Q&A with Nick Sosiak: The dank bean counter
April 20, 2023 By Grow Opportunity Staff
Nikola Danko Sosiak, or Niko Dank as he’s known in the industry, chose an alternative route getting into the cannabis market first by recognizing a medical affinity for the plant during his adolescence, which helped him focus and achieve his goals. He then studied at Concordia University, completing a bachelor of marketing and accounting, and went on to McGill University to complete his CPA degree in 2012.
“I worked at Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse, KPMG, and then I worked at a real estate company, Dundee 360 Real Estate Corp., where I was their VP of finance for five years,” he says.
After legalization, Sosiak began applying to different positions and finally, through a friend, heard of a new cannabis project in his home province of Quebec.
The CEO, Zohar Krivorot, purchased a 625,000 sqft facility to which Sosiak applied, but they already had a CFO. “In April of 2019,” he says, “when they were reporting their first Q1, a week and a half before the deadline, I get the call saying ‘Nick, we have a problem.’”
Sosiak completed their financial statements and became the new VP of finance for Cannara Biotech, later to become CFO and lead product and brand creator for the company, responsible for bringing in top shelf strains, expanding the cultural aspect of their brands, and connecting with cannabis breeder Exotic Mike.
Award-winning, culture forward Cannara is kept lean and mean; and it works.
GO: Can you describe your daily operations?
NS: It’s pretty much just me and Zohar, we have no COO.
He’s in charge of the cultivation aspect, the operations, the people, the packaging, and I’m in charge of everything else. He’s at the grow houses every day, the packaging room, hash room, and making sure the operation’s flowing. So, he’s taking care of the COO side as the CEO.
And then I share the COO role, too, and CFO, and many other roles including marketing and sales, product development, R&D, PR/IR, and deploying the company’s overall strategy.
We also have VPs overseeing each division – these are our commanders leading our team to success. Followed by directors/managers and other staff acting as our day-to-day soldiers on the ground. And our ticker is LOVE.
GO: What is your top selling brand and the product you’re most proud of?
NS: I’d say Tribal because we have a set product roadmap for Tribal based on the cannabis genetics we bring to market.
With our partnership with Exotic Genetix, Tribal’s mission is to phenohunt as many exceptionally different and unique cannabis strains as possible, and bring those genetics to life in dried flower, pre-rolls, live resin vape carts, and live resin dabbable extracts.
We also did a collaboration with Yocan and co-developed our Uni Pro Ark – a full zinc metal alloy vape battery with full temperature control. Everything that’s in the market is plastic, so it’s the “Ferrari” of batteries. And everything I do I sell as cheap as possible.
For the vape cart packaging, attention to detail is everything. As a user, I constantly lost my carts. So, I want a reusable package that people can carry with them. I made sure you can open the tin with one hand, and then the case fits three different vape carts. There’s a lot of my thought process and life experience behind it.
GO: What new genetics are you working on?
NS: We’re working on anywhere between five and ten different genetics, but the one that I’m most excited about is Jigglers from Exotic Genetix. It tastes like straight up strawberries in cream; it’s delicious.
GO: What do you recommend to other LPs?
NS: “Stay Frosty!” Or buckle your belt because we’re all in for a ride. If you built your business right, you’re going to survive and you’re going to come out thriving because you know there’s going to be more market share, more shelf space, less noise, less price compression, and more customer clarity.
And the market is not dying. It’s still a four or five-billion-dollar market right now. So, if you’re on your game, you can take advantage of the growth potential right now.
GO: Finally, how do you relate to budtenders?
NS: I don’t have a sales force because I don’t want to pay commissions. If I do, then I have to increase my prices. But I do have brand ambassadors in each province, acting as an extension of me, to keep the message going.
I’m happy to connect with budtenders, my salespeople, to understand what they’re thinking. We also offer discount codes for budtenders in our swag shop – cannaraswag.shop/budtender
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