Episode #139: Taz Turner and Nate Nienhuis, CordovaCann, “We’re Really Driving At What We Feel Is The Holy Grail of Cannabis”
Guests: Taz Turner is the Chairman and CEO of CordovaCann. He has over 15 years of experience in the capital markets focused on both debt and equity securities in the technology and consumer industries. Since founding Southshore Capital Partners, LP in 2009, he has guided the growth of Southshore’s long/short global equity hedge fund as General Partner. Through his fund, he has invested in public and private cannabis companies since 2012. Prior to Southshore, he held progressive positions at hedge funds and private equity funds with Tala Investments, Trafelet Delta Funds and ABS Capital Partners, where he specialized in technology and consumer investments.
Nate Nienhuis is a Director and COO of CordovaCann. He has extensive experience consulting to both public and private companies on all aspects of cannabis operations; including general operations, facility design, management of production and processing facilities, product development and dispensary oversight. Nate has served as a consultant to various public and private companies since 1996. Over the course of his career, he has served as head horticulturalist at licensed medical cannabis companies in California, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Washington DC, and Canada. Furthermore, he has developed and sold cutting-edge equipment for the safe extraction of cannabinoids and has been at the forefront of devising new extraction methods for processing at scale. As an extraction expert, he has consulted on facility design for commercial cannabis extraction laboratories across the world, including ensuring compliance with Class 1 Division 1 standards for the use of volatile chemicals.
Date Recorded: 1/15/19
To listen to Episode #139 on iTunes, click here
To listen to Episode #139 on Stitcher, click here
To listen to Episode #139 on Pocket Casts, click here
To listen to Episode #139 on Google Play, click here
To stream Episode #139, click here
Comments or suggestions? Email us Feedback@TheMebFaberShow.com or call us to leave a voicemail at 323 834 9159
Interested in sponsoring an episode? Email Justin at email@example.com
Summary: In episode 139, we welcome Taz Turner, CEO, and Nate Nienhuis, COO, of CordovaCann in the 4th installment of our cannabis series.
The episode begins with the backstory behind CordovaCann, and the mission to produce superior plants and consistent and predictable products. Meb asks the pair to get into their backgrounds. Nate starts by describing his deep industry background from consulting with operators, to working on the regulatory side in Washington D.C. Taz then talks about his career in finance, and what led him into investing in the cannabis industry first in Canada, then in the U.S. He goes on to discuss his conversations with Nate and others in the industry leading to the launch of Cordova.
Meb then asks about the Cordova roadmap with the company ultimately growing into a cannabis operation. Taz had the idea of targeting the more established markets in the western United States and overlaying their technology platform to add value to the operators. Nate then gets into the details of the importance of consistent formulation, and how their platform is delivering technology that isn’t being utilized by the rest of the industry.
The conversation then shifts to the regulatory environment, and Taz notes the ball seems to be moving forward. Nate adds that he thinks the regulations will continue to get more specific.
Next, Meb asks about acquiring assets. Taz talks about the parallels he sees to the late 1990s internet craze. He discusses the goal of taking already strong operators and overlaying the technology that Cordova has, while Nate talks about the importance of culture. Taz follows up with some specific examples of how the acquisitions have worked on a state-by-state basis.
Meb asks what the future looks like. Nate talks about the growth of the industry and how various operators and even large-scale manufacturing operations may get into the space, as well as significant advancement in science, and continued refinement of the cannabis product line.
All this and more in episode 139 including the long-term vision for Cordova, and Taz and Nate’s most memorable investments.
Links From the Episode:
- 00:50 – Welcome
- 2:16 – Overview of what CordovaCann does
- 3:25 – Nate’s background and what led him to the cannabis space
- 7:14 – The US program in cannabis
- 9:04 – Taz’s background and his introduction to the cannabis space
- 11:34 – What Cordova is working on today in the space
- 18:48 – Cordova’s openness to partnership
- 20:22 – How do all the different pieces of their business fit together, given geographical limitations
- 23:13 – Cordova’s branding and production plans
- 24:54 – A look at the regulatory environment for cannabis
- 28:21 – What Taz and Nate think about when it comes to acquiring assets
- 32:26 – Competition in the marketplace
- 34:43 – An example of an asset that piques their interest and how Cordova thinks about acquisitions
- 38:26 – The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
- 41:01 – What the future looks like in this industry
- 46:12 – Long-term strategy for Cordova
- 47:03 – Investor willingness to hold cannabis securities
- 48:59 – Best resources for this space
- 54:15 – Most memorable investments
- 58:40 – Van Simmons Podcast Episode
- 59:30 – Best way to connect – http://cordovacann.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript of Episode 139:
Welcome Message: Welcome to “The Meb Faber Show,” where the focus is on helping you grow and preserve your wealth. Join us as we discuss the craft of investing and uncover new and profitable ideas, all to help you grow wealthier and wiser. Better investing starts here.
Disclaimer: Meb Faber is the co-founder and chief investment officer at Cambria Investment Management. Due to industry regulations, he will not discuss any of Cambria’s funds on this podcast. All opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Cambria Investment Management or its affiliates. For more information, visit Cambriainvestments.com
Meb: Welcome, podcast listeners. It is a rainy Tuesday, January the 15th of 2019. We have a great show for you today with the 4th instalment in our cannabis series. We’ve got two guests today, international, calling from Ontario, Canada as well as North Carolina, and we’re here local in L.A. They serve as the Chairman and CEO and COO of CordovaCann.
Taz Turner has extensive experience in the asset management industry. He’s worked in hedge funds, venture capital. Founded the fund Southshore Capital Partners almost a decade ago, investing in public and private companies in cannabis for years.
Nate serves as a consultant to various public/private companies since 1996 and has vast experience consulting to both in all aspects of cannabis operations. Welcome to the show, Taz Turner and Nate Nienhuis.
Nate: How you doing?
Taz: Thanks for having us.
Meb: So guys, that was a long and winding intro. But, you know, two disclosures. I think you guys are the first of 150 or so episodes public company we’ve had on the podcast, so that’s a lot of fun. And second, this is my first familial relation we have on the podcast. Taz Turner, a first cousin of mine.
So if I was to go back 40 years that I’ve known you, Taz, and you would have said 30, 20, 10 years ago that you would now be the CEO of an international cannabis company, I said I might have been a little surprised. But why don’t you give us a real brief overview of what Cordova does?
Taz: Yeah, so at Cordova, we’re really driving at where we feel is the holy grail of cannabis, which is producing predictable products that give consistent effects. And so that really leverages the technology platform that we have through our partners in NWN Inc. And what that allows for is to build superior plants through genetic editing, which gives, obviously, more revenue per plant to lower the cost of goods sold by propagating through tissue culture. And then also what we find interesting is to drive and develop formulations of end products that are consistent time and time again. Whether that be in pill, tincture, box, whatever form, media it comes in, that’s our end goal. And we feel that that’s something that’s not being delivered to the cannabis industry today.
And so to that end, we’ve gone out and acquired a number of different assets, primarily on the western coast of the U.S. where recreational cannabis is legal. And they’re strong operators in and of themselves, but we’re going to overlay this technology platform across those assets to make those operators even more valuable to Cordova.
Meb: Interesting. So, all right. So it sounds like almost kind of like the full stack from flower all the way up to development of a product. I want to hear a little bit about you all’s background. To my knowledge, there’s no LinkedIn, Tinder for cannabis just yet. So, you know, Nate, you have a little longer background in the science. Maybe hear a little bit about what you’ve been up to, how you got to the point where you started working with Taz, and we’ll hear a little more about Taz, and then dive into all things Cannabis after that.
Nate: Sure. It’s been a little bit of everything since ’96 when the industry started in California. I mean, it wasn’t anything like it looks today, that’s for certain, but it was a beginning. And things were small and simple and very interesting. And so that was the early stages. And kind of carried that through, did a lot of different design work and worked with several different manufacturers designing industry-specific equipment.
I mean, for the longest time, and still to an extent today, the industry has just borrowed from other technologies that weren’t designed specific to the industry, or for the industry. And so it’s been a real pleasure to get pretty involved with a lot of different equipment and design that are specific to the industry, and not just borrowing things. So have done that along with interacting and operating dispensaries, distribution, obviously, the cultivation, and manufacturing, and then spent a little time in Washington D.C. working on the beginning of the D.C. program, which was interesting work. Learned a lot about interacting with a very senior level of regulatory, including Department of Health, and the DEA, and every other agency that operates in the space, and designed a couple, built a couple facilities there, got them up and running.
And then shortly after completing that, was contacted by some colleagues that I knew from the industry that were getting things going in the beginning up here in Canada. And similar to what we’ve experienced throughout the states in the U.S. is that even though the regulators aren’t sure, entirely, what to regulate or how. So I was able to come up here, participate with quite a few different LPs, and help them get acclimatized to working with a regulation that was gonna be a lot different than what preexisted, and the way that they were operating prior to the new regulations coming in to place. And that’s still continued to this point. What that’s led into is the technology component that you hear Taz referencing.
And that’s really been…it started as a compilation of a couple decades’ worth of operational experience. And it’s not just the manufacturing side, it really was fueled by the interaction with the consumer and really understanding what the needs were from the consumer’s perspective…well, needs from a medical perspective, and desires from a recreational perspective. And as we’re seeing more and more of those markets working in tandem throughout the space, whether that be in the U.S. or internationally, I think both are very important things to focus on in order to maintain the relevance of the products that you’re building and the company that’s over it.
So that has been the primary focus of the technology. Taz touched on the consistency component, how we achieve it, formulation. All of these are really buzz words that you hear a lot throughout the industry, but not a lot of people are explaining what that means and/or how to get there. And that’s really the premise by which we have approached this is to be able to display, in a practical way, what it is we’re doing, why it’s relevant, what it means, and what one could expect from the products.
Meb: I love it. And it’s just fascinating too because your background has spanned kind of the entire maturation of the industry from, sort of, illicit part of the world in California, where it finally became medicinal, to where it finally became legal.
And, by the way, when you say the U.S. program, our listeners may or may not know what that means. Does that mean that the U.S. has their own grow operation? Was the U.S involved in kind of the regulatory build-out? What does that kind of mean when you say the U.S. government’s role, and when you were in Washington?
Nate: Well, what happened is that in Washington D.C., they don’t have…it’s not a state. It’s a district. And effectively, their body of oversight is Congress. And there had been a vote in D.C. to pass medical cannabis, and Congress had basically waited as long there’s a timeline to implementation, based on a vote, and it had been several years since that vote had taken place. But they got to a point where it was time to implement. And for as much as they had a background in law enforcement and the prevention of cannabis production, they too were trying to figure out an appropriate guideline or set of criteria by which they could impose the cultivation, distribution, and sales of cannabis in the District of Columbia.
And what they ended up coming up with, by bringing in all the different agencies that operated in this space, is a very clear outline of what a national program would look like. I’m not implying that they discussed its implementation or timing because that’s a frequent question, and I have no idea any more than the next guy, but they do have a structure for it. And so that was the goal of putting this together in D.C., which is obviously comparatively a very small market, but it was a test study. Basically, they could look at what was working, what the reporting structures look like, how the analytics made sense, what the requirements would be for everything from a lab to a functional operation, SOPs, all the usual components that go into, more typically a pharma type of manufacturing process than food-grade, but it’s kind of the hybridized combination of both, I guess, would be the easiest way to explain it.
Meb: And so, Taz, again, where I mentioned in the intro, we went to school together at the University of Virginia. And if I could rewind and say who would probably be running a cannabis company, I would have said our buddy, Martin, walking around campus with his big, purple bong. But instead, it was you who is a business school student, who worked at some of the top VC and hedge funds before starting your own. So you probably came to this through the, kind of, investment side. Maybe walk us forward how you started getting interested in this industry and eventually jumped over to the operating side.
Taz: Yeah, definitely. I certainly was not interested in the industry back in those college days. But yeah, I mean, I agree. I mean, looking back even, like you said, ten years ago, I wouldn’t have even dreamed about myself being in this spot. But essentially, you know, my background is in private equity and then eventually public equities, mostly in the tech, internet, consumer spaces. And that’s been the linear piece of what I’ve done over the last 20 years.
And so, really, I had a couple of business plans hit my desk in kind of the 2012 time frame and started looking into the cannabis space, both in the U.S. and Canada and really just made the decision to initially start investing in Canada in late 2012, early 2013. And quite frankly, I guess, better lucky than smart, the reason I decided it was obviously because of the federal regulation that had come down on the medicinal side, and what that would lead to over time. I certainly didn’t dream that it would explode the way it has in the time frame that it has in Canada. But that’s what brought me to cannabis investment.
I’ve been doing it for about seven years. I would say about three years ago or so, I thought that the Canadian market had certainly, from an investment standpoint, had played out considerably. Obviously, I was little early in making that decision but then started looking at the U.S. and looking at a number of different companies that were trying to access the Canadian markets, Canadian money, both private and public. And so in that whole process helped out a couple of companies here and there and decide that…you know, as I started talking to Nate and others, decided that there was, you know, what we thought a better way or a different way to go at the market in the U.S.
And so, you know, I always joke with Nate. He’s been kind of my sounding board for the last seven years and as I’ve looked at investing in a number of different operators and technologies in the cannabis space. You know, he was always my first call to figure stuff out. And so through those conversations, which were boring to him but fascinating to me, we started talking about the best ways to approach the U.S. market and the right time to do so. And that led to what is now Cordova.
Meb: Well, so I’d love to hear a little bit more about what you all are up to at Cordova because listeners of this podcast have known that I went to the big trade show for the cannabis space recently in Vegas with like 20,000, 30,000 people. But it was fascinating to me just to hang out and kind of tag along with you guys to a lot of the conversations because it’s an area that I know so little about. But I could just sit there and kind of rapture and listen to this for hours because it’s…Any of these kind of disruptive, early industries, there’s so much going on, which attracts, of course, a lot of crazy people too and a lot of money, but also, it builds some major companies as we’ve seen recently with some of these enormous acquisitions going on in the cannabis space.
So talk to us a little bit about what it is you guys are doing. I mean, I’ve heard mention a couple times of the technology side and the genetics and what that means as far as intellectual property of what you all are doing. Maybe expand a little bit on kind of the specifics of the Cordova road map of how you’ve ramped up from being essentially bootstrapping this from, I don’t want to say a startup, but from scratch, and then growing this into a growing cannabis operation.
Taz: Yeah. So, I mean, I’ll start. But Nate can certainly riff on the technology aspect of it far more in-depth than I can. But essentially, as we started out, what we really wanted to do that we thought was differentiated, certainly, when we were starting out, was to go after the more established markets. And I know some people call them mature markets, but I think California and Washington, Oregon, Colorado, places like that are far from mature. I mean, we’ve only scratched the surface on this industry even in those markets that have been around a while.
But we thought the best approach to this cannabis industry in the U.S. was to go after these markets that are more developed. And then overly, what I find is that, or we think is a cutting edge technology platform that really nobody else is pursuing, certainly, not from a recreational, consumer-focused standpoint.
And so that’s what we’ve really tried to do. We’ve secured some operations in Colorado and Oregon and looking to secure some operations, which we’ve publicly announced in California and Washington. And then implement this technology platform, which does everything from generate more revenue per plant through the over-expression of cannabinoids to reducing the cost of production through tissue culture. And then, like I said, the end formulation. But I’ll let Nate talk a little bit further about kind of the depth of that technology and why we think it’s so different relative to what’s out there today.
Nate: And I think in the beginning, it’s relevant to drill down on the core definitions of things like formulation and consistency. Having been someone involved in the industry for as long as I have, and grown for as many years as I have, and as much as I enjoy the cultivation process, I like working with the genetics. It’s a very rewarding type of work because you’ve got a very fast turnover rate. You can see direct interaction, what kind of impacts you can have. And certainly, there is a level of consistency that a cultivator can drive towards.
However, you’re still working with something that’s a plant in nature. For as much as you can control all the way to like an indoor cultivation in a lab environment, you can control these things, but you’re still gonna have subtle as there may be inconsistencies from batch to batch, in fact, even from plant to plant.
And so when people are, in the industry, talking about consistency, in my view, albeit a very humble opinion, I don’t see a direct connection between something that’s coming out of a whole plant component as being the most consistent material that would translate to the consumer. I certainly agree and understand the appreciation for people that have come to enjoy a specific genetic and that’s one that they go after, and when they go into the store to shop. And that still is something that we will continue to provide as we see that as extremely market-relevant.
However, for the larger scale, and the increasing number of consumers that are joining all of these respective markets, they’re looking for other platforms by which they can enjoy the product. And the biggest one that we get feedback on, from the manufacturing perspective, is consistency. And how come no one’s product is consistent? And so we can explain it. But to date, there hasn’t been much in the way of providing a solution.
And so that’s what, you know, we set out to do was to provide that solution, and it starts on the manufacturing side. And given that we have an inconsistent, albeit minor league, but still inconsistent feed-stock material, we need to solve for that in the manufacturing process. And the pathway that we’ve chosen is through formulation.
Formulation meaning, in simple definition, it’s just a combination of materials going in to a finished product. However, when it comes to cannabinoids and the fact that their ratio and concentration are relevant to the impact of the product in its final form, in order to do that with effective definition, you need to be in a position where you’re actually isolating all of the compounds that are coming from the feedstock material, i.e. the flower or plant materials, and be able to isolate all those compounds and then recombine them in specific ratios, or formulation that will achieve a desired affect.
So we have two different platforms for that, one being more medical and the other being more recreational. So for medical, we’re targeting an acute treatment program based on the consumer’s need, and/or in recreational, we’re targeting a desired effect. So we have developed formulations that address those for both respective markets. We also are able to control things like time to reception of the product, so meaning efficacy timing, whether that be a fast release or delayed release. We can also control the timeline of the experience. And that has relevance on both sides, again, medical and recreational, depending on what the consumer’s needs or wants are.
But in order to truly be considered a consistent formulation, you need to be in a position where your manufacturing platform isolates all those compounds, and you’re following that very specific recipe that goes into the desired effect. And that, we also have a platform by which to deliver those combinations of formulations into a variety of different product platforms. So whether that be for a vape device, an ingestible, or water-soluble, topical. Any number of edibles, any number of different product platforms, we have specific formulations that go into those materials that are tailored to that version of consumption and the pathway in the body that it will go through in order for the consumer to uptake it.
So it’s fairly complex when it comes to the science and how we’ve gotten to our understanding of how all these things work. We have over 30 full-time scientists that are working on this every single day, and we go through clinical trials, all different conventional formats of understanding these formulations and their impacts. But it offers us a high level of understanding, which gives us a high level of versatility in our product lines.
Meb: Is that something you guys are doing, I mean, because it’s interesting to me? Because you think about that, and it seems like that’s a…If you guys are kind of playing the long game there where you’re building something that’s consistent. You know, I feel like a lot of people that may…it’s kind of the Wild West of all these products and brands. But after you may have a few totally inconsistent experiences with some of the brands, you would just drop them and eventually, the good brands would bubble up. Is this something you guys plan on only doing in-house, or is it something that you would, say, contract out your scientific team to other companies and say, “Hey, look. You are awful with this. You should probably have a much better process.” Is it mainly just for internal sort of process for now, or how’s that work?
Nate: Our current plans wouldn’t be to contract out our staff as it were. However, from a manufacturing perspective, there’s certainly an openness to being a manufacturing partner for other brands that would have an interest in deploying the technology but don’t necessarily have the infrastructure or resources to do that on their own. That would be definitely something that we have in our game plan and have already gone down that path in conversation to look into that with a few different opportunities.
But as far as the actual formulations themselves, that’s the true I.P. I mean, the scientific methodology to get there isn’t necessarily proprietary, but the formulations that we’ve developed are proprietary and not something that we would be particularly interested in just contracting out to the open market, and that would be the portion of it that we would keep in-house.
Meb: Fascinating. And so, okay. So help me walk through and the listeners that, as you guys really kind of ramped up over the last couple of years, you know, you’re aiming to have kind of what seems to an uninformed person like me, you know, of everything from flower to the manufacturing and production of a product. You know, how does that work? Because I know you guys properties in a number of different states. Is it all coming through kind of one channel where you’re…Explain to me kind of the whole vertical integration of this company because I know there’s stuff in Colorado, and Washington, and Canada, etc. Maybe give us a little more colour on how it kind of all fits together.
Taz: Regulatory framework in the U.S., obviously, does not allow us to ship cannabis product across state lines. And so what we can do, though, is obviously move I.P. and that know-how across state lines. So what we’ve went out and done is secured operations, significant operations, in a number of west coast markets, like I said, the more developed markets. And that will be a means to an end in terms of pushing this technology platform through those operators.
And so those operations, while viable, completely viable on their own without the technology, we feel like it’s an operator on steroids, so to speak, where they’ll be the sole purveyor of that technology in that particular state as it were. So we went out, got in these states, and then we’ll start implementing the technology platform, you know, overlaying the technology platform in their operations, and then we hope to have products in market sometime in 2019. And those initial first products will be beverages, vapes and topicals. And so that will be the initial, kind of, near-term, play in the U.S.
And then you mentioned Canada. And so, in Canada, what we’ve secured is a pending license producer. And upon getting that license, we’ll actually be able to serve not only Canada but the international markets on a non-exclusive basis using the technology. I should point out that in the U.S., we’re the exclusive provider in the markets where we are in to serve in this technology across those markets.
You know, and I will add, it’s a little bit ironic, and Nate’s touched on the technology quite a bit, right? So Nate’s, right now, in Toronto pushing the science forward. He was kind of the mastermind behind all of that science. And it’s a little bit ironic, though, that the framework, the regulatory framework as it is today in Canada is what allows these human trials and these different types of testing to be done on a kind of pharma grade level in a GMP facility. That can really only be done in Canada today, right? In the U.S., certainly, they’re not gonna allow for human trials of cannabis products today. And so it is a little bit ironic that the R&D for this is being done in Canada, and these products very well could hit the U.S. market before they’re actually legally allowed in the Canadian market. So it’s worth pointing that out as well.
Meb: And how does this work as far as building out the actual brand? So if you’re talking about beverages and the vapes, etc., will this all come under Cordova brand, or you’ll put out individual different products. Like, how’s kind of that working? And is this something that you guys would be doing the actual distribution of as well, or is that where you’d stop on the full chain of production?
Taz: As Nate kind of pointed out, so we’ll pursue both paths simultaneously. We’ll keep some certain formulations in-house and produce those products in-house for distribution, and then we’ll also partner with different manufacturers to be able to be that technology cannabis component to serve their market. Whether that be a beverage company, whether that be an e-cigarette company for, perhaps, the vape product, whether that be a cosmetics company for the topical products. And so we’re really pursuing both paths, and it’s a matter of what’s the best way forward to get these products out to market in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. And so we’re pursuing both.
Just to the other, the second part of your question, we have distribution networks in each of the markets that we’re in. Matter of fact, when we go out and look to acquire some of these operators, we put utmost priority on what I call relationship distribution. Not distribution in terms of, “Hey, it has a bunch of buildings that can serve as storage houses as we move product around the state,” but really people that have relationships to be able to get in to 40%, 50%, 60% of the dispensaries in that particular market. That is of huge value as we bring these formulated products to market, right? How much of the state can you access immediately once these products are put into the market?
Meb: It seems like such a pain in the ass with the regulatory. I mean, I guess that’s where a lot of the alpha or operational benefits are dealing with all this mess of regulations. And not only that, between two countries, U.S. and Canada, but also state to state.
I know, as Nate mentioned earlier, this is kind of an unfair question, but how does the regulatory environment feel to you guys? Any general comments that you think might be useful? I know the answer is probably “Who knows?” with what’s going on federally, but any insight in that general world?
Taz: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s definitely getting better, right? I mean, in terms of…you know, you look at all the polls and what the acceptance of cannabis consumption is on a recreational level, I mean it only continues to go up and to the right in terms of acceptance on a national level. So that’s gotta be pushing things forward.
On the banking front, certainly, that’s the last piece to be falling into place, in our opinion. So who knows when things will start opening up on that front, but there has been a massive shift in the acceptance from an investor perspective, the acceptance from a consumer perspective, literally, just in the last 12 months.
And, obviously, while it’s not exactly cannabis, it’s kind of the step-brother of cannabis in terms of the hemp, and what has happened with the Farm Bill. That’s only put a bigger spotlight on cannabis, and so I think the ball’s continually moving forward. Anyone’s guess as to when we get federal legalization, but I bet you, it’s certainly…what I can say is it’s certainly a lot closer than I thought it was, you know, 12 months ago. And Nate may be able to even get a little bit more insight given his time with governments all over the world.
Nate: Yeah, no. I mean, it’s ever-growing. I think, as an operator in the space, my perception is that the regulations are gonna continue to get more specific, as anyone who’s dug into any of the state regulations, or national regulations, they’re a very wide cast net. They don’t always have the specificity that would make it easier, from a manufacturer’s perspective, but they’re getting better.
That being said, along with finer detail, comes higher scrutiny, which I am all for. I think it’s important. I do believe that it’s very relevant, and hopefully, everyone is operating from the same ethics page. But the bottom line is that we are producing a product that is being consumed, and those regulatory requirements and oversight are extremely necessary. And I firmly believe that as the program grows, and especially once it goes federal in the U.S., you’re gonna see an incredible increase in regulatory requirements and oversight.
Right now, you see a lot of it in the states, individual states is that they’re more focused on the revenue stream than they are necessarily looking at the claims made on the label and actual product contents and things like that. California’s just now starting to implement the beginning of what appropriate product safety testing would look like. And I’m pleased to see that they’re taking those steps, and I think that that whole process will further refine in the near future. And you’ll see a real balancing of the operators involved in the space as many of them are currently realizing that to build a compliant product is very different than it has been historically with regard to what they are and are not allowed to do, and what can and can’t be residual in the product and the materials and so on and so forth. So in my view, that all translates to safer and more reliable product for the consumer, which I believe should be every manufacturer’s goal.
Meb: I mean, it seems like just the general maturation of the industry. I mean, it makes a lot of sense. As you look around, you know, it’s interesting to listen to you guys talk because it’s a very thoughtful, intelligent, sober view. But also, with a lot of what’s been going on in the investment markets, it’s been very boom-bust. And then, like I mentioned, going to the conference, you see a lot of craziness too. You know, as you guys think about scaling up and building this company and business, part of the day-to-day is acquiring assets. And so maybe talk to us a little bit about how you evaluate and what you’re looking for and what kind of criteria as far as acquiring assets. Is it even possible? Is everything too expensive? Are you finding interesting ideas out there? What’s that look like?
Taz: Yeah, so it’s interesting, right? I mean, I think, as an investor for the last 20 years, I think, it reminds me a lot. And this was very early on in my investing career, reminds me a lot of the internet craze, and the boom and bust and kind of what came out of that. And, you know, certainly, I think that there’s guys that have real assets, and then there’s guys that are a little bit of smoke and mirrors, and then there’s everything in between, right?
And so when we set out to build Cordova, I mean, we wanted to have a consistent view of how we were going to build it and acquire assets. And that was because of that kind of boom-bust stop process and, you know, we didn’t know what the volatility of the cannabis market would be as we continued forward. And you know, obviously, we’ve seen some of that volatility intensify over the last, call it, three, four months.
But our goal from the outset really was to identify operators that were already strong, right? Guys that were already generating revenue, guys that were already generating cash flow, and then take those operators, and then, like I said, overlay this technology platform.
And initially when we set out end of 2017, it was a very different conversation, right? We’re having to tell them what that technology platform is. I would say that probably more than half of them probably were looking at us as if we were crazy, and didn’t really even want to understand it. And then, you know, it was a little bit of an identification process in terms of wanting them to become full partners with us. And I should also mention that these operators are guys that stay with the company and want to fulfil our overall mission at Cordova as well. So, you know, we’re looking for guys that are strong operators.
And now that conversation has switched quite a bit, right? So we’ve secured some assets, and I would say that we’ve gotten a lot of inbound inquiries from other states, you know, that are…not the ones that we are already in, but from other states that want to be the sole purveyor of this technology, right? That understand, or want to understand at least, and have had deeper conversations about what that technology can bring to the market, and effectively what that technology brings to the consumer of their particular jurisdiction.
So, you know, first and foremost, I think it’s strong operators. Secondly, I think it’s that relationship distribution component that I was talking about, where thy have a lot of contacts so that we can move products down that distribution chain effectively. You know, but I would say those are the biggest qualities.
Nate: I would add it’s also kind of the business culture. There’s a lot of different kinds of operators that exist in the space now. Some that are in it just for the quick buck, as it were, and some that have truly built stable operations. They’ve gone through the trials of being an early starter in a very tumultuous environment that this industry is, and they’ve worked their butts off. They understand that this business is not about just a quick buck. That it’s actually a lot of hard work, and they’ve got a little bit of experience. Some have more than others, but they’re all on that same page.
In our experience, what that has translated to is they take their work very personal. And I believe that that’s a very important component of taking the forward moving steps in this industry is having operators in the space that care enough to go the extra effort, to do the extra steps, to pay the extra attention to the regs, to help advance the regulations, to do all of the things that go into building a truly quality product that the consumer deserves when they’re going in and purchasing it.
Meb: You know, how competitive is it right now? Are these a lot of these conversations you’re having where you’re chatting with these potential assets? Is it where you’re competing…? Is it like buying a house where there’s 20 people bidding, or is it something that, because of your brand and word-of-mouth, it’s usually the only conversation going on? Does it depend? What’s the kind of general landscape look like right now?
Taz: Well, I mean, from the landscape perspective, it’s certainly gotten more competitive. That said, I think, you know, we’re a little bit of an outlier because of what we’re bringing to the table in those conversations. It’s not just capital. It’s the operational expertise that Nate and his team has plus the technology platform that we’ve been discussing.
So I think some people, especially investors that are new to the company, or that are looking at it are surprised at, kind of, the multiples that we’re paying for these operators, especially on a cash-flow basis. And so what I continue to say back to them is that there’s no other acquirer out there, we feel there’s no other acquirer out there that really has the same offering to bring to the table as we’re bringing.
And so hence the reason why it’s been kind of spiraling in our direction, I would say. Because as more operators from other states call us, they’re looking to be acquired by somebody like us that can advance them, not only, you know, operationally from a just general operation standpoint, but also from a competitive differentiation standpoint in terms of what products they’re gonna bring to market.
Meb: Listeners, do you hear that? When you send Taz and Nate an email and say Meb sent you, when you get all these crazy inbounds, don’t blame me for all the inbounds.
Taz: I’m happy to look through more opportunities. That’s always interesting.
Meb: You know, we just got a relevant package today. We occasionally get some thank yous for the podcast today. And we had a very thoughtful gift that showed up today that was in a box that was…Nate will know what this is. Taz may have never had it, but we got a bottle of Canadian Ice wine.
Nate: Ah, very good.
Meb: Yeah. Not a single person in my office new what it was. I knew because I used to have a Canadian roommate many years ago, but loved it. It’s only 10:00 a.m., so we haven’t cracked it yet, but thank you. Shout out to the listener. And if you guys want to send in more wonderful gifts, we love eating them and drinking them. Ninety-percent of the gifts end up being food and drink.
All right, so talk to me a little bit about, to the extent you can, I know you’re a publicly traded company, so you can say this without maybe using any names or anything. But maybe walk me through, is there anything interesting out there today, like, as you look around to acquire something? What would be like an example of an asset? I think the listeners would like to hear, like, are you just gonna go buy a farm, or are you gonna go buy a particular brand that maybe has great distribution channels but is underutilized? I mean, what are some examples, without really naming names, that might be a good overview of how all this works?
Taz: Sure. So I think every acquisition, as I continue to tell investors, every acquisition has been very different for us. And the reason it’s been different is because we want to have a true relationship with the operator that works for both of us. So we’re willing to kind of bend over backwards, so to speak, to make it work when we find that operator that we really want to get in bed with and partner with going forward.
I would say a couple of things. Certainly, somebody that’s kind of been through the trenches, you know, in these more developed markets. These are guys that have seen the price of the commodity go from $5,000 a pound to $800 a pound and been able to fight through that and grow their business as they’ve seen that. Certainly, some of the more nascent markets haven’t been through that yet, but the operators that have kind of been through the war, so to speak.
Guys that have a lot of relationships in the industry to be able to push the program forward, you know, in its most effective way possible. That’s another one.
Nate: I think it really goes to, like I said earlier, the culture. As Taz commented on, it’s about joining forces, you know? Our ambition is to not come in like a wrecking ball, by any stretch, but to participate as a means of augmentation and supplementing the existing operation and helping it to either achieve goals that they may already have in mind or to realize goals that they didn’t even know were possible. That’s really where we see ourselves fitting in to these existing operations that have proven themselves to be completely relevant in their respective markets.
Taz: Just examples may be helpful, right? So in Oregon, we purchased a cultivator, right. There was a good cultivator, high-end flower, but they had a product that they had that had significant distribution in over half of the dispensaries in that market, right? So we were paying for the cultivation operation, but got the actionality on the distribution that they had once we built our manufactured products and put them into the market.
In Washington, different. It was kind of an end-to-end operator, x the retail piece, and they have a very good brand name. They’re a high-end flower operator, but also a very good brand name across 100 SKUs, 100-plus SKUs or so. So, you know, that was a different acquisition, and we felt that they had excellent distribution in the eastern part of the state. And they were selling everything that they possibly can sell through just given their square footage on cultivation. And so we were coming in and expanding that operation and want to push them into the western part of the state as they have more product to sell.
In California, it’s a little bit more ground up. We’re taking an operator that has a family history in the cannabis space, has worked with a consortium of other cultivators and growers, and has access to be able to permit[SP] out these properties pretty quickly. And so we’re building it a little from the ground up, but the returns on that model relative to some of the other operators that we were looking at are vastly superior. And, certainly, that operator has a good knowledge of what we’re bringing to the table on the technology piece as well. So it’s really spanned across a number of different opportunities, and you know, each one is very different. But just to give you a flavor of what we’ve looked at, I thought it might be helpful.
Meb: One of my favorite investing books is called “The Outsiders,” and it does a profile of about a dozen companies. And it talks about how the sexiest part of a company is talking about the operations and all the day-to-day, building new products and launching them. They say, you know, often, not as sexy, but an equally important part of the business is capital allocation.
Maybe talk to me a little bit about how a fast-growing, young, public company, how do you deal with, like…so as you’re thinking about these acquisitions, is it a situation where you’re like, “Oh, man. We have all these targets.” And then you need to have partners that you go raise money from the public markets? Or is it something that you do kind of bank financing to do them? I assume you’re a little early in your life just to be doing it purely out of cash flows. How do you balance that growth? Is it an area where it’s a huge pain in the butt for you? Is it…How does that kind of work?
Taz: I’ll say that it’s not easy. You know, certainly with the regulations the way they are and operating on a state-by-state basis, there are not a lot of synergies across state-to-state, even though some I know multi-state operators say there are a lot. There are not a ton, which is why we think that there is competitive differentiation in the I.P. from that technology platform.
But yeah, it is a balancing act, right? And at the end of the day, we’re looking for…when we set out to put together the business plan for Cordova, we wanted to do it in a very linear fashion. And since we’re public, we needed to do it in a fashion where the outside investor, with not the intimate knowledge of a private company, would be able to understand it, right?
So when we set out, we said we wanted to go after the more developed, western markets of the U.S. first. And so that’s what we’ve gone after. Quite frankly, we’ve done it a little bit faster than we thought we would. Some of that’s because of the speed at which the industry is going, and some of that’s because we found the right opportunities. I think, primarily, it’s because we found the right opportunities to back.
But there is a number of other opportunities that we have in the hopper, whether they be other states, whether they be export opportunities from our Canadian, soon to be Canadian operation. There’s a number of opportunities that we have come across that we think are, quite frankly, awesome. And, you know, we have to pass on some of those. In some cases, we try to put them on the back burner if we think that opportunity is willing to wait for a bit.
But yeah, at the end of the day, we’re looking to have a story that the investor can understand, that the investor can appreciate, and really where we’re building a business. First and foremost, a business that…and when I went through business school, it was all about generating a business that generates revenue, that generates cash flow so that you can sustain yourself both in the good times and the rough times. And that’s really our main focus from a capital allocation standpoint over the next, you know, near-term and medium-term.
Meb: I can sympathize with that quite a bit. As you guys turn your gaze to the horizon, I’d love to hear Nate opine on this a bit. You’ve seen two decades of the growth of this industry and fits and starts and regulatory and everything else going on. What’s the future look like for the general cannabis industry, in general? And then you can also talk to Cordova as well. You know, anything, in general, that you think people might not be thinking about? That maybe, your views that are different than just the general accepted beliefs? What’s the future look like?
Nate: Well, I think we’re gonna continue to see continued growth in the industry. I think you’re gonna see different types of operators getting into the space more and more. Those that have had more classical experience in manufacturing in pharma, for example, or other larger-scale manufacturing operations that bring the resource of experience to the game.
I think you’re definitely gonna continue to see significant advancement in the science and the technology components that go into it. And I think that the industry is prepping for it. That’s entirely the mindset that we’ve taken. And our approach is that we believe that the future of the cannabis product line is going to continue to be refined and be in need of significantly advanced capability and functionality when it comes to designing and building these products that are going to meet the consumer needs.
And that’s the really exciting, to me, challenge part of working in these more developed markets is you have, not only a more developed industry, but you have an extremely, much more educated consumer that is discerning in what they want and really has little patience for a substandard product. And I think that’s where you’re gonna start to see a segregation in the manufacturer’s space from those that truly have the ability to design and build products that meet consumer wants and needs, and those that just don’t quite have the tools.
That’s what we’ve kind of anchored our platform on is the advancement of our technology and it’s really, it’s never-ending. For all the research that we do and the things that we’ve already developed and understood, we continue, on a very regular basis, to develop new and different opportunities in the lab that we’ll achieve more and more with the material.
There’s a lot packed into that little plant. And, in my opinion, I think we’ve only just scratched the surface as an industry, and what the real capabilities are here. And I think you’re gonna continue to see a lot of really neat and exciting things come out of it that, you know, as these more developed companies, and more sophisticated labs, and research companies, and all these different groups get involved in the industry and put some real resources to it, you’ll see a lot of these things come out and become available to the consumer. And that’s, to me, the future of the cannabis industry. Not that it’s been struggling in its simplest form, but we’re certainly seeing that the consumers expecting more and more. So that’s my view as the front line here
Meb: It’s interesting because you’ve seen the use case already expand. I mean, I can count so many friends, contemporaries, older generations that even never would have even thought of using cannabis recreationally, medicinally, you know, using a lot of the products now across all the spectrums. And it’ll be interesting to see as it kind of evolves more accurately into the actual effects.
I mean, it reminds me of that…oh, what is that? Bar, Granola Bar that is like on the front, it says like, “This contains one cashew, four dates, two almonds and three blueberries,” and, like, that’s it. But it would be interesting to see, you know, eventually, a lot of the brands that, you know, they’re like, “Well, this edible,” or, “This vape is gonna have this very specific effect.” Or you know, “You’re gonna get sleepy after an hour,” or, “This one will maybe help with focus, and this, that and the other, and this one’s gonna make all your teeth fall out,” and you go crazy running down the street. But I think it’s already started to happen. But yeah, the education of the consumer is, I think, gonna be key there, too. Taz, any thoughts on the horizon what the future looks like?
Taz: Yeah, I mean, you know, as Nate pointed out, we’re focusing on the developed markets where the consumer is far more advanced than some of these other more nascent markets. But also, I think, the bigger picture is we’re also focused on the consumer that hasn’t tried cannabis yet, right? And the consumer that doesn’t want to smoke. And certainly, you know, obviously, that cat’s out of the bag. But the mediums that will be delivered from a cannabis product end product standpoint over the next one, two, three, four years will, I think, be vastly different in terms of what’s being offered today, and how those products are being offered from a disclosure standpoint in terms of, to your point, what’s in them, what is exactly the effect.
And I know there’s a lot of those products out there today. And I think what we would argue at Cordova is that that experience that they may be saying they’re offering may be, you know, the right intent, but it may not be consistent for you every single time just because it’s not a truly formulated product from the compound up.
Meb: What’s the general corporate plan for Cordova? Is it something where you guys are just gonna build it out to a billion-dollar brand? You think eventual partnership? Sell to Heineken and M-BEV, and what’s the general runway?
Taz: I mean, we’re building it for the long-term, right? So, in the short-term, I think the goal is to essentially prove out those markets that we have under our umbrella now, and then, obviously, deploy this technology and the end products that are coming off this platform in those developed markets, and then expand, whether that be both across the U.S. and globally.
So there’s no real end in this game, no finish line. At least that we’ve mapped out, and, you know, we want to be in it for the long-term. What the future holds, we don’t know, but so let’s plan it for the long-term.
Meb: I love it. It’s funny, though. As you see the general acceptance continuing, I mean it’s funny on the financial side it’s still been pretty slow. I mean, obviously, for you guys, I imagine the banking is a pain in the butt in the U.S. But for us on the investment side, as far as the custodians willing or unwilling to hold cannabis securities, it’s funny because these securities already exist in many indexes already. But as a dedicated fund, it’s still slow. Maybe 2019. We’ll see.
Taz: What I would say there to that same thing because we’ve seen it also, obviously, as a public company in raising capital, both in Canada and the U.S., and perhaps, in the future, internationally. That’s the reason why we’ve cross-listed. So we have a ticker in the U.S. We have a ticker in Canada. In Canada it’s CDBA. In the U.S, it’s LBRLF. Just to that point, I think that’s allowed us to be able to attract investors from both sides of the border.
Meb: Has it mostly been one or the other as far as inbound interest? Is it mostly…do you feel, a Canadian story, a U.S. story, both?
Taz: No, I think it’s both. I think it’s slowly shifting. All the interest is in Canada. Certainly, if, you know, look at where all the money’s been made over the last, call it, three years since, call it, late ’16, it’s been in Canada where guys have made massive, massive multiples of their money. And so, obviously, they were playing with house money, in some regards, so they were willing to take more risk in going after the U.S. market.
I think, you know, over the course of 2018, the U.S. capital, from both a retail and from an institutional standpoint, has really started to loosen up a little bit and look to the space. And I think that’s only building. So I think what we’ll see is, I don’t want to say less interest in Canada, but certainly, from a mixed standpoint, you know, the U.S. investor, I think, will become more predominant over the next, you know, really over the next year, and definitely over the next couple.
Meb: Well, we’re patiently waiting. We’ve had a fund filed for years now. So one of these days, a custodian will wake up.
So for someone who’s interested in this industry, say it’s an investor, fund manager, even someone on the development side, on the operational, organizational side, they want to start to learn more. What are the best resources? Do you guys have any general books, magazines, conferences, podcasts, anything? Where do people go for information on this space? Investment banks, anything that you think of off the top of your head that’s generally useful for people that really want to learn more?
Taz: Yeah, so there’s a number of different data providers out there that have been around for a little while. Certainly, MJBiz does a little bit of that, Frontier, BDS Analytics, ArcView. And some of their products you have to pay for, and some of them are free. Oftentimes, they’ll put out some sort of primer, which is available, or at least part of it’s available for free, and then you can pay for the rest of it. So I think that’s a good source on the overall industry and kind of what’s happened over the last four, five, six years.
Certainly, the investment banks in Canada have been covering this space for some time. I think there’s still a dearth of coverage in the U.S. And so I think what’s going to happen in the U.S. over time is that more and more banks will cover it. Right now, you see guys like Callan covering it. Obviously, Canaccord has a U.S. operation covering it. There’s a couple of other players out there that, you know, we think that are getting into it. And yeah, it really will progress, in my opinion, kind of how Canada did, right? You know, you have some of these less risk-averse players that are willing to dip their toe in, and then you’ll see the bigger banks follow suit.
And from what I’ve heard, and from our conversations, I think that those bigger banks are primed and ready to get into this space in very short order. You know, some of them may wait for federal legalization, I doubt that most of them will. And we’re already starting to see some of that movement because of the Farm Bill and industrial hemp and what that means for the U.S: and cannabis will eventually follow.
Meb: And Nate, until you write a book, any thoughts on where people go to learn a little more about the whole space, particularly on understanding the science side?
Nate: It is challenging. I will agree that there’s not a lot of the classical reference material that you would find in other industries. While these conventions and hosted events are certainly helpful to an extent, they’re really just very superficial when it comes to driving in to and getting an understanding of the technologies, their deployment, their practical applications, all the different components of it.
I think the best thing for the investors to do, from an educational standpoint, is to truly try to interact with these operations. And I think after having a couple, 10, 20 different interactions, they’ll be able to paint a much clearer picture for themselves of what they’re viewing as something that is truly a pharmaceutical/GMP-type of operation, or is this something that is kind of more of a…putting a little polish on a shoe and hoping for the best? And I’m not at all meaning to sound critical of certain operations, I’m just saying that there is a pretty broad dichotomy of different operations in the space.
And the best thing that the investor can do is to really go and interact with the operations, ask questions, spend some time in the operation if possible with its management, but also interacting with the staff and getting a feel for the company’s culture and how the operation is flowing. It’s certainly a lot more than just what’s on paper.
That’s one of the challenges is when you’re evaluating an operation or a company in the space is that what’s on paper doesn’t really always do a fair job of transmitting what is going on inside the operation, what the realities are, what the future it has, what the potentials are, all of those things.
I mean, I know we’ve had the opportunity to look at a variety of things and, you know, you sit down in the board room and see some great ideas on paper, and hear some numbers and some concepts, and all the wonderful stuff, and then you go into the factory floor and it’s a smack-in-the-face reality, “This is not a possibility here. The resources aren’t here to make this a reality.”
And so, you know, it’s something that, from an investor’s perspective, some having more resources than others to call on, you know, I would use as many as you have access to to really dig into these opportunities and make sure that it’s a lot more than just a story.
Meb: Yeah, I think that’s actually…wow, great advice for really any investing, in general, where you have these disruptive startup industries that are growing fast. You know, you get a lot of pretenders that people would assume that’s automatically terrible, but it’s also good in the sense that there’s a lot of room for value-added homework and research. And so both on the investment side, to be able to separate the legit from the snake-oil salesman is important, but also on the operational side, too.
We’d like to wind down the podcast with always asking people in 2018…It’s 2019 now, we need a new question. Listeners, send us a new question if you have good ideas. 2018 we asked, what’s been your most memorable investment? Taz, you’re up first. Nate, you too. Anything come to mind?
Taz: Yeah. I’d have to say my most memorable investment was actually when I first started in the hedge fund space on the public equity side, and being short Palm. It was kind of one of my very first short ideas and kind of put me on the map in terms of analytical capabilities and starting off my investment career on the right note.
Meb: As you think back, I mean shorting’s a tough game. What was the thesis? Was it a balance sheet? Was it just, “This business is crap?” Was it, “No one wants to use a PalmPilot?”
Taz: Yeah, it was pretty self-explanatory. I mean, really what it was was they just didn’t have the channel throughput at the time. You could diligence it rather easily. There was three carriers, which there still are today, and there was really only one product that they were shipping, which was the Trio, the new Trio at the time. And so it was a simple, kind of, how many can they make, and how many can they sell through?
And, yeah, the demand just wasn’t there at the time, and so they just didn’t have the balance sheet and the demand to support it at the time. And then, you know, we all know what happened to Palm in short order after that as the iPhone came out in, I believe, 2007, and the competitive landscape shifted dramatically.
But, yeah, that was probably the most memorable one on the…You know, it’s a little bit of a different answer because it’s on the short side. On the long side, it would have to be Google. I mean, that was, you know, participating in that IPO, and kind of what that became. And I don’t want to say it’s similar to cannabis, necessarily. But when Google went public, when I was first getting up to speed on it and trying to talk to experts in it, I mean, nobody really understood how Google worked and what made it competitively different. There’s a couple parallels in that. And so, you know, getting in on that public offering and being able to see that kind of grow was fascinating.
Meb: The Google offering was interesting because, if I recall, they did an IPO in the normal route and the stock didn’t immediately pop. Is that right?
Taz: Yeah, that’s right.
Meb: Didn’t it kind of go down 10% or 20% or something?
Taz: I don’t know, I can’t remember how much it went down, but it was Dutch auction. And the Dutch auction, I believe, it was a Dutch auction or some version of an auction, let’s say, and the auction price wasn’t what they thought it was gonna be. I’m trying to remember exactly, but I want to say it was like 140 bucks and then it kind of opened up at the $115, $120 level and then worked from there.
But the earnings power of Google, and just like I said, the understanding of how they made money…you talked to people and they said, “Oh yeah, Google’s awesome,” but they didn’t really understand why. And so there’s some parallels here, not only just because of the internet space, and Google was not exactly early to the internet space, right? It was going public in ’04. It was, I think, founded in ’98 or ’99. So that was not at the cutting edge of internet, and yet look where they are today.
I think there’s quite a few similarities to the cannabis space, right? I mean, the early players, some of them, I think, will essentially be acquired out or die off or what have you. And, you know, the guys that focus on the long game and the appropriate metrics in building a business the right way will win out. I’m not saying, by any means, that we’re trying to be Google, but I do think there’s some similarities just for the whole cannabis space and what’s gone on over the last three, four years in this space.
Meb: It’s funny because I should have known that Google would have been an amazing company with my value-added research when I was a ski bum in Lake Tahoe. As a private company, they used to have their annual party. They’d fly people in from all over the world and rent out Squaw Valley.
And they had like nine different bands in tents, and people dancing on the stages, and fire, and ice sculptures. I should have just took a look around and said, “My God, this company has more money that they know what to do with.” Sometimes investing is simple. Sometimes you just look around and say, “This company has so much money. It’s so stupid, they have to be a good investment.” All right, Nate, anything comes to mind as the most memorable investment?
Nate: Well, I wish I could say that I had the level of sophistication as the conversation you guys just had. I’m not from the investment banking world. I have financial advisers that deal with most of that. But thinking about it, I guess the ones I’ve enjoyed the most have kind of been, kind of, I guess, you could say more of a niche area, which is numismatists. I’ve enjoyed having something tangible. And, in all reality, some have made more than others, but none have ever lost money.
Meb: You’re gonna have to go back and listen to our Van Simmons podcast of the words I consistently murder, Cordova being one, but numismatists, I cannot pronounce for the life of me and Cannabinoid. There’s like five words, and they’re all one.
But it’s a fascinating area that I dipped my toe in after the Van episode and bought a few coins, and it’s been a lot of fun. And, but I’m a collector at heart, you know? Going back to comic book, baseball card days, most of which are probably worthless, and I, on the other hand, have a probably hugely negative return on all my collectables. But it’s fun. And classic cars, all that good stuff.
All right, gentlemen. Look, it’s been a lot of fun. If people want to find more info on your company, if they want to send you terrible pitches about their brand, and assets, and farms, or if they’re interested in investing, where do they go?
Taz: So it’s at Cordovacann, C-O-R-D-O-V-A-C-A-N-N.com, or drop us an email at email@example.com.
Meb: Awesome. You guys, thanks so much for taking the time today.
Nate: Thank you.
Taz: Thanks for having us.
Meb: Listeners, you can always find more in the show notes, mebfaber.com/podcast. We’ll list all the links to everything that Taz and Nate talked about today, resources, ideas, everything else. You can find us in the archives. Please subscribe on iTunes, leave us a review. We read all of them I promise or spread the show on my favourite, Overcast and Breaker. Thanks for listening, friends, and good investing.