Interview with Marc Graboyes (Next Frontier Biosciences)
On September 29, Marc Graboyes of Next Frontier Biosciences will speak at Kahner Global's 2nd Annual Cannabis Private Investment Summit in New York. This event gathers industry leaders and investors for a day of collaboration and networking.
In the world of business, it can be hard raising capital; especially if you're in the legal cannabis industry. Despite growing into a billion dollar industry within just a handful of years, inconsistencies between state and federal law still continue to hamper the market.
But at industry events like the Cannabis Private Investment Summit, industry leaders and investors alike can come together to share their strengths and insights with one another to help build a better cannabis industry.
One of those companies helping lead the way is Next Frontier Biosciences. Set to launch its inaugural batch of products in Colorado in Q2 of 2017, the company has already raised $2.7 million in seed capital; which has allowed them to establish a state-of-the-art research lab and hire a team of highly experienced research scientists to develop their products.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Next Frontier’s President and CEO Marc Graboyes, who will be speaking at the Cannabis Private Investment Summit, about his company, the value of cannabis industry events, and the importance of building partnerships.
For those out there that don't know, what is Next Frontier Biosciences?
Marc Graboyes: Next Frontier Biosciences is a science based product development company focused on developing and commercializing next generation cannabis products for improved delivery. We are using advanced pharmaceutical methods to develop a line of purified cannabinoid products for nasal, sublingual and topical administration..
Since you do not directly handle or sell cannabis, how do you make money?
Graboyes: We are an IP holding and brand management company. We have a contract research agreement with a third-party laboratory that develops our proprietary formulations and trade secrets, and we’re currently working with a full-service marketing agency to develop our brand identity, messaging and marketing collateral. We will then license our intellectual property and brands to strategic partners in Colorado and other state markets who possess the required licenses and facilities to manufacture and distribute our products. We will derive revenue from these partners in the form of license fees, milestone payments, professional service fees and sales of branded packaging and marketing collateral.
How do you develop your products?
Graboyes: There are two pieces to our manufacturing process. First, there’s the composition side; which represents each products’ distinct cannabinoid profile. For example, we have the ability to develop products with very precise THC to CBD ratios and will seek to add additional cannabinoids and/or terpenes as our development program progresses. Second, there’s the formulation side; which represents the excipients and permeation enhancers that are used to improve the solubility, stability, viscosity, taste and bioavailability of the active ingredients, among other things. The formulation side is where our team’s pharmaceutical experience is particularly important and what separates us from the crowd.
And what kinds of products do you expect to have at launch?
Graboyes: Our plan is to launch with a complete line of nasal sprays, sublingual sprays and topical salves, each with multiple THC to CBD ratios. We expect our products to have a superior profile relative to anything on the market today.
How important are partnerships in this industry and what is the value of events like the Cannabis Private Investment Summit?
Graboyes: Partnerships are imperative, but selecting the right partner is even more critical. Events like the Cannabis Private Investment Summit bring together leaders in the industry, and the opportunity to meet and network with those leaders, from a relationship standpoint, is invaluable.
Do you have advice for other cannabis start-ups?
Graboyes: The most important thing is planning and execution, and hiring outstanding team members with a proven track record of success.
When you survey the current cannabis landscape, there's a lot of flash and very little substance out there. So when you actually look under the hood and check out the quality of the teams and their go-to-market strategies, there’s significant room for improvement. As a result, you can really separate yourself from the crowd through superior planning and execution.
If you had the opportunity to sit down with an industry leader like Marc Graboyes, what would you ask him? Sound off in the comments below!