The November elections are just around the corner and cannabis is a hot topic on the ballot in Missouri this year. In 2018 when Missourians voted to approve a constitutional amendment to allow legal medical marijuana the measure passed with 66% approval. This year, voters will determine the fate of adult-use cannabis on November 8, and should the measure pass, Missouri’s cannabis market will undergo yet another significant change.
Looking over the past couple of years, we’ve seen pricing fluctuate, and ultimately stabilize to more “normalized” levels and the breadth of brands and product types available for Missouri patients has continued to increase – and quickly!
If you saw the press release from Greenway last week, you likely are aware of a new strategic partnership with national brands Organic Remedies and Moxie. We were fortunate to grab some time with the CEOs of these two companies and learn more about their relationship and what it means for both Missouri’s medical and potential adult-use markets.
Jordan Lams, CEO and founder of Moxie and Mark Toigo, CEO of Organic Remedies joined us for an interview and their excitement over the partnership in Missouri was palpable. We had questions for both and they were gracious with their answers and time.
Mimosa Sauce | Moxie
You’ve gone to great lengths to be able to bring Organic Remedies to Missouri, including your lawsuit which removed the residency requirements for ownership. Why is Missouri so important for the Organic Remedies’ future plans?
Toigo: “Missouri is going to be a great state for the growth of this state, Missourians “get it” and they’ve been waiting for a program like this and we want to bring it to them. We want to be a top leader and brand in both the medical and adult-use markets. We think Missouri is the right place to be for Organic Remedies.”
As an MSO, the national brands are literally beating your doors down to do licensing deals with them – why Jordan and Moxie?
Toigo: “Quality, reputation, innovation and a great history of working together with proven leaders. You’re only as strong as your partners or your teams and Jordan and Moxie have proven their commitment to quality in multiple states where we partner. There’s far more reward than risk when entering into a partnership with someone you’ve already worked with and have a positive history together.”
As a national brand, why Organic Remedies and why Missouri?
Lams: “It was a deliberate decision to partner with OR because of good relationships with them in other states, it makes it a much easier way to transact. We’ve worked together from pre-legislation through operation and exit – that partnership is invaluable – we trust and understand each other. They share our commitment to quality and have proven their success and values in multiple partnerships with Moxie in the past.”
Grape Valley Kush Sauce | Moxie
Should we anticipate the brands in the Moxie line such as Moxie and HighNow concentrates and vapes or will we see flower as well?
Lams: “We’ll be moving into flower quicker than anticipated because OR has the capacity and we know the demand can’t be held off any longer. We’ll consider introducing HighNow and our other brands depending on the balance of the marketplace in Missouri, but the core Moxie products will be available in Missouri and patient demand and needs will drive our strategy for additional brands and products.”
Can we expect to see additional national brands from OR?
Toigo: “We’ll always evaluate licensing and partnership opportunities, the industry is dynamic, we say everything is open for us. The partnership and the trust for a strategic alliance is dependent on relationships and willingness to tolerate risk if the operator and licensing partner haven’t worked together before.”
Can we expect to see additional products from Moxie for ORMO?
Lams: “Upcoming soon will be the edibles line, which we’re incredibly excited about because we’ve been perfecting those for over two years. We are looking forward to meeting the dosage needs of Missouri patients for edibles – we’ll accommodate the needs of the market in terms of dosage available.”
How has the reception from Chaffee and southeast Missouri been for Organic Remedies?
Toigo: “In the beginning, it was interesting, because we moved into a former Columbia Sportswear factory. They had moved out a few years ago and they were the largest employer in town. We were excited to come in and provide opportunities and they’ve welcomed us with open arms and be giving back to the community with jobs and revenue. We’re making a positive contribution.”
If adult-use passes on the November ballot in Missouri, how will the OR experience/products change?
“From the Organic Remedies perspective, it opens market share to us, it allows us to participate in a market without boundaries. It will be great for people in neighboring states who don’t have access to safe medicine that they can afford. It will be great to see the amount of revenue we can put back into the community in which we operate,” said Mark Toigo of Organic Remedies’ perspective.
“It opens up the opportunity for Moxie to connect with consumers in a meaningful way and we feel very lucky that people find our brand very meaningful and we want that chance to meet customer needs. Providing value to people’s lives is one of our core values and this is a way to do that,” added Jordan Lams of the Moxie partnership.
Toigo: We’re excited to partner with Moxie and get our quality out to Missouri as a whole, I think they’re going to be delighted when they get a chance to experience it.
Lams: “I agree with that, We are strong partners and knowing who those partners are makes it possible to get ahead quickly and provides the ability to build a strong foundation. We want to be role models for the industry – this isn’t a win/lose situation – everyone benefits from these types of situations. We want to show and prove that we’re embodying those values. As a guy with deep corporate experience outside of cannabis and somewhat of a baby entrepreneur, my mentor taught me you only have one chance to do it, you do it right.”
While the entire interview was relaxed and comfortable, the way these founders referred to their company core values was refreshing in a market where company culture has been reported as lacking for a large number of license holders approved to operate. New entrepreneurs and lean business models typical to startups as well as the current state of the economy certainly impact profit and loss, but core values aren’t frequently mentioned in local media. Lam’s naming as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times two years running has some teeth behind it with his focus on the company culture and consumers – obvious even during our short time together and Toigo came across as earnest and sincere – not a litigation-happy license holder as one might expect given press coverage about the famous lawsuit.
Missouri patients are seeing these kinds of partnerships in local press in greater numbers as our market matures, in the whole scheme of things, Missouri is still very young and we predict that adult-use passage would have multiple impacts on our local industry, but also have a massive influence on new brands and form factors of products flooding into our state – which provides patients access to even more safe medicine.
We look forward to the success of both brands in Missouri and will continue to cover product launches and accomplishments from the pair.
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