Had a long and detailed discussion last night with the very busy CEO of Veritas Pharma (VRT.C)*, Dr. Lui Franciosi, and came away pretty impressed with the man and his plan.
Part of what makes the Veritas play so interesting is the ‘murderers row’ of UBC academic pointy heads the company has its origins with. They’re not just guys with degrees, we’re talking professors emeritas in everything from atomic make-up right on up to product development, with $800m in product sales behind them.
What’s always been missing, for me, in any marijuana product research play is the establishment healthcare partner that could walk a new product into the insurance industry down the road.
I mean, we know cannabis laws are going to liberalize everywhere. Insurance will, someday soon, be looking for clinically tested, academically established and approved products that it can tell doctors is approved for use and billing. To me, that’s when the entire cannabis world really goes into gamechanger mode.
Growing? Bah, it’s basically farming, and will be commoditized soon, if it isn’t already.
Dispensing? Okay, but that’s basically a retail branding play down the line. Meh.
Value-adding? Now we’re warming up. Turning cheap weed into more expensive weed byproducts is good business.
But establishing IP of weed strains that have been shown, through animal testing and real clinical trials, to definitely relieve nausea, vomiting, and pain? Without the side effects of what’s currently in use? That’s where the millions move to billions.
To get there, you have to be industry best. And though many companies are doing ‘testing’ (on five people, anecdotally), nobody has yet unleashed a team of Ph.D candidates.
That’s the Veritas play. And the news scheduled to come out later today will hopefully shed more light on that.
Either way, my chat with Franciosi was recorded and will come out as a podcast episode in the next few days. It will be worth a listen, I assure you.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Laguna Blends (LAG.C)* is doing a micro raise ($100k) to get a little walking around money into the deal. The company has been posting news pointing to its steadily growing sales affiliate numbers (700 last I saw, up from 300 the week before), so I would expect actual sales numbers to come soon. The company has new products emerging, and recently signed a deal to develop a new ‘brain coffee’.
I’ve been critical of the company in the past, despite their being a client of mine, but credit where it’s due – the pieces continue to come together.
I’m taking the small size of the financing to be indicative of the fact that the company expects revenues to be coming soon and doesn’t want to raise more than it needs. The raise is at $0.11, which is comically low, considering. But credit to the company for keeping the raise small and not diluting up a storm.
Golden Secret Ventures (GGS.C)* continues to find an audience, though I’m reliably informed that the plans for the ticker aren’t set in stone yet. Quick $600k raise became a quick $2.5m raise on the back of insider names and reps, so the company is well tooled to go out and find a project.
Who I’m Talking To (today):
Secova Resources, Lattice Biologics, Imagin Medical, Loop, two more I can’t name.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Companies noted with an asterisk (*) are companies with which I either have a consulting agreement or own stock, or both. Do your own due diligence.