Marijuana Business Magazine - January 2017

Noah Stokes The Cannabis Distribution Co. and CannaGuard, CEO Age: 34 BACKSTORY: Stokes is among those breaking new ground in the cannabis industry by fashioning a company that offers a wide range of services, from security and IT solutions to trimming and distribution. He initially founded Oregon-based CannaGuard Security in 2014 to offer compliance, armed guard and transport services. He and his team next built The Cannabis Distribution Company, which manages canna- bis drying, trimming, storage and distribution for multiple Oregon MJ growers. (See story on page 82.) TCD Co., as the new business is called, is housed along with CannaGuard’s other companies under a new par- ent: OmniTek Holdings.The parent company has approximately 180 employees and offers customers a range of services, including security, curing, transport and storage. WHY TO WATCH: It remains to be seen whether Stokes can pull off his ambitious plans. Could this be too many irons in the fire? Or will other companies follow suit, spurred by his success? BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: Stokes plans to expand from Oregon and Washington state into the massive California market. He aims to estab- lish a place where retailers and wholesalers alike can shop from a supply as large and consistent as possible. Nancy Whiteman Wana Brands, Co-owner Age: 59 BACKSTORY: Whiteman founded Boulder, Colorado-based Wana in 2010 “when the bar- riers for entry in Colorado were very low,” by her own account. Since then, she’s given Wana a multistate presence. In 2017, the company’s edibles were available in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon – with more states planned in 2018. Meanwhile,Wana has gone from five employees working in a 300-square-foot production facility to 100 workers laboring in a 17,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. WHY TO WATCH: Wana is one of a few edibles brands that is positioned to become a truly national – if not international – infused products company. And 2018 could be the year it hits that milestone. “We’re currently in discussions (with potential business partners) in almost every territory where cannabis is legal or on the path to being legal,”White- man noted in an email. If her plans work out, Wana will have a business presence in the largest state cannabis markets come 2019. BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: Expand. By early 2018, Wana should have product on shelves in Arizona. It also plans to have a footprint in Illinois and Florida in the first quarter of 2018. By the end of the year, Wana expects to have moved into California, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. ◆ Matt Lamers, Kristen Nichols, Omar Sacirbey, Bart Schaneman, John Schroyer and Roger Fillion contributed to this report. January 2018 • Marijuana Business Magazine • 69