Women: Leading The Cannabis Green Rush
July 30th, 2019
App, Exclusive, News, Top News
Q & A with QVI Inc, a FinCanna Portfolio Company, Co-Founder Annie “That Kitchen Lady” Holman
Following a successful career in graphic design, marketing and media that included clients like – Nestle, Lego Toys and Charles Schwab, Annie Holman is best recognized for her success as a co-founder of an artisanal edible cannabis bakery, Derby Bakery, in California back in 2015. Post her success with the bakery venture, Annie has launched a new and much larger venture, QVI Inc. an industrial scale cannabis co-manufacturing facility, in the heart of Sonoma County, California with her co-founders Gina Pippin and Rori Lucas. The word is getting out with peers and brand owners that don’t quite know her yet often calling her that “Kitchen Lady” – that is until the cannabis pioneer does like she so frequently does and spends some time collaborating with others in the space, then she’s unforgettable as “Annie.”
Annie aka “That Kitchen Lady” took a few minutes out of her busy day to sit down with Cannabis Financial Media last week to discuss her latest venture, QVI Inc. a portfolio company of FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB:FNNZF) and the leading role that women are playing in the cannabis “green rush.”
The Genesis of QVI
Going back to early 2018 Annie recognized not only the incredible industry that was set to emerge, but that regulators had done small companies a big favor by leveling the playing field for everyone. It was time to move with a purpose.
Call it kismet, but while Annie was at a convention, a woman named Gina Pippin asked if she could sit down next to her. The two struck up a conversation that included Gina saying that her partners had a large building they were looking to retrofit into a cannabis business and seeking partners with experience to do so. That was precisely what QVI, which does business as “The Galley,” was looking for. Hence the tale of Gina and Annie began.
QVI is currently refitting the 8,300 square-foot facility with highly automated equipment in preparation for a grand opening as a co-manufacturer and distribution center, later this summer. This plan includes operating as a fulfillment center once a distribution license is obtained. Once achieved, QVI will be unique as a one-stop shop for handling the entire manufacturing chain, including logistics for laboratory testing.
In a savvy move, the remodel is being completed to be FDA-compliant, a decision that Annie says was made because she believes that the federal government will end cannabis prohibition soon, maybe within 3-5 years. Woman’s intuition perhaps?
Although no company can control the process, licensing for the facility is expected any day, according to Annie, following a positive recent visit from regulators. Additionally some final construction is being completed, with operations expected to commence by early September.
The commercial kitchen facility will produce a diverse line of products including an edibles line; topical and tincture products, hard candy, gummies, and mints. The facility also includes a chocolate room to produce products like truffles and bars. By mid-2020, the company hopes to add a beverage line as well.
Demand is booming ahead of QVI opening its doors. Annie says she fields several phone calls every week from potential new customers through referrals from existing ones. “We vetted over 125 clients in the last 6 months,” she commented. “[Demand] is massive and I worry about having to say no to people because that’s not something I’m real good at. I really like to make it work for everybody.”
In order to make that happen, Annie envisions having to get a second facility operational quickly, “probably within 6-12 months into 2020,” she guessed.
These are all positives for FinCanna, which will earn a perpetual tiered royalty ranging from 15% to 6% of QVI’s consolidated annual revenues, based on agreed upon financial benchmarks. FinCanna will earn the top rate of 15% on QVI’s first $20.0 million of annual sales until cumulative royalties of $10.0 million are earned by FinCanna.
Women in Cannabis
QVI is a women-owned company and, according to Annie, about 60% of their clients are run by women. In fact, she believes that women will continue to have a prominent role in the cannabis industry going forward, owing to innate qualities of women.
“We are all swimming alongside each other right now and are lucky enough to be at the forefront of an emerging industry. When you look at it like that, we’re all pretty lucky,” she insightfully noted.
“[Women] are a committed, loyal gender that gets things done. This industry is so complicated that you need to be able to multitask, be positive, and work together. “When things get challenging, we sit down, talk about it and make a well thought out plan. That’s what women are good at. I think that some of the complexity of the industry is exactly why we’re seeing a lot of women in it.”
She continued: “I see equal opportunity already and I see it coming down the pipe. As this industry evolves, I think it will be women dominated. I think it’s created an environment for us to really shine and get the respect we deserve.”
She asserted, “I’ve always had equal opportunity because I create equal opportunity for myself. I make it my own path to help other women if they have any sense of feeling inadequate.”
As part of the QVI business model, the company will remain vocal in advocating for a sense of community between its employees, customers and others in the industry. This includes an events center constructed out of repurposed shipping containers on the property. Annie, who was a co-founder of Women’s Cannabis Business Development Group, says that the center is for hosting community events and seminars on an array of topics, including education, women in cannabis, health & wellness and more.
With co-founders Annie, Gina and Rori, QVI is emblematic of a seminal shift in the way leadership approaches business. The culture being nurtured is for genuinely happy, involved employees and customers and a community feel with others operating in the space.
To that point, Annie sees it as a positive that more facilities are popping up. “We don’t all glare at each other as competition. We can all work together because none of us can possibly manufacturing everything. I network with other business owners where we discuss sharing business to lean on each others’ capacities to promptly fulfill a wide spectrum of customer’s orders.”
When asked if she has any advice for women looking to get into cannabis, Annie responded, “Absolutely.” “You need to take risks. You need to ask questions. You need to connect with other women in the industry,” she illuminated. “Women are compassionate by nature and will help you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I ask women in my network questions constantly and never do I get a cold shoulder.”
FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB:FNNZF) is a royalty company that provides growth capital to rapidly emerging private companies operating in the licensed U.S cannabis industry. The Company earns its revenue from royalties paid by its investee companies that are calculated based on a percentage of their total revenues. FinCanna is well positioned to capitalize on rising demand for edibles, topicals, tinctures and other products in California’s nascent cannabis industry. To learn more click Here to view the Fundamental Research Report
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