CBD-infused products are endless: nutritional treats, meds for anxiety or joint health, creams for irritated skin.
And that’s just for your dog.
In the exploding market for all things cannabis and hemp related, items for your pet will push sales (in the U.S.) to $125 million by 2022. Sky’s the limit for the CBD-based ointments, medicines and nutritional products for you.
Legalized cannabis has given our country a global head start in all of this, and Canadian companies jockey for position as the cannabis industry, still young, continues its speed-of-light growth.
As Khurram Malik, CEO of Biome Grow, puts it, “Cannabis has done more for Canada than maple syrup,” in terms of global recognition.
At Biome, Malik began with a simple goal: to build a better cannabis company. He’s an authority on the global cannabis sector, initially involved as a financier and analyst in helping some 20 other companies (Canopy and Emblem among them) get established.
Malik also wrote the first extensive research study on the sector in North America.
And so, “We started Biome as a blank slate and decided how we would take what we’ve learned from other companies to build a more efficient, cleaner company.”
Biome, he said in a recent interview, is distinguished by low financial risk and high quality product; that’s crucial, given the predictions that there’s a correction coming in the market as soon as supply and demand normalize sometime next year.
Thanks to the Hemp Act in Canada (and the Farm Act in the U.S.) the CBD market is changing dramatically.
Malik says it’s now possible to produce inexpensive CBD in Canada, “provided you know what you’re doing and have the right technology and ecosystem.”
“What excites us the most at Biome is that we can produce cannabis medicine — made in Canada — at an affordable price point,” he said. “That hasn’t been possible before.”
Biome Grow Inc. Highland’s Antigonish, Nova Scotia facility on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Sean Evans/Biome Grow)
Biome has targeted certain areas to research, particularly drug-resistant epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. The parents of children with drug-resistant epilepsy, Malik says, currently pay between $2,000 and $5,000 a month for legally sourced CBD-based medicines.
“Now that the hemp act has passed…we can get that down to hundreds of dollars a month.”
As soon as regulations permit and it all becomes legal, Biome will release (through sister company CBD Acres) a CBD infused beauty line, anti-wrinkle creams, pain creams and more. CBD has long been the poor cousin of THC on the cannabis front, but that’s changing. It’s currently getting a lot of attention.
“Maybe too much,” Malik observes. “Everyone thinks CBD can treat everything under the sun, which it can’t, but it can treat a few things really well and with very little risk to the patient.”
It’s an important preventative and nutraceutical.
“That’s why I call it the new Vitamin C,” Malik said.
n the business side, Malik is keen to discuss automation and green power — and community involvement. Biome, which operates in Ontario, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, bills itself as “the conscious cannabis company.”
“Not only do we develop a product more environmentally friendly than your typical licensed producer, but we’re also good stewards in the communities where we operate,” Malik says. “Our facilities are located in rural communities, where we have the greatest socioeconomic impact. We’re don’t put them next to Halifax or Toronto — we put them into communities where we are the largest employer they’ve seen in a while, or ever.”
It’s not solely for altruistic reasons.
“We’re also building a brand. It’s important to have products and service customers admire, but also, our brand ambassadors are our employees and the people in our community who say, ‘This company is doing it right. They’re creating jobs.’”
That gives other companies the incentive to set up shop in the community, too.
“It has a multiplayer effect — jobs creation through cannabis innovation. We call these cannabis ecosystems and we set them up in every province where we operate.”
In the process of educating himself about cannabis, Malik has become passionate about the plant’s potential.
“It really opens your eyes to how we can use the whole plant,” he says, “for building materials, food, clothes and more. If you let it grow outside the way Mother Nature intended, it is robust: pest resistant, somewhat fire resistant and with antibacterial properties. It’s a remarkable little plant that can house you, clothe you, feed you, and keep you healthy.
“Hard to find another plant on earth that does all that.”