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Canadian Cannabis Extraction Execs Talk Tech, Staffing, Innovation

October 24, 2019 2:39 pm
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Canadian Cannabis Extraction Execs Talk Tech, Staffing, Innovation

Cannabis extraction technology was the subject of a panel discussion Tuesday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

Moderated by Mitch Osak, partner at MNP, the panel included experts from several Canadian brands.

Keith Strachen, president of Medipharm Labs Corp (OTC:MEDIF) (TSE: LABS), touched on global expansion in geographies like Europe and Australia.

He also mentioned the issues the company cannot control, such as regulation.

"There's a lot of things you can't control, and that goes right down to domestic [entities] like Health Canada."

Strachen said he's excited about Medipharm's staff and said the company employs more than 100 people. 

Everett Knight, the executive vice president of strategy and investments at Valens Groworks Corp (OTC:VGWCF), also discussed human capital.

Valens has gone from employing around 30 people in January to over 105 today, he said.

Tech innovation was another topic of excitement for Knight.

"There's constant innovation going on," he said. "I think that's the most exciting thing, that we come in every single day and say: 'how can we [produce] the best product for our customers?''"

Indiva co-founder and president Niel Marotta said the diversity of cannabis products available excites him. 

"What keeps me really excited are all great products that are present in the market."

With product diversity, innovation and staffing on the rise, balancing each aspect was a point of discussion on the panel.

Paul Pedersen, CEO of Nextleaf Solutions Ltd (OTC:OILFF) said it boils down to technology. 

"You're looking at pushing the science every single day," said Pedersen. "There's been a lot of big companies that three years ago completely underestimated the amount of R&D and investment required to get a really efficient operation going."

Martin Landry, chief of corporate development and strategy for Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:NEPT), spoke about scalability from the perspective of someone who came from the capital markets space.

Every company is experiencing growing pains, he said. 

The issues are navigable "when you have great talent in place, when you have the right committed people working hard," Landry said. 

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