCE: 2014
BUZZ: Boutique producer espousing a seductive, old-skool approach to cannabis harvesting: “After reaching full maturation, every batch is flushed, dried and slow cured as a whole plant to retain the flavour and nose. We stay true to the culture by trimming by hand.” Down on Yasgur’s farm, no doubt
SELLING POINT: Not just a growop, Doja is also a lifestyles product e-tailer and caf. now backed by Canopy Growth, an industry heavy hitter
I WANT IN: You’ll need to go through the back door. In 2017, Doja merged with Tokyo Smoke to form Hiku Brands (which also counts female-oriented Van der Pop accessories as part of its stable). Last year, Ontario-based Canopy, Canada’s largest cannabis company, bought Hiku in a $326-million deal
PROSPECTS: Hiku Brands is poised to be a marketing powerhouse. With Canopy behind it, the future looks promising for Doja and its affiliated companies
CATEGORY: Recreational and medical cannabis producer
LOCATION: Vancouver and Maple Ridge
ACTIVE SINCE: 2012
BUZZ: Created a 75,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art environmentally friendly growing facility called SunLab, the first such greenhouse to rely on sunlight instead of artificial light. One angel investor described Tantalus as the Tesla of the cannabis industry
SELLING POINT: Its Sungrown cannabis is highly rated—and, according to some reviews, a delightfully intense green, which is apparently what happens when the sun is your primary energy source. Who’d a thunk?
I WANT IN: Privately owned. “We are the largest cannabis company that you cannot buy,” Tantalus CEO Dan Sutton told BNN Bloomberg last year
PROSPECTS: Industry leadership in sustainability—plus clever “Sungrown BC Cannabis” branding—means Tantalus is well positioned to carve out an enduring niche
CATEGORY: Medical marijuana producer
ACTIVE SINCE: 2013
BUZZ: For a brief time last September, Tilray was the world’s most valuable cannabis company, reaching US$300 a share after debuting at US$17 just seven weeks earlier. Bubbly!
SELLING POINT: Tilray was the first cannabis outfit to go public in the U.S.
I WANT IN: Although the stock is well off its highs, you’ll still pay for the privilege. In late March, shares were trading in the US$65 range
ON THE HORIZON: Tilray recently inked a deal with Swiss-based pharma company Novartis and another with U.S. brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, to make a cannabis-based drink for the Canadian market. But in the future, it will concentrate on Europe and America
PROSPECTS: This Bud’s for You?