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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Irwin

Welcoming Regennabis to the Global Stage

Updated: Jul 7, 2020



This is an article written exclusively for Regennabis. Please visit Regennabis on the web:

International pressure is building on companies to develop more sustainable business practices. The 2019 Business Roundtable, made up of CEOs of leading American companies like Johnson & Johnson and JPMorgan Chase, moved from a focus on shareholders to stakeholders, emphasizing that the purpose of a corporation is to promote “an economy that serves all Americans.” In January of this year, the PwC’s 23rd Annual Global Report revealed that 25% of CEOs believe that environmentally sustainable initiatives will be a significant opportunity for company growth, despite other take-aways from the report placing CEO pessimism at an all-time high. Wall Street Journal reports that more investors are looking to work with mission-driven companies in 2020 than ever before. And impending regulations are giving fewer businesses a choice in the matter: the European Commission presented an ambitious proposal this year to reduce waste and make crucial products like cell phones easier to repair, for example.

The case is closed on the question of sustainability being a wise pursuit for any 21st century business. Yet, for an industry focused on the extraction of, cooking, drying, and smoking plant matter, the cannabis industry is not centering sustainability in as many capacities as it could. Regardless of pre-legalization demographics, the legal industry continues to struggle with ethnic and gender diversity from seed to sale. Year after year companies sacrifice mission for immediate profit, seeing skyrocketing sales followed by swift financial collapse for lack of a long-term plan.

Regennabis — with its focus on Advisory, Membership, and Investment Services — sees the need to move away from short-term to long(er)-term strategies as a huge opportunity for the cannabis industry.

The legal cannabis market is expected to reach a size of $103.9 billion by 2024. Yet more than ever, for companies to garner the investments they need to grow they must appeal to a rising generation of impact-investors, with a focus on economic growth aligned with both social and environmental equity programs. Cannabis consumers, hyper-aware of plastic packaging and their own health after crises like that related to vaping illnesses in 2019, want to know they are purchasing products from a brand they can trust. And in America, where $78.5 billion is spent on toxic prescription opioids per year, cannabis presents a crucial opportunity for healthier and more cost-effective care.

“The cannabis and hemp industry has reached a crossroads” says Regennabis co-founder Patrick McCartan. “If the global industry is to reach its full potential economically, socially, and environmentally, it requires a new direction and north star goal.”

Regennabis co-founders Patrick McCartan and Geoff Trotter believe that “north star” should be the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In them, the word “sustainability” is meant in its broadest sense, applying to economics, stakeholder welfare, health, and environment. Written in 2015, the goals provide guidance for achieving sustainable development for all stakeholders, including not only customers but also employees at all responsibility levels and surrounding communities who could be impacted environmentally and economically. Companies that are mission-driven and guided by the UNSDGs have proven far more likely to survive over the long-term compared to their counterparts and generate positive impacts as they grow. Regennabis will be co-hosting a convention at the UN in New York City to showcase this in the fall.

Structurally, Regennabis offers a three-pronged program of advisory, membership, and investment services that Geoff says mimic the “entourage effect” of the cannabis plant — i.e., cannabis’ ability to generate a unique effect on mind and body because of the symbiotic relationship between thousands of cannabinoids and terpenes. He says he and Patrick aim to “democratize the opportunity for Regenerative Growth for ALL in the Cannabis Industry” with this approach, deliberately inviting legacy players who have worked in the industry for decades, and companies led by women, people of color, and other groups who have been largely left out of the industry’s development post-recreational regulation to play leading roles. In particular, a still-growing, diverse advisory board with decades of experience in the field will enable Regennabis to offer a people-centric, informed, and well-rounded approach. For example, advisory board member Christine De La Rosa is co-founder of The People’s Dispensary, a groundbreaking wellness location designed to be the “destination dispensary” for LGBTQ, women, seniors, communities of color and the disabled. She brings to the advisory board informed, grass-roots experience, with a history of success developing mutually-beneficial relationships between companies and the communities they serve.

Shanita Penny, on the other hand, is Founder and Principal of Budding Solutions, a boutique cannabis advisory company which focuses on changing global perceptions of cannabis. She is a talented innovator with over 16 years working with Fortune 500 companies and has the unique ability to transform small problems into solutions for the greater good. Julianne Zimmerman, award-winning Managing Director of POC-and-women-led investment firm Reinventure Capital, also joins the advisory board. She holds over 25 years of experience advocating for equitable social impact in the technology space and has been invited to speak on topics of innovation and strategy for Forum 20/20, High Water Women, Sloan Women in Management, and more. Conversations with several other potential advisory board members are ongoing.

With its membership program, Regennabis will lead a community of high-impact sustainable cannabis companies as well as ancillary organizations. “Cannabis and hemp companies need expert guidance and strategies around sustainability, branding, and knowledge management.” says Patrick. “They also want to learn, collaborate, and network together within a safe, peer-to-peer environment. And while many of these companies will require capital to grow, many impact investors are ready to inject capital into these ‘sustainable brands.’”

Membership will include programming for company leaders to co-create, co-curate, and co-deliver an agreed upon future vision. The community, comprising regulators, growers, operators, distributors, dispensaries, media, consultants, influencers, and, notably, investors, will expose companies to a wide range of learning and inspiration. Members of the Regennabis community will also be invited to a multitude of stimulating events, including interactive online and in-person workshops, seminars, networking events, and quarterly meetings.

In addition to the membership network and advisory services, Regennabis will also be offering financial support to mission-driven companies through The Regennabis Fund. The Fund will provide foundational capital for brands large and small hoping to change the world for the better. Regennabis’ initial Fund is anticipated to be a $10MM fund, pre-closing at $5MM. Both the Investment and Impact Theses for the fund are being finalized at this time. Regennabis will use this three-pronged approach to generate a singular “Impact Alpha” — a guiding principle Patrick defines as “top performance and upside, to all stakeholders so that they see not only economic benefits, but social and environmental too.”

The two friends and founders began their work together in 2015 when Geoff joined Patrick at Sustainable Brands, a global community of sustainable business innovators. Geoff has over 20 years in senior development roles, ranging from international knowledge management at EY to General Manager of Guinness World Records, transforming the book into an interactive digital channel. He moved to sustainable start-up, scale-up and nonprofit work in 2009, founding the MSO and consultancy nonprofit KMPact and since accumulating over 10 years in sustainable brand development. Patrick also has 9 years of sustainable consultancy and directorial experience, spending seven years at Sustainable Brands. He has applied that experience to the cannabis and hemp industries since 2017, founding Global Cannabis Advisory company Astellae and Latin American integrated cannabis company HoneyOil.

As the world continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Regennabis will be hosting and / or attending several virtual and in-situ events throughout this summer and fall. First up will be a series of Webinars to be hosted on consecutive Thursdays in May (14th, 21st & 28th — all commencing at 8am PDT) during which Regennabis will explore a range of topics related to “Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry” with panelists from various organizations sharing their knowledge, stories and narrative. The series will continue through the summer months. Beyond summer — in anticipation of a post-Covid-19 world, Regennabis will be hosting the event at the UN in New York in October — bringing together a multi-stakeholder group to ideate further on how the Cannabis Industry is addressing many of the challenges facing humanity in alignment with the UN SDGs. In late-November, Regennabis will be attending Sustainable Brands Long Beach ’20 conference, hosting a series of “Design Sprints” within SB’s Activation Hub addressing the theme of “Regenerative Agriculture” with Cannabis / Hemp as the specific use-case.

Regennabis believes that these Marketing and Outreach activities along with their Member Network and Advisory Services, will help drive “Sustainability-centricity” to the front of mind of leadership and their teams in Cannabis companies in the industry. Is your organization ready to get onboard?

Contact the Regennabis Team: Patrick McCartan, CEO / Co-Founder — / +1.415.529.0282; or Geoff Trotter, CGO / Co-Founder — / +1.415.565.9382

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