Now THAT'S Dank!

May 19, 2023 Sean & Charlie Kady Season 1 Episode 4
Now THAT'S Dank!
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Now THAT'S Dank!
May 19, 2023 Season 1 Episode 4
Sean & Charlie Kady

Hosts Charlie and Sean Kady are excited to welcome entrepreneur and chartered professional accountant Nicholas Sosiak, also known as Niko Dank, to the show. 

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Niko is the Chief Financial Officer of Cannara Biotech and has a strong passion and vision for the Cannabis industry.

In this episode, Niko shares his journey as the CFO of Cannara, where he oversees the company's finances and treasury. However, he doesn't stop there. Niko is also the mind behind the brand and directs the company's brands Tribal, Nugz, and Orchid CBD. From investor relations to marketing, genetic selection, and product formulation, Niko has his hands in all facets of the company to ensure its success.

Charlie and Sean dive in deeper, asking Niko about his experience and insights into the cannabis industry. Niko shares his thoughts on the future of the industry, the challenges Cannara has faced, and the lessons he's learned along the way.

Listeners will be inspired by Niko's dedication and passion for his work, as well as his innovative approach to building a successful cannabis company. Don't miss this episode of HigherOrbit with Niko Dank!

Support the Show.

To stay in the loop on our latest episodes, follow us on Instagram (@higherorbit), Twitter (@higher_orbit), and YouTube (@higherorbit), and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

We value your feedback and suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share them with us by filling out our survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VLNW52F

Or send us an email: info@higherorbit.ca.

Thank you for your unwavering support. We're excited to bring you even more awe-inspiring content in the near future.

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Show Notes Transcript

Hosts Charlie and Sean Kady are excited to welcome entrepreneur and chartered professional accountant Nicholas Sosiak, also known as Niko Dank, to the show. 

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Niko is the Chief Financial Officer of Cannara Biotech and has a strong passion and vision for the Cannabis industry.

In this episode, Niko shares his journey as the CFO of Cannara, where he oversees the company's finances and treasury. However, he doesn't stop there. Niko is also the mind behind the brand and directs the company's brands Tribal, Nugz, and Orchid CBD. From investor relations to marketing, genetic selection, and product formulation, Niko has his hands in all facets of the company to ensure its success.

Charlie and Sean dive in deeper, asking Niko about his experience and insights into the cannabis industry. Niko shares his thoughts on the future of the industry, the challenges Cannara has faced, and the lessons he's learned along the way.

Listeners will be inspired by Niko's dedication and passion for his work, as well as his innovative approach to building a successful cannabis company. Don't miss this episode of HigherOrbit with Niko Dank!

Support the Show.

To stay in the loop on our latest episodes, follow us on Instagram (@higherorbit), Twitter (@higher_orbit), and YouTube (@higherorbit), and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

We value your feedback and suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share them with us by filling out our survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VLNW52F

Or send us an email: info@higherorbit.ca.

Thank you for your unwavering support. We're excited to bring you even more awe-inspiring content in the near future.

Sean Kady (00:00):
This is Sean.

Charlie Kady (00:01):
I'm Charlie.

Sean Kady (00:02):
And welcome to Higher Orbit.

Super excited today, guys. Welcome to episode four of the podcast. Joining us today a very special guest of [inaudible 00:00:25] Charlie's, CFO Cannara Biotech, Nicholas Sosiak, aka a Niko Dank, welcome to the podcast, Niko.

Niko Dank (00:35):
Thank you, Sean. Thank you, Charlie.

Charlie Kady (00:36):
Yeah, welcome. Great to have you. Let's plug in, what's your Instagram just for those who want to find you?

Niko Dank (00:43):
It's pretty simple. Niko Dank, N-I-K-O-D-A-N-K.

Sean Kady (00:46):
Yeah. I think in true Sean Kady fashion, I just completely messed up your intro.

Niko Dank (00:50):
[inaudible 00:00:51] awesome, man. You did awesome.

Sean Kady (00:52):
Yeah, I think that, you know, CFO doesn't really encapsulate your whole title. You do so much more for the company than that, and really a visionary in the Canadian cannabis landscape. So there, I think I did you justice there.

Niko Dank (01:06):
Thank you, man. Yeah, I try. I'm CFO just by profession. I went to school as an accountant. I did my whole CPA thing and I used that to get into a company, a weed company. I found Cannara, which is based in my hometown. And then once I got in and got taken care of the financials and doing all the work behind the scenes, getting the statements out and all that, we're a public company. I just brought my passion into the company, which is cannabis and understanding the market's genetics and all that.

Sean Kady (01:36):
I love that. And so proud to be from Quebec. We've really been paying attention to a lot of the producers out of Quebec. Shout out to everybody doing it there. I know it's a greater barrier to entry.

Niko Dank (01:46):

Sean Kady (01:48):
Can you talk about that? Why is it so hard to get into the Quebec market and start growing there?

Niko Dank (01:55):
Yeah, I mean, Quebec is always protectionism. They like to protect the people that are built in Quebec, so I appreciate that. And so I think that's one of the major barriers is that they focused on getting Quebec-based producers inside the shops. And then at that point when they realise they have enough products and it's just basically cannibalising one over the other, they kind of put the barriers of restriction on new LPs coming. And that was maybe two years ago, a year and a half ago. So some LPs do get in, but it's just hard because they have enough products right now from the current suppliers and they prefer dealing with Quebec-based suppliers.

Sean Kady (02:39):
For sure.

Charlie Kady (02:39):
Makes sense. I guess just take one quick step back. What kind of led you into the space? You mentioned, you know, started in finance, have that background. How'd you get there?

Niko Dank (02:50):
So it's a long journey, long journey. I started all as an accountant. I've been smoking cannabis since I was a young lad and I had friends that grew, that smoked cannabis as well, and a lot of them did the legacy thing. I'm a perfectionist and I go all in. So if I knew I was going to do the legacy thing, it was going to be pretty big. So I decided to be accountant instead and say, "Just trust life's journey that it's going to come together." So I got my CPA, like I said, I worked at the real estate company, I worked at all these audit firms, and then cannabis legalisation happened 2017. I threw a shit tonne of money at these LPs and then lost a shit tonne of money. And then it was a vengeance strategy or I was just on a vengeance thing. I was like, "I just have to do it myself."

Sean Kady (03:46):
"I have to do it myself." [inaudible 00:03:47]-

Niko Dank (03:48):
Exactly. I was going to bring my family to BC. I was applying everywhere, every single LP. And then Cannara came to be in 2018, they basically needed a VP Finance. So my career, my profession kind of tied it in with that. And then I joined the company, got the whole finance department up and running, and then just went to war internally with a bunch of the executives there. And [inaudible 00:04:15] why is this accountant bringing these genetics? Why's this accountant asking what these products are for?

But I just didn't give up and I just kept pushing, pushing. The people that didn't believe me actually left the company, are no longer part of the company. And really it's the CEO of the company, Zohar Krivorot, the one who started it, believes in me and trusts me and sees what we're creating. And he gives me full access to doing whatever I want with the company. And he's the grower, he's the master grower at the facility. So-

Sean Kady (04:42):
Didn't know that.

Niko Dank (04:43):
I call him the master chef. I find the beans, I find the genetics, I give it to him, he grows it and he's just there eight hours a day, Saturday to Saturday. He's there all day long.

Sean Kady (04:53):
What an incredible relationship. That's so cool.

Niko Dank (04:55):
Yeah, he's great. I wouldn't be able to do what I do without him because I can trust giving him genetics and he's going to grow it out. So that's just a really good partnership that we have. And he just trusts me every time we get new genetics, any new products a go. And he's like, "Okay, what do you want me to grow?" And he manages 350 employees, 1.6 million square feet of production space. We're only about 33% activated right now, but every month, quarter over quarter, we're opening shops and [inaudible 00:05:25] rooms-

Sean Kady (05:25):
How is that new facility going? I know that you guys acquired it not too long ago and it must be full with... From TDot, right?

Niko Dank (05:32):
It was the Valley Field facility. So that just changed us on the map. We had about 170,000 square feet. We were producing about 5,000 kilos a year, sold out just in Quebec. And that was in back in 2021. Just kept on selling out, selling out, selling out. And then we're like, okay, well you have to grow this facility and it's going to take about a year, two years to grow. But again, the stars aligned. Valley Field facility was for sale. It's about an hour away from the old facility that we had bought or our Farnham facility and it's in Quebec. So Quebec's key in cannabis production because of the cost of electricity.

Charlie Kady (06:10):
Well, we wanted to ask about that, but we can definitely dive into it later.

Niko Dank (06:14):
The cost of electricity is the key because that cost that I have is basically why we're able to charge the prices that we're able to charge and then spend the cost on the quality of the cannabis. So Valley Field was a greenhouse built for $350 million and we bought it for $27 million. So ten cents on the dollar. But it was still a greenhouse, but it was the best greenhouse probably on the world because it was purpose built for cannabis-

Charlie Kady (06:46):
Ready to go-

Niko Dank (06:46):
Ready... It wasn't a tomato facility or anything, redesign-

Charlie Kady (06:48):
[inaudible 00:06:50]

Niko Dank (06:50):
It was like everything. And they did $350 mil. They put every bill and whistle in that facility. So when we bought it, the still was a greenhouse. And because of our cost of electricity, we said, you know what, let's probably again be one of the first in the worlds to turn this greenhouse, purpose built greenhouse into an indoor facility. So we invested in extra lighting, extra AC units, and humidifier, dehumidifiers and of course blinders for the greenhouse. So we grow right now in that facility, totally indoor, no light. We sometimes supplement with [inaudible 00:07:32] light just to give the extra juice on a nice sunny day. But we're able to control the conditions that way. We're not relying on the sun to decide when the plant is ready or giving it enough light that it needs. So all that to say that Valley Field is doing great. We're on room nine, we're on room nine. They're 25,000 square feet each, and there's 10,000 plants in each one. So that's 90,000 plants that I have growing right now at the Valley Field.

Sean Kady (07:58):
Do you guys find that the full spectrum of the sun is really helping the chirps? I've heard some different opinions on it, I just wanted to hear yours.

Niko Dank (08:04):
Yeah, I honestly do think so. I honestly do think so. I think the problem with just relying on the sun is the consistency. If I had the sun all the time, I can turn it off, I had a light switch and just tell it to come back anytime on the planned schedule, then I would use the sun. But because there's that inconsistency part, which is a huge contributor to cannabis cultivation, by not using the sun and using the lights and then complimenting with the sun, we get both of best worlds.

Sean Kady (08:38):
I love that. That's amazing, man. Very cool story.

Charlie Kady (08:41):
I just wanted to quickly highlight this man is a CPA and he smokes copious amounts of weed-

Niko Dank (08:46):

Charlie Kady (08:46):
Leads a company. It's very badass.

Niko Dank (08:49):
Actually. I mean weed, the only way I can do this is because of weed, right? I mean, I smoke from when I get home until ten, ten until two o'clock in the morning working, doing spreadsheets and doing financial statements, but dabbing at the same time.

Charlie Kady (09:03):
I think it's important to mention that-

Niko Dank (09:04):
It's super important-

Charlie Kady (09:06):
I studied business, not to that extent, but it's not easy. And knowing what math numbers, it's all-

Niko Dank (09:13):
I mean one thing came to me, math just came to me easy. That was just like... That's why I chose accounting is just whenever I was in math class, 90s and 95s and not doing much work. So then it led me to accounting and then-

Charlie Kady (09:24):
You're that kid. Yeah.

Niko Dank (09:29):
I was that kid and yeah, no, and then I was like, what is the best degree to get me anywhere, just be the best professional? Lawyer puts you into a-

Charlie Kady (09:37):
Box kind of-

Niko Dank (09:38):
Exactly. A medical profession or whatever. A CPA, honestly it's accounting, but you can be anything with the CPA, they really well-round you and as long as you're good, you can go anywhere. So I highly recommend anyone that's just trying to get out there is go for that CPA.

Sean Kady (09:55):
That's awesome. No, and to speak to Charlie's point, you're one of the few executives that... And I think that's why we love having you on the show and you're such a good friend of ours and we respect your opinion so much that actually consumes cannabis. So many people are in alcohol, bev or other industries. And how am I supposed to trust your opinion about the plant when you don't consume it? Right. So

Niko Dank (10:15):
Absolutely. All the products that we make is it's years and years and years of smoking and going through the legacy days and the legal days and just, it's the products that I smoke. The cartridges, it had to be a live resin, it couldn't clog, it had to have the flavour from top to bottom. Same thing with the FSE, that there's different consistencies for FSE, but the one I was smoking was diamonds, micro diamonds with some sauce in it. Every little dab tool you took a nice healthy portion of both. And that's kind of through experience. Same thing with our vape carts too. The packaging is a tin packaging with three inserts and when you buy it, you get one vape cart. But I always used to lose my vape carts. They're fumbling in your pocket and all that stuff.

Sean Kady (11:06):
Yeah, you want to keep them upright, you need to-

Niko Dank (11:09):
[inaudible 00:11:10] upright and all that. So when you buy one of our live resin vape cards from Tribal, it comes with that metal case and you can put three flavours in it. Also, most people use the Yocan UNI Pro. We have our Tribal arc. It comes with these magnetic adapters, which I-

Charlie Kady (11:24):
Excellent device-

Niko Dank (11:26):
[inaudible 00:11:26]. Thank you. I kept losing. So that case has an insert for those magnetic adapters. So it's just-

Sean Kady (11:31):
Available at CosmicCharlie's.Shop. Don't forget-

Niko Dank (11:33):
Nice plug. Yeah. So it's just life experiences, it's passion. I don't sleep. It's really life experiences in all of these products. A lot of R&D, we don't stop. All of the FSE and the BHO was me and the CEO Zohar in the BHO lab. We built it ourselves. We extracted the first products that came out of the facility. We are indeed. We've figured out how to get the recipe and that's what people are consuming today.

Sean Kady (12:05):
Isn't it funny, I find it very ironic that... I mean, I don't know if everybody knows all our listeners that you can't actually buy vape products in Quebec. So I love that you guys have a full vape lab, you're pushing it. They do very well for us in store, to let you know. My favourites, the Cuban links, just came out, but they're all really good.

Niko Dank (12:23):
There's the power shape coming out, there's truple and galactic runs.

Sean Kady (12:26):
We're kind of noticing too, a trend in younger people getting away from combustibles and vaping a lot more. Do you see the future in that category? Kind of like-

Niko Dank (12:36):
Absolutely. I mean, you see it in the numbers. I see it in my own lifestyle too. I think flower will always reign supreme, it will always be number one. But vapes are going to be neck and neck with pre-rolls, right? And then it's... Until I think the vape market levels off, I think there's a lot of distillate on the market. So people, after they consume a lot of distillate it, at least in my opinion, doesn't make the same high as what they're used to in flower and pre-rolls. And so that's why pre-rolls and flower are still there. But I think as the market goes and innovates like our products and other LP products with live resin, proper live resin, no fillers, no additives, and people consume that and it's affordable, I think, you know, get the flower high in a cartridge and without the smell and the lighting combustion. But there's always that ritual that many people do smoking.

Sean Kady (13:34):
Do you guys have any plans like the infused pre-roll category? That was something I wanted to ask you about. Super popular category. Do you guys have any plans for anything like that? I can't think of one in mind.

Niko Dank (13:46):
Yeah, so, we [inaudible 00:13:47]-

Charlie Kady (13:46):
Are you jumping on that train, I guess?

Sean Kady (13:48):
It just seems like such a hot category.

Niko Dank (13:51):
We did it... I mean it's been a while. It's probably been about a year that it's been hot. But like I said, it takes a while. I don't want to just make a regular infuse with distillate and call it a day, and just put something in a pack.

Sean Kady (14:04):
He's in the lab.

Niko Dank (14:05):
I'm in the lab. So I'm doing all this shit, figuring it out. Which resin, is it resin? Is it rosin? Is it bubble hash? Is it this, is it that? How does it smoke? How does it pull? So we're getting something the summer. It's coming the summer.

Sean Kady (14:19):

Niko Dank (14:19):
Under nugs.

Sean Kady (14:20):
Love that.

Niko Dank (14:20):
Yeah, nugs, I can get more playful. So there's more playfulness in the infused pre-rolls that we're giving under nugs. And then tribal eventually are going to have these proper, proper infused pre-rolls matching the genetic Gelato Mint with the Gelato Mint flower and the Gelato Mint resin-

Sean Kady (14:38):
That's exciting, man.

Niko Dank (14:38):

Sean Kady (14:39):
Yeah, that's awesome. I had a feeling you were probably engineering something and that's why we were-

Niko Dank (14:42):
Yeah, it takes a while. We're always second to come, but at least we're confident that the products are going to hit.

Sean Kady (14:47):
That's amazing. We'll take a break right there. We'll be right back with Niko Dank from Cannara Biotech. Follow us @HigherOrbit, higherorbit.ca. Follow Niko @NikoDank.

Charlie Kady (15:06):
Welcome back to Higher Orbit, everybody. We're here at the back of the shop, live selling some weed. We're with Niko Dank and my brother, Sean.

Sean Kady (15:13):
Queen Street West Trinity Bellwoods Park, our very special guest, Niko Dank joining us from Quebec and Cannara Biotech.

Niko Dank (15:20):
Thanks for having me again.

Charlie Kady (15:21):
Way to Frenchify that [inaudible 00:15:23]-

Sean Kady (15:23):
I know. I don't know why I did that. Anyways.

Charlie Kady (15:26):
Let's jump right back into it. I mean, Niko, you were talking, I got a glimpse of that passion there. Just a little bit about the cultivation, the genetics. You have that awesome partnership with Exotic Genetics. Why don't you talk a little bit about your approach to that and kind of what's separating you and what's been successful for Cannara across the board?

Niko Dank (15:46):
Absolutely. So the first thing that... I mean, I knew this from very long ago, but cannabis is not like alcohol or cigarettes where a consumer finds their Jack Daniels or their type of wine or their morning cigarette and that's what they consume over and over again. We just find ourself exploring. And that's because there's just so many possibilities with cannabis. So I knew that was a trend and that's not a trend that's going away. That's ingrained in cannabis consumers, ingrained in that. In the process of building a company that makes genetics your main driver of business. Because if you don't have genetics, then you don't have SKUs and you don't have revenue and you don't have anything. So genetics was key. And in the legal system you can only bring genetics one time when you get your licence. So it had to have a lot of forethought in thinking ahead of time that you're going to bring these seeds for the next two to five years.

Sean Kady (16:50):
How many is it you get to bring in? Just out of curiosity for the listeners that don't know. I'm just curious. I don't even know.

Niko Dank (16:55):
Whatever you can hold. Okay, whatever you can hold. So let's just call it, we held a lot-

Charlie Kady (17:02):
A secret sauce. He doesn't want to release that.

Niko Dank (17:05):
So you know, have to bring in a lot of genetics. So we have thousands of seeds, thousands of genetics actually. And you bring them in and we brought them through that one period where you declare them and then they become into the legal system. And I think at the time, that's where we brought in Gelato Mint and Cuban links and lemon berry and all these genetics that I had brought in.

Genetics again is truly important. And then as we built the company, I knew that if I want to be another five years ahead, because now I'm two years in or three years in, so now I have to be another five years out. I can't recreate genetics. Or when you make genetics, it's not only about genetics, it's also about the marketing behind it. The name, the stream name, and who's it coming from and all that. There's like, I call it really the fashion industry. There's this fashion designer and he pumps it up and it's good for six, seven months and then it rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat. And this trend has been going on ever since I was 15 years old. So I'm like-

Charlie Kady (18:15):
Legacy days, right.

Niko Dank (18:15):
Exactly. So I'm like-

Charlie Kady (18:16):
[inaudible 00:18:17].

Niko Dank (18:17):
This has to be the key for cannabis or whatever for building a business is you have to merge fashion into this kind of thing. So that's when I'm like, well, we can either start breeding ourselves, but then we have to do the marketing behind it. And then that's like, I don't want to disrespect the legacy guys that built this industry. There's artists behind here, they built it, they got it to this point. So I'm like, we're not going to be breeders, we're great cultivators, we're great brand developers, but we're not a breeder. We're not the artist behind it.

So that's when I was like, okay, who's the breeders out there? I knew them. I brought in a lot of genetics and my favourite was seed junkies and Exotic Genetics. And when we started bringing out our genetics that we had brought in from the first time we grew Gelato Mint, and then we grew all these Exotic Genetics that just kept hitting. Every exotic genetic seed that we were popping, it was just winning. So I think right now we have five of our current genetics are Exotic Genetics. So that was my key to be like, okay, I think this is probably our breeder. And reached out to him very traditionally on Discord. Late night 2:00 AM in the morning, the guy responded and the guy was just legit. He was straight up, he's from Washington.

Okay, sorry. Yes, Washington, Seattle. And he's just a straight up real guy, loves cannabis, loves finding genetics, has a great marketing team behind him. ,And he's been doing it for years and years and years. He saw the opportunity that we're doing here, the scale, and that's when we just did a licencing agreement with him. We own a Exotic Genetics brand here in Canada exclusively. And he comes down to our facility, he helps us with the pheno hunting. We're going to work into breeding as well within our facility, but right now we're working off the seeds and he helps us guide the pheno hunt and which plants what they need. He works with Zohar.

And that's what worked out. And he sees the advantage. And our two-year play... I mean for us, for Canada, it's a two-year play. By the time we scale up our whole facility from 90,000 plants to 240,000 plants. At that point Exotic Genetics is doing a huge... He's doing the same thing across the US with other cultivators and he's locking down states. So that's probably an opportunity for us to grow even bigger than-

Sean Kady (21:09):
Isn't it awesome when a collaboration works out that. I feel like a part of building a team, a successful brand is like you... It's so important and it's awesome when you can share your success with someone. So that's beautiful.

Niko Dank (21:20):
Yeah, it is beautiful. And I find cannabis consumers, cannabis people are just very passionate and happy. And so when finding a right partner that shares the same passion shares the same work ethic too, it's a match made to him.

Sean Kady (21:40):
And I think you have an edible coming out, right? You're doing another collab, I think with Glen's Edible. Shout out to Glen's Edibles. We [inaudible 00:21:46]-

Charlie Kady (21:47):
[inaudible 00:21:47] our turbo.

Sean Kady (21:48):
Yeah, I tried his edibles. They're fucking bomb, so-

Charlie Kady (21:50):

Sean Kady (21:51):
Yeah. So he called me up, he's like, "Do you have some rosin?" I have some slaps rosin for him.

Charlie Kady (21:57):
There you go.

Sean Kady (21:58):
Because that's going to be our next [inaudible 00:22:00] coming up is the fresh frozen hash rosin. So sister to the fresh frozen turple. But so I had some initial slaps rosin for him and he's launching a watermelon slaps gummy.

That's very exciting. Do you know when that's coming out roughly?

Niko Dank (22:18):
I think in the next month or two.

Sean Kady (22:19):
Okay, amazing.

Niko Dank (22:20):
Don't know exactly official-

Charlie Kady (22:22):
Again, won't be in Quebec, sadly.

Niko Dank (22:23):
Nope, nope. Unfortunately.

Charlie Kady (22:26):
Maybe one day.

Sean Kady (22:26):
Fruits and vegetables only, right, Charlie, your favourite?

Charlie Kady (22:29):
You know what, I actually do like a dried fruit, if you haven't had the chance to try.

Niko Dank (22:32):
They have dried beets if you want. Okay.

Charlie Kady (22:34):
No, thanks. No, thanks. I'd love to circle back to something you mentioned, and it's something that we see too. It's obvious that the way that trends in cannabis are and how it's always kind of the next best thing. I'm curious to get your perspective or just have a bigger conversation about the challenges that creates in that legal market. Because we have what, 2,500, 3,000 products now. It's going to just keep growing and growing. It creates issues. Sometimes I get jars that are already five, six months old when I get them in the store just by offering such a breadth of products. I don't know, maybe you could speak to how that's a challenge, but an opportunity too.

Niko Dank (23:14):
Yeah. So I mean, fortunate for us, because we're the growers, because we acquired our own facility because we're only at 33% of our production capacity, we can scale with the demand and that's exactly what we're doing. And so you can't go into a province overnight and get your 20, 40 SKUs listed and all that. It takes some time. So we really open our rooms with demand and that keeps the product fresh. And then how we do with, Tribal. Tribal's all about pheno hunting. And that's where the Exotic Genetics relationship really comes to play because we're finding going forward, it's all Exotic Genetics that Tribal's going to be releasing.

And we find the genetics, they have a home, once we find the winner, they have a home in Tribal. Eventually we'll have, right now I think we have seven. Launching the triple burger in Ontario very shortly. And we're already pheno hunting and have the next two. I'll plug it here for you guys, jigglers and trip station. So yeah, we really keep pheno hunting, and once we find the genetic, we bring it into a very concise portfolio for Tribal, which is dry flower three-and-a-halfs, 28 grammes as well. We're launching in Cuban links.

Charlie Kady (24:37):
We're very excited about that-

Niko Dank (24:38):
In the summer. Then in pre-rolls, then in live resin Vape Cart and Live Resin FSE. So that allows me to use the whole plant, all four products. So that means I'm able-

Charlie Kady (24:52):
Keeping it fresh.

Niko Dank (24:53):
I'm keeping it fresh, right. And I'm able to, because again, I control the harvest or the grow, I'm able to cycle through genetics. So let's say a winner is selling so much, I can plant more of it. If another one is selling, but it's still a great genetic, but it's just selling 30% of the other one but it's still, people love it, I can grow it every two, three months. So I can scale like that and play with that. And I think we're one of the few at our scale to be able to do that.

And then we use the whole plant in Tribal. And then nugs basically is more reminiscent of the legacy days. Your drug dealer that had opened his trench coat had all kinds of products for you. "What do you have today?" So we get more fun with that, and that gives me that flexibility to use products, use my grow, even guided if have too much of this, then I'm able to put it under nugs and all that. So because we control everything, we're vertically integrated, we have full control. And that's again, key.

Charlie Kady (25:53):
I love that. I think that's very rare. We don't really see that much amongst other producers.

Sean Kady (25:58):
Definitely not.

Charlie Kady (25:58):
Such key attention to detail. It's pretty amazing to see.

Niko Dank (26:03):
We're creating this industry. A lot of people thought you can hire help, you know, you pay, you can have $5 billion and buy stuff and think it's going to work out, but no one knows the game. No one knows [inaudible 00:26:17]-

Charlie Kady (26:17):
And where are they now, right?

Niko Dank (26:18):
[inaudible 00:26:19] of it. Exactly. So I just wish if I had $5 billion what I could do with it. But yeah, so we're building the industry and I think that's really important. So it requires all that time, attention, and detail. So I think what keeps me going is the guy, I forgot his name, Amazon guy-

Charlie Kady (26:37):

Niko Dank (26:38):
Mr. Bezos. Yeah. Picture of him in his little mattress in his office, just working fucking 24 hours. And look where he is now. Right. So-

Charlie Kady (26:46):
You have a picture of him in your office to motivate you?

Niko Dank (26:48):
No, I don't have a picture of him. I said I saw a picture of-

Charlie Kady (26:52):
Hey, whatever man, if it motivates you, it works. Yeah.

Niko Dank (26:55):
That's it.

Sean Kady (26:58):
How's Alberta going? You guys just launched Alberta? Am I [inaudible 00:27:00]-

Niko Dank (27:00):
We are launching... It's April 30th today. So we are launching tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow May 1st. Flying to Alberta tomorrow actually with a big bag of weed to get more products into Alberta. So right now we have launched our three vape carts, Gelato Mint, Power Sherb, and Cuban Links. So they accepted vape carts and hopefully in the next 24 hours they have more products accepted.

Charlie Kady (27:23):
I'm sure they'll smarten up.

Sean Kady (27:25):
Congratulations. That's awesome, Niko.

Niko Dank (27:27):
Thank you. Thank you.

Charlie Kady (27:28):
Yeah. Just to kind of roll off some of the, I guess, strengths that you had mentioned, we talked about, I have in front of me... I didn't get to scrutinise it in full, but you just had your quarterly report. Some of these numbers just pop right off of the paper. What are you most proud of when it comes to that? I see earnings 1500% increase compared, it's pretty amazing, man.

Niko Dank (27:49):
So I write those financial statements. So what what's good about us is I play chess, not checkers in terms of I know when to move my pieces because I know the financial side of things and I know the business side of things. So I'm really able to set up our chess board and not get to ahead of ourselves. So for me it is just quarter over quarter growth. I just want to see that number. I don't really care what that number is, but I just want to see quarter over quarter growth because that note that means that I'm just building over, I know I'm growing more, I'm selling my products.

So quarter over quarter growth is very important to me. I mean, of course of everything adjusted EBITDA and net income and all that stuff. But if just what makes me happy is did I sell more than last quarter and not last year because last year of course we're going to sell more because we bought a $1 million square foot facility. Sure, you're going to sell more. But just seeing that sell through go through quarter over quarter. I mean, when I wrote the report, I was seven percent share in Quebec. Today, I'm 9.9 in two months, and then in Ontario I was top 13, and now I'm top eight. So that was from March. So I'm not where I'm in April. So that means that we're moving. That's what I care about.

Sean Kady (29:15):
Yeah. Right direction, man. Definitely. That's awesome. It's a lot of weed. I can only imagine. Imagine putting all that weed in one room. I can only-

Niko Dank (29:22):
Yeah, we're on track to make 30,000 kilos, 30,000 kilos of weed.

Sean Kady (29:26):
Love that, man. I love selling weed and that's something we definitely have in common.

Niko Dank (29:31):
But let me ask you a question. To sell weed is not hard, right?

Sean Kady (29:35):

Niko Dank (29:36):
If it's good weed, right?

Sean Kady (29:38):
That's it.

Niko Dank (29:40):
People want weed, right? Like people want weed, right? They just want good weed. So that's my philosophy. If you can focus on the quality and you can get people good best products, they're going to want it. We don't have much of a sales force yet, so I can just imagine once... I don't even call them sales force, people that represent us extensions, brand ambassadors, and just-

Sean Kady (30:01):
[inaudible 00:30:01].

Niko Dank (30:01):
To get word of mouth, basically. They're not [inaudible 00:30:04]-

Charlie Kady (30:04):
They make our job easy, to be honest.

Niko Dank (30:07):
I don't want people to try to push so they're not coming into your store to push sales and try to get commissions and, "oh, I sold ten cases at Cosmic Charlie's today." "Okay, here's your check." No, we don't do that. It's your vested in the company, you're a brand ambassador, you love talking about the products. Okay, you're hired and just product first. Just go around and talk about the product and as long as the product's good, people should buy it, right?

Sean Kady (30:27):
Sells it stuff.That's it, niko. Follow Niko @NikoDank. Follow @HigherOrbit. If you want to reach me or Charlie, I'm at sean@higherorbit.ca, charlie@higherorbit.c. Hopefully we didn't miss anything. We'll be right back with Niko Dank [inaudible 00:30:43]-

Charlie Kady (30:43):
We're going to get some hot takes maybe.

Sean Kady (30:45):
Hot takes baby.

Niko Dank (30:46):
Let's go. Let's go.

Charlie Kady (30:56):
Welcome back to Higher Orbit, everybody. We're here at the back of the shop. We're selling weed, Sunday morning. We're with Niko Dank and Sean. Let's get back to it. What were we just chatting about?

Sean Kady (31:10):
I think how much that slaps fucking [inaudible 00:31:12]-

Niko Dank (31:12):
You got slapped, buddy-

Sean Kady (31:13):
Got me on the off take there. But anyways, no, we're really excited, niko. Part of the reason we wanted to have you here, we're doing our first, it's like our Oscars, so 4/20 to 4/20 every year. We have seven categories and we're giving out our winners and we're proud to say the nugs won.

Niko Dank (31:30):
That's awesome, man.

Sean Kady (31:33):
Yeah, actually our first extract-

Charlie Kady (31:34):
That's a fire rosin-

Sean Kady (31:35):
Of the year and for the fucking fire rosin of the year [inaudible 00:31:38] -

Niko Dank (31:38):
Yeah, awesome, man.

Sean Kady (31:39):
For a number of reasons. Tastes amazing. Looks great. Sold like hot cakes-

Charlie Kady (31:47):
Price point's excellent.

Sean Kady (31:49):
Price point's excellent. And I think just was our best selling extract of the year. And we personally enjoyed many jars ourselves. I can say that. Well, I want to ask you, what do you think made it so successful? Yeah, is it your favourite extract of all the Tribal Genetics or all the Cannara family, sorry.

Niko Dank (32:11):
I think by just showing how many genetics we have and we only have one sku.

Sean Kady (32:15):

Niko Dank (32:16):
That means that the other ones didn't work out. They were not hitters, not all thing rosin out, not all genetics rosin out.

Sean Kady (32:23):
So why [inaudible 00:32:24] have a Gelato Mint rosin? Why don't have a Power Sherb rosin?

Charlie Kady (32:26):
Why tried them.

Niko Dank (32:28):
We tried them, they were good, but they do better in FSE and they come out better in FSE. So Turple was a hero for us. I mean, fucking every time we wash it washes purple, the flavonoids come out. So it's pretty cool to see when you're washing it. For me, it smells like Tropicana orange juice with a bit of pepper and cinnamon on it.

Charlie Kady (32:56):
Yeah, some funk. It's a funky one.

Niko Dank (32:59):
So that was just the winter. It washes well-

Sean Kady (33:02):
I've been noticing this slur cane shine more lately, which I definitely [inaudible 00:33:07]-

Niko Dank (33:06):
So we're always R&Ding these matches. We're always just out trying to elevate it. And so I think now if you compare it to our first batches, if you look at the rosin, it's much more whiter. The consistency, the wet consistency is there. So we just continuously improve to make sure that the product is the best of the best.

Sean Kady (33:28):
That's amazing, man. We'll be sure to send it to you. Obviously your award's right there, but I'm not going to make you lug it back to Quebec, so we'll send it to you, brother.

Niko Dank (33:35):
I love it. It's astronaut.

Sean Kady (33:37):
Yeah. Very, very on brand with the nugs I'd say too. It kind of-

Niko Dank (33:40):
That's it.

Sean Kady (33:40):
Works perfectly.

Niko Dank (33:42):
Like I said before, we have the slaps coming out, so hopefully-

Sean Kady (33:45):
The next flavour. That's the next [inaudible 00:33:47]-

Niko Dank (33:46):
Fresh frozen hash rosin slaps. So hopefully I come here next year and taking one of these [inaudible 00:33:52]-

Charlie Kady (33:51):
See if you can repeat.

Niko Dank (33:52):
Exactly. Let's repeat this. Let's repeat this.

Charlie Kady (33:55):
That's the target. I kind of got an interesting one for you from a standpoint of where you're at in the market and some of the other players that you see. Who do you consider your target as a competitor or who's someone or an LP that you look to as they're leading in a way and you're after them, right? It's competitive at the end of the day.

Niko Dank (34:18):
Yeah, I don't look at anyone as a competitive player. I mean, they're competition for sure. They're taking market share and they're selling on our same retail shelves, but I'm not looking at someone and trying a gun at them. I'm focused on our, like I said, our product mix was for Tribal, for nugs, for orchid. We're just focused on us-

Charlie Kady (34:43):
As simple as that-

Niko Dank (34:44):
So just keep our heads down. Let the noise of the industry... There's so much noise right now. The dust is going to settle in about a year, so let that just ride out. I'm not looking to acquire or merge with any cannabis companies or do anything like that. We're just doing our own thing on you-

Charlie Kady (35:01):
Focus on you-

Niko Dank (35:02):
Yeah, love it. I only have 30 SKUs right now out. I'm only in two major markets. I've just gone to BC and now Alberta. So we're just starting, right. I have hardly of a sales force. I think two guys on my team. So we're just starting. And I know my competitors have 600 SKUs, so-

Charlie Kady (35:25):
I'm going to ask you quick, it's been a common thing. Everybody talks about it. What do you think about all this high percentage chasing stuff, consumer? Do you think we'll be all there to educate consumers and get past that? I feel like I never see those crazy 37% thing numbers on Tribal cans, and I mean that [inaudible 00:35:42]-

Niko Dank (35:42):
You didn't see my last batch was 50%.

Charlie Kady (35:44):

Niko Dank (35:45):
No, we are focused on the genetics. Like I said, that's our partnership with Exotics. That's what Tribal is. And it's focused on the genetics. Of course we have a min, which is 20% because unfortunately under 20% people just-

Charlie Kady (35:59):
That's fair.

Niko Dank (36:00):
Just look at it differently. But 20 to 30, 40... Well, not 40. You have 20 to 30%. I mean, sometimes you'll hit a 33, 32 or whatever, but 20 to 30% is our range. And then I look for terpenes, how it grows, how it looks. But most importantly, it's how it smokes. Because she can look good, smell good...

Sean Kady (36:21):
Fool's Gold. Right.

Charlie Kady (36:22):

Sean Kady (36:23):
[inaudible 00:36:23] wants that.

Niko Dank (36:23):
And then you smoke her and sheesh-

Charlie Kady (36:24):
Oh, that's the worst.

Niko Dank (36:26):
Yeah. Yeah. So it's a journey. Usually takes about a year to pheno hunt and find genetics, by the time to commercialise it, smoke it, go through it. And there's a lot of winners that just not selected because one of the check boxes didn't work correct.

Sean Kady (36:45):
That makes sense. So you're still looking for a high range of THC because you have to, but it's not like your focal point. I get it.

Niko Dank (36:52):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Charlie Kady (36:55):
I love it mean, again, it just shows your dedication to doing it the right way. Right? Because there's a right way and there's a wrong way. I feel like we know what it is, but yeah, you've spoken to it well, so I appreciate it.

Niko Dank (37:07):
Thank you.

Sean Kady (37:09):
I think I wanted to ask... What did I want to ask Niko? I wanted to ask you something, man. Oh, the homegrown band. What's up with that? I mean, I know people still grow weed in Quebec, right?

Niko Dank (37:18):

Sean Kady (37:19):
Right. I'm not like... Obviously.

Niko Dank (37:20):
Obviously. Yeah. But-

Sean Kady (37:25):
Yeah, I guess we don't really talk about it too much. But do you think people should be able to grow their own?

Niko Dank (37:28):

Sean Kady (37:29):
Of course. Right?

Niko Dank (37:30):
Absolutely. I mean, Quebec's really concerned with the children. That's like priority. So they don't want kids to go into the house full of cannabis and all that and then have access to all that stuff. So they're very focused on that. I mean, you have to trust the parents and make good judgement calls, but sometimes people don't. So I mean, I wish it was there. I wish everyone could grow. Everyone should have the right to grow.

Sean Kady (38:02):
Was there-

Niko Dank (38:03):
[inaudible 00:38:04]

Charlie Kady (38:04):
Moving on, is there an innovation this year? That was something I wanted to ask you too. Something that wasn't a Cannara product that was like just you thought it was innovative and you thought, I don't know, you give somebody else props.

Niko Dank (38:16):
Sorry. Another innovative-

Sean Kady (38:17):
Another innovation that took place this year that maybe wasn't a Cannara product.

Niko Dank (38:22):
Right, right. Ooh, tough questions.

Sean Kady (38:24):
It is a tough one. No, no, no. I had to ask it, I guess.

Niko Dank (38:28):
I mean, shout out to Beurre Blanc, I guess Beurre Blanc with their pre-rolls.

Sean Kady (38:33):
Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. The ceramic tip with the ice water hash.

Niko Dank (38:36):
Yeah. Yeah.

Charlie Kady (38:37):
That La Kush cake.

Sean Kady (38:37):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those did really well for us.

Niko Dank (38:39):
I think they did good. Yeah, they hit it.

Sean Kady (38:41):
And the branding's really nice on them.

Niko Dank (38:43):
I know those guys. And they-

Sean Kady (38:46):
Final bell.

Niko Dank (38:46):
Yeah, final bell. They focus on the product, right? They don't just release any type of product. So shout up to those guys.

Sean Kady (38:53):
Love that.

Charlie Kady (38:54):
Yeah, I think that's more or less what I was alluding to when I said, is there anyone with the target on the back? But speak to it in a better way. You're too humble.

Niko Dank (39:04):
I think there's space. There's three, four companies that are out there that are what, 40% of the market share, 50% of the market share right now. So I mean, they're not my targets, but I think there's enough pie to share once the market evens out.

Sean Kady (39:23):
I think global, you doing any travelling recently, even to Thailand or New York City. You guys have checked out any of those scenes? I just feel like cannabis is really popping off and yeah, I don't know. You heard anything about that? Been there?

Niko Dank (39:33):
Yeah, I mean, I definitely want to go to Thailand. That looks pretty interesting, but been to New York. That's a shit show to say the least-

Sean Kady (39:41):
It's a bit of a shit show, right?

Charlie Kady (39:42):
Yeah, fair enough. There you go.

Niko Dank (39:44):
Yeah, you don't even know what you're smoking. They don't even know what they're... All the jars are open and it's just-

Charlie Kady (39:49):
It's back to the old days-

Niko Dank (39:53):
It's a free for all right. No dates on it. Just like, "What is this?" "I don't know, just take it." But they have so many, they have some good brands. They have Jeters there and all that's... I mean, but it's all expensive. That's the problem. I've been to Florida, I've been to LA, San Fran, and it's just an arm and a leg to buy cannabis there and smoke it [inaudible 00:40:14]-

Sean Kady (40:14):
It's expensive.

Niko Dank (40:14):
So that was kind of our vision here with starting Cannara, right. There are some brands that I respected out there. I don't want to name names, but there are some guys that in California that I respected and some that I didn't. And what I noticed is that they took ownership of the grow. They didn't just hustle other people's products. So they took control over the grow. They've done that for many, many years and they've stayed with their brand and their one, two brands and they just kept killing it. If you haven't guessed, it's Jungle Boys. At least for me, those guys are killing the game for me in that market. And then there's other giants, but those guys are going to, I think, steadily grow because they've been true to the game. They've been true to the flower and the brands and all that and they didn't try to scale up too quickly. So it took a lot from them to kind of form this business.

Charlie Kady (41:09):
Awesome. You're going to Heady Happenings after this? You're doing the [inaudible 00:41:13]-

Niko Dank (41:13):
Yeah, it's about five hours of dabs. Let's go.

Sean Kady (41:15):
Let's do it. That sounds like a lot of fun, man. And I think you mentioned too, is the nugs entered in the contest?

Niko Dank (41:21):
Absolutely. We entered the nugs, fresh frozen slaps into the contest.

Sean Kady (41:26):
The only legal rosin in [inaudible 00:41:29]-

Niko Dank (41:29):
The only legal rosin in that competition. There's about 25 competitors, all Canadian legacy hash makers. And my goal with that is, I mean, one, to see where I rank, but also to see who's best and which product is the best and why it's the best. And then try to figure that out and then maybe talk to the dude and see if he wants to work with us. And I want make sure that I can bring legacy guys that have good business acumen, are smart, and are passionate about the product. I have room in our company to grow, and I need those type of guys. And my BHO guys from the legacy was top guy in Quebec, my solving this guy as well. So I find these key guys and then they work with me and Zohar and we mould them and get them more on the business acumen side. And they become managers and directors of positions and all that stuff. So-

Sean Kady (42:23):
Very cool.

Niko Dank (42:24):
I try to do that-

Sean Kady (42:25):
That's awesome, Niko. I think it's really awesome, man. I'm sure there're aren't going to be many executives at Heady Happenings this afternoon. So I think that's part of what separates you apart, dude. So really dope.

Niko Dank (42:33):
Appreciate that.

Charlie Kady (42:34):
Great segue, too, I think, to what are you smoking, right? That's how we always like to end the show off. What are you enjoying right now? I'm sure it's some of your products, maybe there's something that's not... You're going to enjoy some non Cannara products in a little bit.

Niko Dank (42:49):
Yeah, no, I smoke a lot of Cannara products just because, again, I make the products for myself. So-

Charlie Kady (42:53):

Niko Dank (42:55):
QA, but I also make the products for myself. So I'm like-

Charlie Kady (42:59):
You like them-

Niko Dank (42:59):
They're great. They get my cravings. So I mean, unfortunately, I'm ahead of you guys and I'm smoking the jigglers and the drip station just because those are the winners and they're fucking awesome. Jigglers is strawberries and cream from the pull, from smell to the exhale all through the TURPs. It's a sativa, so you feel nice and not like the Cuban links where you're-

Charlie Kady (43:25):
Not so heady.

Niko Dank (43:26):
Yeah, exactly. But you're just, you know-

Charlie Kady (43:28):
Less [inaudible 00:43:28]-

Niko Dank (43:28):
You're giggly. Yeah. And then the drip station is, that's just step on the gas pedal. Ooh. Yeah.

Charlie Kady (43:35):
Up our alley.

Niko Dank (43:35):
It's just gas, gas, gas. And I think it's hit 30% and it's, yeah-

Sean Kady (43:41):
More farnesene profile, gas kind of thing. Okay.

Niko Dank (43:44):
You're just like straight up gas. Straight up gas. Like my galactic runs has gas, but it has that runs peppery profile right to it.

Sean Kady (43:50):
Fruitiness to it-

Niko Dank (43:51):
Yeah, with a bit of fruitiness. Drip station is just gas, gas. Power Sherb is gas, but also there's hints of Napoleon ice cream, at least what I call it. You can get out chocolate and vanilla cream and strawberries out of it. So yeah, they all have their unique turp profile for sure.

Charlie Kady (44:09):

Sean Kady (44:10):
That's amazing.

Charlie Kady (44:12):
Sean, what are you smoking?

Sean Kady (44:13):
I am smoking... Well, I opened a jar of Cuban links this morning. I had-

Niko Dank (44:16):
You just smoked the nug slaps, that's what you did.

Sean Kady (44:19):
I just smoked the slaps. That's why I couldn't remember what I was smoking. But the Cuban links was impressive, dude. I hadn't checked in on it in a while. Because I'm not really usually, just not a sativa guy. No, disrespect to the Cuban links. That was one beautiful nugget in there. What is it? I think I have it right here. There it is. This one's left of it after I smoked. But I mean fuck, man. You see the [inaudible 00:44:42], huh? Right. There you go. I can pass that around.

Niko Dank (44:43):
Looks great.

Sean Kady (44:44):
It looks pretty fucking awesome to me, dude. I'm smoking that.

Niko Dank (44:48):
[inaudible 00:44:47] from everything.

Sean Kady (44:48):
I'm still working on some coffee creamer from a homie, heady hippie. That stuff's pretty good. Tastes pretty good. Interesting profile. And the Banana Gum. The Banana Gum, live rosin.

Niko Dank (44:59):
Haven't tried that.

Sean Kady (45:00):
Have you not tried that? Give it a shot from Sauce Rosin Labs.

Niko Dank (45:03):
Sauce rosin. Yeah. Those boys do good [inaudible 00:45:05]-

Sean Kady (45:04):
Yeah, I really liked this one. I think that they made improvements. I felt like it was a better consistency and a little more melt to it. Yeah, it was good. Charlie?

Charlie Kady (45:13):
Oh, I guess I'm a bit of a square right now, but I'm taking a little tea break. We're practising some-

Sean Kady (45:19):
[inaudible 00:45:19] was fasting.

Charlie Kady (45:20):
Yeah, I'm fasting.

Sean Kady (45:21):
Who does that? It's good to restart.

Charlie Kady (45:23):
We got to be responsible too, right?

Niko Dank (45:27):
I agree-

Charlie Kady (45:27):
Sometimes, but still again, we'll plug that again. Niko smokes copious amounts of weed and-

Niko Dank (45:33):
Is a very successful individual. So-

Charlie Kady (45:36):
That's right.

Niko Dank (45:36):
Eat your Cuban links in the morning, everybody. Shall we say? That's it.

Charlie Kady (45:41):
Thanks for joining us on the podcast. Follow us @HigherOrbit. Follow @NikoDank. Follow @Tribal_Canada, @Nugs_Canada and @CBDOrchid.

Sean Kady (45:54):
Thank you so much, Niko.

Charlie Kady (45:55):
Thank you so much for coming all [inaudible 00:45:57].

Niko Dank (45:57):
Sean, Charlie, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.

Sean Kady (45:58):
We'll always have you back soon.