Patients are being left behind by the rapidly changing medical marijuana regulations in Canada, says Niel Marotta. He's the Founder, President, CEO, and Director at INDIVA, a Canadian producer and distributor of medicinal cannabis. When Canada overhauled their medical marijuana regime many of the established cannabis strains weren't permitted to be brought over. Meaning, as Marotta says, that patients can't "continue using strains they trust."
"Patients depend on these strains and should be allowed to receive them from a Licensed Producer."
Below you can get the rest of Civilized's interview with Niel Marotta.
What makes your company different from others in the cannabis space?
INDIVA’s brand is based on quality and authenticity. We have a very clean and bio-secure production facility, which produces high quality dry flowers (and soon oils) for medical patients (and soon enough adult recreational patients as well). We have an experienced Master Grower and client care team that have helped hundreds of patients over the last 15 years under the MMAR [Marihuana Medical Access Regulations]. We also have very talented folks on our team who have 15–20 years of experience in dealing with Health Canada on a regulatory front, and others experienced in designing and installing production systems. So we have really drawn on people with direct industry experience on all levels to create a winning team.
How did you get into the cannabis space?
Through a combination of seeing a tremendous investment opportunity and personal inspiration from patients who were close to me.
Walk us through a normal day.
A normal day is never normal! Certainly lots of travel on a weekly basis, pursuing partnerships and opportunities in Canada, as well as internationally. INDIVA is a publicly traded company and as a result I speak with investors on a daily basis, and also work with all the members of the INDIVA team to grow the company and create shareholder value.
What has been your biggest lesson about working in cannabis, and in business in general?
Working with a team of great, honest and hard-working people who are passionate about their work is inspiring and irreplaceable.
What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
The landscape is still being drawn in Canada and internationally, so the biggest opportunity comes from creating great products for the domestic and foreign markets.
What sets you apart to make you a potential leader in cannabis?
We have a terrific team at INDIVA with deep knowledge and experience across complimentary areas in all aspects of the cannabis industry: cultivation, client care, quality assurance and regulatory matters, finance, law, marketing and sales. Bringing together these diverse skill sets allows us to create a platform for success in Canada and abroad.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the cannabis space?
This a business like any other and requires a lot of capital and knowhow across all disciplines.
What are your biggest tips for branding cannabis?
Quality over quantity: focusing on the plants and the patients will lead to profits.
Do you see any big changes coming in the future of cannabis?
The introduction of the adult use recreational market in Canada will certainly be a big change, as will changes in regulations allowing for a more diverse breadth of product to be offered by Licensed Producers. Currently we can only sell dry flowers and oils, but before long we expect the medical and recreational markets to include pre-rolls, edibles, beverages, vape pens as well as other infused natural health products. This is very exciting as it allows for differentiation and innovation which will grow the industry dramatically.
There is also a growing trend towards legalization of cannabis on a medical and adult use recreational basis globally. Canada has created a wonderful platform to export cannabis products globally. So overall, this is a very exciting time to be in the cannabis industry, particularly as a Licensed Producer in Canada.