Brand manager Jeremy Timoteo shares 7Acres’ plans to capture the craft market
By Jean Ko Din
Bringing craft cannabis to Canada’s legal market is no easy feat.
The extensive requirements and costs to enter the regulated market have kept many of these expert growers landlocked in the grey market. But 7Acres has found a way to bring in new players under its new brand extension, the Craft Collective.
The Craft Collective features a curated selection of craft strains from across the country. The first of these is a Pink Kush that was launched exclusively in British Columbia on April 29.
7Acres brand manager Jeremy Timoteo believes that bringing more craft growers into the market will bring more passion to the industry as a whole and ultimately, attract more consumers to turn to the legal market.
Grow Opportunity connected with Timoteo to talk about how the Craft Collective can become a launching pad for skilled micro cultivators to build capital and market experience while navigating regulations under the guidance of the 7Acres team.
Grow Opportunity: In your opinion, what do craft growers and micro cultivators offer that a large, commercial producer can’t?
Jeremy Timoteo: From 7Acres’ standpoint, I really do think we’ve proven that we can grow really high quality cannabis in a large facility, at scale. Where the smaller growers come in, and the value they have, is they can really bring speed and variety and nimbleness to the equation. It’s much easier for them to R&D multiple strains in small batches, get them in, get them out, commercialize it quickly on that smaller scale. It’s a lot more difficult to steer a big ship like 7Acres or other large, commercial grows.
Above all, it’s going to be great for consumers. I think there was still quite a lot of debate on how discerning cannabis consumers actually were pre- and slightly post-legalization. But it’s very, very clear now that cannabis consumers know what they like, they know what quality is and if you don’t have it, they’re not buying it.
GO: How do you decide which craft growers to partner with?
JT: It’s not easy. It hasn’t been easy and I don’t foresee it being too much easier in the future. We look at everything, from how they actually grow, to their genetic library, their facility, how that’s built, the type of lighting they use, their finishing techniques, who their team of growers are. And I think from a regulatory standpoint, most importantly, is that they meet all those requirements for Health Canada.
From there, once we’ve established that this is a great cultivator, we look at their offerings for their specific cultivars and lots. And we really need to make sure that it’s the best possible expression of that cultivar, and really checks all the boxes for those subjective quality cues – whether that’s aroma, appearance, terpene content, THC content. The list goes on and on and on. At the end of the day, what I can say is that we’re very, very particular about who we select.
GO: Once you’ve decided to work with a craft grower, how hands-on is your company from there?
JT: We work really, really closely with them through the qualifying process and all the way up to point of purchase. And we definitely offer them our insight and experience when it comes to those questions.
Looking back to when 7Acres first started, we kind of did the same thing too. Before legalization, we were growing cannabis and selling it to other LPs under the medical system which gave us the ability to get that influx of capital to continue that operation and keep it going until legalization came. It also gave us the opportunity to iron out the kinks so that when legalization hit, we knew we were releasing some of the best products on the market.
Through us, they can see how well these products sell, what consumer responses are, what kind of tweaks that they need to make down the road and get everything in place that they need and be well-funded along the way.
GO: Because these products are sold as “Limited Drops,” is it fair to assume that the product selections will be something that’s always changing?
JT: Exactly, and I think that’s more of the value that we bring to consumers. We’re not structuring a deal where we say, we’ve got one lot of Pink Kush from you so let’s lock you down for a year or two. Because we know quality can change, people at facilities can change, structures can change, all sorts of things can change that can ultimately have an impact on that product quality. We look at this on a lot by lot basis. That said, the craft producers that we do select and proceed a particular lot with, obviously, they’re in our good books for the next one.