Flower-Aspect Chats Half 5: A Q&A with Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed, Inc.


On this “Flower-Aspect Chats” collection of articles, Inexperienced interviews built-in cannabis firms and flower manufacturers which are bringing distinctive enterprise fashions to the business. Explicit consideration is targeted on how these companies combine progressive practices with the intention to navigate a quickly altering panorama of regulatory, provide chain and client demand.

Multi-state operators (MSOs) are on the rise in america, navigating complicated regulatory frameworks to drive profitability by economies of scale and scope. As an MSO and an early mover within the area, a big a part of MariMed’s present technique is to finish the acquisition and consolidation of the licensed state cannabis companies it has developed. It takes seasoned management to make that occur, and MariMed’s is led by some of the skilled and profitable MSO administration groups within the business. During the last eight years, Bob Fireman and his colleagues have gained 17 licenses in 6 states, and designed and developed over 300,000 sq. toes of cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and dishing out services.

MariMed has additionally developed a portfolio of award-winning cannabis manufacturers and infused merchandise that are licensed, manufactured and distributed in Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. A not too long ago introduced $46 million financing for a facility with Hadron Healthcare Fund will assist repay all MariMed debt aside from mortgage-backed financial institution loans and one convertible notice, in addition to assist improve and increase the corporate’s owned and managed cannabis services.

We spoke with Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed. Bob began the foundations of MariMed in 2008 after moving into large-scale hydroponics for city sustainable agriculture. Previous to MariMed, Bob served as a startup lawyer centered on tech and rising industries.

Aaron Inexperienced: Bob, inform me about how you bought began within the cannabis business.

Bob Fireman: I practiced legislation for many years. A part of my observe was to assist startups in all kinds of industries, notably know-how and new rising markets. At one level, I used to be launched to a captivating sustainable meals enterprise alternative – to construct hydroponic farms on rooftops in cities throughout the nation.

Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed, Inc.

When one in all our tasks in San Francisco hit some roadblocks, our crew there pivoted to what was changing into the Wild West of California cannabis. My good friend and present MariMed CFO, Jon Levine, and I started investing and managing a cultivation web site there. That’s the place we constructed our early basis of business information.

Quick ahead just a few years, and I used to be afforded the chance to be concerned within the drafting of the proposed Massachusetts medical cannabis laws.

Via that work, we met a crew that had gained one in all three cannabis licenses in Rhode Island. We fashioned an actual property LLC and raised the capital to develop a seed to sale cannabis facility in Windfall, which was later leased to the Slater Heart, a not-for-profit medical cannabis licensed enterprise. At present, the Slater Heart is a nationally acclaimed operation that providers over 10,000 medical sufferers.

From there, we took our know-how and fashioned a brand new entity that was the formal starting of the corporate we now know as MariMed. Initially, we helped win licenses for purchasers in Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois and Nevada. We additionally supplied administration providers, working capital and different requirements. Underneath our administration, we organically constructed these companies from the bottom up, advancing finest practices and considerably quietly making a community of best-in-class operations all through the business.

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That led to the consolidation of these companies that we’re centered on at the moment as a core strategic pillar.

I’m extremely pleased with our crew, the core of which has been at this for 10 years. We’ve watched different MSOs strive totally different fashions of success, with various levels of success. For us, specializing in progress markets, constructing at an affordable and scalable clip, attracting unimaginable expertise in any respect ranges of the corporate, and creating unbelievable manufacturers that clients love, are the substances which have translated to the place we are actually – sturdy efficiency and an exceptionally brilliant future. “Gradual and regular wins the race” has grow to be a mantra.

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Inexperienced: What tendencies are you proper now? What’s in your radar?

Fireman: My radar has a singular focus, and that’s to create shareholder worth. That’s why finishing the consolidation of the cannabis licensed companies we’ve developed and handle into our public firm is so crucial. Again within the day, the preliminary obtainable licenses had been in medical-only state applications the place candidates had been required to be not-for-profit state firms. Accordingly, we raised the capital in the actual property entity which leased services to the licensees. Our income was from rents, administration providers and licensing charges.

Panacea Wellness in Middleborough, MA is one in all MariMed’s grownup use cannabis dispensaries

In 2019, we applied a brand new strategic plan to consolidate these companies. Whereas that interprets to our being structured equally to different MSOs in that we’re a vertically built-in seed to sale firm, we’re distinct in our operational excellence, high quality product portfolio, and powerful steadiness sheet. Different MSOs have raised giant quantities of capital to pay giant sums to amass licensed state cannabis companies and have discovered themselves over-leveraged and challenged to assimilate different firms’ methodologies and cultures. By consolidating the companies and proficient folks we developed and managed from day one and using our greatest practices and processes system-wide, we understand monumental capital efficiencies.

Our technique is paying off. Our core cannabis income in 2020 elevated 207% to $50.9 million, and our 10k reported EBITDA of $16.3 million. And now we’re on observe to double our income in 2021.

The final piece of the puzzle is to let the world know what we’ve been doing. Gradual and regular has labored for us however gone are the times of doing so quietly. We’re pleased with what we’ve achieved and exceedingly bullish on what’s to come back.

Inexperienced: What do you search for in an M&A goal?

Fireman: When M&A is sensible for us, we first search for single operators and entrepreneurs in states the place we’re not energetic and look to companion with enterprise leaders that had the imaginative and prescient and the braveness to get into this business and construct stable cannabis companies from the bottom up. I’m searching for companies that would profit from being half of a bigger, extra skilled and well-capitalized firm like MariMed. Clearly, as an MSO with a stable platform, MariMed is approached recurrently by different MSOs and banks suggesting candidates for M&A alternatives. Lining up with an organization that has complementary cannabis licenses in different states and who shares our imaginative and prescient and ethics could possibly be a win-win state of affairs. They have to embrace our dedication to range, the setting and correct company governance. We’ve got been considerably reticent to do that till we see some enhance in our share value and market capitalization.

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Inexperienced: Are there any new merchandise, or product tendencies that you simply’re ?

Fireman: Marimed appears to be like to be essentially the most trusted supply of high-quality cannabis merchandise that persistently delivers progressive well being and wellness options to our sufferers and clients. Our lab scientists are consistently creating and testing new and progressive formulations of cannabinoid compounds together with CBD, THCa, CBG, CBN and others that can enhance the well being and wellness of our clients.

Our model portfolio is ever-expanding with new and higher product choices. Our award-winning Betty’s Eddies Fruit Chews model is including new SKUs of types and flavors for each medical and grownup use applications. Our Nature’s Heritage flower and concentrates model is including a line of solventless concentrates, stay rosin, in addition to new formulations for RSO, an oil in style with medical sufferers. Kalm Fusion is increasing its profitable line of powdered drink mixes as we see extra motion within the cannabis beverage class.

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Microdosing is vastly in style proper now, and we’re rolling out merchandise within the 2-5mg dosage vary. Well being and dietary issues are prime of thoughts as properly, and we provide merchandise which are vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free. In the end, we wish to ensure that we now have one thing on the cabinets for each single client. The monetary hardship created by the pandemic has made shoppers extra interested in worth added merchandise reminiscent of popcorn buds.

Inexperienced: You latterly introduced an fairness financing from Hadron. I’m curious to be taught extra about it from a nuts-and-bolts perspective if you happen to can share any of that info.

Fireman: During the last yr, entry to the capital markets for fairness raises in cannabis public firms was tough. The price of debt was and continues to be excessive, and we had been searching for a long-term monetary companion that understood the business and will help us. Hadron Capital has been profitable for a number of years investing in a few of the most profitable MSOs and so they noticed the worth and potential in MariMed’s skilled administration and nice property.

Hadron invested $46 million in fairness in MariMed this March. Roughly $16 million was utilized to retire all our short- and long-term debt however for financial institution secured debt and one convertible notice. $7 million is dedicated to funding our capex and increasing the capabilities of our services, enabling us to develop extra flower and automate manufacturing. The steadiness of funding will help our consolidation technique to fund two extra roll ups of state licensed cannabis companies into the general public firm.

Going ahead, it’s comforting to have a capital companion to help us in future acquisitions and M&A alternatives.

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Inexperienced: I’d like to be taught extra about your Nature’s Heritage model, notably because it pertains to the cultivation and the flower merchandise.

Fireman: Our COO Tim Shaw has assembled a cultivation and manufacturing crew with experience in all elements of genetics, rising methodologies, extraction strategies, and packaging innovation. That’s supplied us a wealthy assortment of high quality genetics that make up Nature’s Heritage, our top-selling flower, oil and focus model in Massachusetts and Maryland. We’ve not too long ago expanded the road to incorporate Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and solventless concentrates (together with stay rosin) and have been receiving stellar suggestions.

Inexperienced: What are you curious about studying extra about?

Fireman: During the last decade, the MariMed core crew has seen the emergence and superb progress of the cannabis business. The preliminary medical applications in California and Colorado have now led to some type of authorized medical or grownup use cannabis applications in over 33 states and districts.

We’re most inquisitive about studying and following the federal, state, and worldwide legal guidelines and laws. It’s critical to understand how these legal guidelines will have an effect on our firm and the business as a complete. When may full federal legalization grow to be a actuality? What may totally different variations of the legislation be? Will state authorized applications be protected in addition to the businesses that took the danger in investing within the business at its nascent state and the way? What is going to FDA necessities and laws appear like? What medical claims will firms be allowed to make, and what sort of analysis or trials will probably be required to place a product on the shelf? What are the ramifications of the MORE Act or the SAFE Banking Act?

Accountable MSOs must be ready to rise to or above the requirements of care of different industries. Lots of this was unimaginable prior to now due to federal prohibition legal guidelines. Quickly, if not already, labs and manufacturing processes will must be GMP licensed and extra. Client knowledge will must be HIPAA compliant. Hashish firms should be good company residents: range and equal alternative needs to be embedded in enterprise choices, and dedication to ESG and sound environmental and social insurance policies with good company governance must be in planning and applied.

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Following the legal guidelines and holding ourselves to the best doable security and enterprise requirements will permit the cannabis business to lastly grow to be “mainstream.”

Inexperienced: Alright, nice. Thanks, Bob. That concludes the interview!


The statements made regarding these merchandise haven’t been evaluated by the Meals and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these merchandise has not been confirmed by FDA-approved evaluation. These merchandises are normally not meant to diagnose, take care of, treatment, or forestall any sickness. All knowledge discovered proper right here won’t be meant as another option to or totally different from knowledge from well-being care practitioners. Please search the recommendation of your well-being care expert about potential interactions or totally different attainable points sooner than using any product. The Federal Meals, Drug and Magnificence Act requires this discovery.

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