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Leading One Of The Top Cannabis Producers In Canada
"I saw an opportunity that most Licensed Producers seemed to be missing, which was believing that all cannabis was created equal."
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A company that I have highlighted more times than any other is GTEC Cannabis.
Founded in 2017 GTEC Cannabis has by all accounts flown under the radar of the general public for quite some time, however, in spite of this the company has continued to execute on their plan to become one of the top producers here in Canada with a strong focus on producing premium dried flower.
As the records will show, prior to the legalization in Canada every cannabis producer made declarations on their intent to pursue the path of producing premium cannabis products — with some making claim that they could sell each gram of cannabis they produced for upwards of $10/gram.
Unfortunately, these aspirations were short-lived for many newly minted CEOs as reality dawned that calling a product “premium” did not make it such, in fact, all it served to accomplish was the creation of expectations that their mass-produced products simply couldn't match.
One of the few exceptions to this common tale in Canada is GTEC — the company stated very early on that their brands would be laser-focused on consumers who were willing to pay a premium for high quality dried cannabis flower and credit where credit is due this is exactly what they have delivered on to date.
For today’s edition of Four PM I had the pleasure of sitting down with Norton, the CEO of GTEC Cannabis to understand his journey in building GTEC, the lessons he’s learned along the way, and what he’s looking forward to in the future.
Norton Singhavon is a former consultant for Cronos Group, and is currently the Co-founder & CEO of GTEC Cannabis Co.
What was the insight that led you to build GTEC?
I saw an opportunity that most Licensed Producers seemed to be missing, which was believing that all cannabis was created equal.
This was also further exacerbated by investment bankers and analysts that believed outdoor or greenhouse-produced cannabis would dominate the market.
Through my extensive research visiting legal states, such as California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, we knew that this would not be the case. We knew that there would be significant demand for high-end indoor produced cannabis (from unique cultivars), and saw a huge opportunity to play within a segment most LP’s were not looking at.
What's been the most valuable mistake you've made in building GTEC, and what was the lesson you learned from this experience?
Trying to be vertically integrated — In the beginning, we wanted to own retail stores as well as do our own extractions.
I think this model makes sense in certain US states, but in Canada (based on the current market), this does not make sense for us. What I learned, was that it is better to be laser-focused on something that you have a competitive advantage over, where you can punch significantly above your weight class.
📸: GTEC Cannabis
What are some of the challenges you face as you continue to scale your company?
Competition and price compression (or margin erosion). More and more LP’s are coming online every week, there will be significant competition coming, but I think we are well-positioned as it’s going to be challenging for up-and-coming producers to build brands and secure provincial listings.
From a regulatory standpoint, what needs to change for the Canadian cannabis industry to become the best version of itself?
I think the marketing restrictions need to be loosened, and also LP’s should be allowed to sell rec cannabis direct to consumers. I can order wine from any producer in BC, and it will get delivered to my house. Cannabis should follow suit.
What has you most excited about the future of the cannabis industry?
U.S. federal legalization excites me the most, as I see an opportunity for the rest of the world to follow suit, allowing us to build globally recognized brands.
I hope that one day, the world will look at us as the Diageo of cannabis.
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