In the United States market for medical marijuana, two states immediately come to mind as the most developed markets: California and Colorado.
But a third state now stands poised to join those two as the next thriving U.S. medical marijuana market.
That state is Florida – a state that voted to legalize medical marijuana back in November 2016 and is projected to see compound annual market growth of 140% through the year 2020.
The red-hot growth now being seen in the Florida market has captured the attention of investors searching for the next high-upside legal marijuana play.
One company – a firm with rapidly-growing Florida operations – has an experienced leadership team in place with a proven blueprint for legal cannabis success.
Bringing Aphria’s Proven Business Model to a Market in the Early Stages of Explosive Growth
Liberty Health Sciences (CSE: LHS); (OTCQX: LHSIF) was initially launched with $25 million in funding from Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH), one of Canada’s leading producers, suppliers and sellers of medical cannabis – a company with a market cap of $2.3 billion.
The purpose of Liberty Health Sciences’ launch was to acquire and operate U.S.-based companies in the medical cannabis market. Liberty is committed to delivering high-quality, clean and safe pharmaceutical grade cannabis to patients.
Aphria Inc. has a widely-recognized reputation as one of the lowest-cost – and most successful – producers in the Canadian cannabis industry…and now Liberty Health Sciences (CSE: LHS); (OTCQX: LHSIF) is bringing that expertise to the United States.
This makes Aphria the first Canadian cannabis company with a focus on cultivation and distribution to penetrate the U.S. market.
By bringing Aphria’s know-how – and the company’s proven blueprint for success – to Florida, Liberty Health Sciences (CSE: LHS); (OTCQX: LHSIF) offers investors the rare combination of a proven business model applied to an early-stage, rapidly-growing market.
The proven expertise that Aphria brings to the table with Liberty Health Sciences (CSE: LHS) includes…
- A history of success in commercial scale greenhouse growing at a low cost thanks to Aphria’s innovative greenhouse methods and technology…
- A proprietary seed-to-sale certified process with quality control that goes beyond industry standards…
- Thorough knowledge of regulated industries – including Liberty Health Sciences CEO George Scorsis’ more than 15 years of leadership experience in highly regulated industries such as alcohol, energy drinks and medical cannabis …
- And proprietary automation and processing methods honed and perfected by Canadian industry leader Aphria Inc.
On February 16, 2018 the company announced that it had closed the acquisition of a 387-acre parcel of land in Gainesville Florida that was previously owned by Alico Citrus Nursery, LLC.
This property will become the home of the new Liberty 360 Innovation Campus, with 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art greenhouses and a new 12,000 square-foot processing area for the extraction and refining of cannabis oils.
As recently as July 2017, Liberty Health Sciences had just 11,000 square feet of growing space which could produce 800 kgs of marijuana annually. By comparison, the overall goal – including this new acquisition – is to increase grow capacity to over 200,000 square feet with annual production of over 14,000 kgs by the end of 2019.
On the distribution side, Liberty Health Sciences announced in January 2018 that it has opened its inaugural medical cannabis dispensary in Florida, strategically located in The Villages, the state’s largest retirement community.
The company is planning to open additional dispensaries throughout 2018 in as many as eleven additional strategic locations throughout the state of Florida.
Rapid Growth: Florida Will Soon Surpass Colorado in Marijuana Market Size
Why has Liberty Health Sciences focused its initial U.S. efforts in the state of Florida?
According to a report by industry research firm New Frontier Data, Florida’s medical marijuana market is projected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2020.
“Since Florida voters overwhelmingly legalized medical marijuana, the state has experienced a green rush.”
In fact, by 2020, Florida is projected to have a larger medical marijuana market than Colorado’s $1.5 billion projection.
“Florida has the potential to be one of the largest medical markets in the country,” said New Frontier Data Founder & CEO Giadha DeCarcer. “The state is home to the nation’s largest percentage of people 65 and older, a demographic for whom chronic pain is commonplace.”
|Florida Medical Marijuana Market At a Glance|
|Market:||$1.6 billion by 2020|
|QualifyingPatients:||6.06 million (30%)|
|RegisteredPatients:||90,464 (up 300%+ over last 6 months)|
|Dispensaries:||25 dispensaries / license (only 31 locations currently statewide|
|Legal Product Scope:||Cannabis Oil, Edibles andTransdermals|
But as Florida’s cannabis market grows, early-stage producers must scramble to expand quickly in order to establish a sizeable market share.
This creates a scenario where companies with strong leadership – and excellent capitalization – have a clear advantage.
Liberty Health Sciences (CSE: LHS); (OTCQX: LHSIF) has the unquestioned knowledge and leadership of the Aphria Inc. team – an advantage no other U.S. producer can claim. And as for capitalization, the company has a strong balance sheet with available cash in excess of $20 million.
Liberty’s Experienced, Capable Management Team Provides an Unrivaled Advantage in the U.S.
Liberty Health Sciences holds an unmatched advantage over other U.S. cannabis producers when it comes to proven leadership.
That’s because the executives leading this company have a track record as industry leaders – establishing low-cost operations thanks to Aphria’s innovative methods and technology.
George Scorsis – CEO and Director
George Scorsis brings over 15 years of leadership experience to the Liberty team having led companies to rapid growth within highly regulated areas such as alcohol, energy drinks and, most recently, medical cannabis. Scorsis served as the President of Red Bull Canada and was instrumental in restructuring the organization from a geographical and operational perspective, growing the business to $150 MM in revenue. In that role, he also worked closely with Health Canada on guidelines regulating the energy drink category. Most recently, Scorsis was with Mettrum Health Corp as President and was fundamental in shaping MettrumTM&MettrumOriginalsTM. Under his leadership, the company was acquired for $430 M. Scorsis is a proven leader dedicated to providing results in business growth and development and brings a wealth of CPG experience to this exciting, burgeoning industry.
Rene Gulliver – CFO
Experienced C-Suite leader Rene Gulliver brings over 30 years of experience in finance, business development, and operations to Liberty Health Sciences. Before joining the team, Rene worked with Dream Global REIT as their CFO where the business grew from $1.4 billion in assets to just over $2.8 billion through acquisitions. Working with the capital markets in Canada and Europe, he was responsible for raising the funds to support this growth while maintaining acceptable capital ratios. Before his tenure at Dream Global REIT, Rene was CFO of the Americas at Cushman & Wakefield where he was responsible for financial oversight in the United States, Canada, South America and Mexico. Prior to these roles, he held senior positions at a First Service company as well as Royal LePage, where he was responsible for restructuring those organizations. His financial career started at PwC as part of their Mergers and Acquisitions group, focusing on international transactions.
Board of Directors
Vic Neufeld – Co-Founder, CEO, Aprhia
Vic Neufeld is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aphria. Mr. Neufeld is the former CEO of Jamieson Laboratories (“Jamieson”) Canada’s largest manufacturer and distributor of natural vitamins, minerals, concentrated food supplements, herbs and botanical medicines. Mr. Neufeld brings 15 years of experience as a chartered accountant and partner with Ernst & Young and 21 years as CEO of Jamieson. During his tenure with Jamieson, the company went from $20 million in annual sales to over $250 million and expanded the company’s distribution network to over 40 countries, building Jamieson to a globally recognized brand name.
John Cervini – Co-Founder, VP Infrastructure & Technology, Aphria
John Cervini, Aphria’s Co-Founder, comes from fourth generation growers in southwestern Ontario with hydroponic agricultural experience. Together with his father and brother, Mr. Cervini helped established Lakeside Produce, a leader of North America sales and marketing companies selling fresh produce from Canada to multinational retailers throughout North America. Mr. Cervini has significant experience in greenhouse growing technology and has also overseen greenhouse expansions to California and Mexico. Mr. Cervini’s focus on improved efficiencies, healthier quality and the latest research studies helped him create an industry leading food safety program.
Aaron Serruya – Partner of Serruya Private Equity (SPE)
Aaron Serruya began his career at age nineteen as a co-founder of YogenFrüz. Aaron was also involved at various levels, in Coolbrands® and Kahala Brands®. Having over three decades of experience in the retail franchising sector, in addition to his position as a Managing Director at SPE, Aaron is currently the President of International Franchise Inc. (home of global brands such as YogenFrüz®, Pinkberry® and Swensen’s® Ice Cream), which has over 4,500 frozen yogurt and ice cream franchises worldwide, in over 50 countries. Aaron’s operational expertise is a driving force of his strength, which includes strategic planning, quality control, and marketing. Aaron specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions.
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