It’s an undeniable fact that the flourishing CBD market shows no signs of slowing down; the momentum which has gathered in the UK over the past few years is a clear sign that people are becoming far more aware of the fact that cannabis has the potential to do much more than get you high. However, while many people would argue that the term ‘Green Rush’ has become something of a reality (as innumerate companies seem to have sprung up out of nowhere in the hope of getting a piece of the action) this sudden shift brings with it its fair share of potential pitfalls as there are always some people who care more about profit than product. Sadly, the widening market share which comes as a result of changing perceptions brings many consumers into the picture who have little-to-no experience and this leaves them open to being duped by poor quality products which deliver limited benefits. Fortunately for all of us, some companies have higher moral standings than some of other charlatans and we decided to start the new year off by catching up with one of the people who are fighting the good fight in the name of quality above all else.
Paul Moore and his team have been working with cannabis for years and have an excellent knowledge base which has been developed through numerous projects with various parties. At the heart of their endeavour is their firm belief that success can only be derived from delivering products of the highest quality to consumers. They see that anything less than this is likely to have a negative impact on the consumer’s experience and, consequently, a negative perception of the plant’s potential to provide benefit. Having seen the potential for CBD to become integrated with modern society a few years ago, this dedicated and passionate group have worked tirelessly to become the biggest importer of CBD flower into the UK whilst simultaneously evolving their business from a retail/wholesale operation into a fully-fledged, multi-faceted, full spectrum cannabis business: Procan Bioscience.
Procan Bioscience is the culmination of years of work and encompasses all aspects of the team’s experience within the industry. Evolution is a crucial aspect of success for any business, so it’s no surprise to find that this company has grown and expanded as the needs and wants of the consumer have changed. Initially, Paul had worked on developing CBD-based vape products and established retail outlets that allowed him to work closely with the consumer. His desire for quality meant that he and his team scoured the globe to find the highest quality flowers they could import and while they initially thought that they would get much of their product from the US, they now import the majority of their flower from European associates – products which they now sell legally online through thcfreeweed.com and their retail outlets. Alongside producing and selling e-liquids and vaporizers, they found that there was a growing market for CBD bud and CBD-based teas, topicals and tinctures (among other things). Seeing that there was the potential to expand to the desire of the blossoming market, their decision to move with the times gained them a reputation for being forward-thinking, knowledgeable and innovative. At the start of 2019, Procan Bioscience is poised to become recognised as an industry leader for wholesale, white label products and cannabis consultancy for those looking to get involved in the exciting potential of a cannabis-infused future.
Paul explained that the ethos of their company is simple: source products of the highest quality to ensure that everything they produce or sell on is of the highest standard – if they wouldn’t be happy to use it themselves or recommend it to a friend or family member then it won’t make the cut. Using products that are sourced only from trusted partners means that they can guarantee the effectiveness of not only what they put to market, but also whatever is made by third parties who choose to work with them. In his words there is an ‘incredible efficacy when you can guarantee that a product delivers what it promises to.’ He went on to express his concern for the impact of ‘rogue traders’ who can take advantage of the new market and relatively naïve consumers by resorting to the tactics of ‘snake oil salesmen’ who are just out to make a quick buck. He explained that, ‘when you have a market which is not fully regulated or legalized there is always the chance that some people will see it as an opportunity to dupe people for the sake of profit. We don’t see it that way. We look at our business as something which can expand and grow because of our standards, so we try to put our profits back into what we do and we want to reinvest in the people we work with so that we can continue to deliver on our promises. We’re not the originators or anything like that: we just do what we do and we do it very well on a greater scale than anyone else out there.’
Their big focus for this year is their continuing expansion into the retail market with their own brand of Califonia-style hemp dispensaries in the form of The Green Machine. Having already opened two stores last year, in Portsmouth and Waring, and with a new store prepped to launch at the time of writing, Paul went on to explain how he hopes that the aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs out there should consider looking into the franchising opportunities that they can offer. ‘We can see that there is a huge market out there which is likely to grow exponentially over the coming years, so this is the perfect time for people to get in on the ground level. If anyone has any retail experience they’ll know that this kind of business thrives when you have a good level of knowledge, a passion for your product and the ability to work closely with your customers to meet their needs. Our stores are designed to enhance the consumer experience and we know that we can offer something which is fairly unique in the UK at the moment. A presence on the high street is a huge focus for us and we want people to be able to get involved in this opportunity as easily as possible. With this in mind, we have put together a network of support and a franchise management team who help to get people set up from as little as £15,000 initial investment (to purchase the rights to the brand and get the shopfront installed). Anyone who takes on a franchise gets help with all aspects of setting up and ongoing support with all parts of their business, including organising premises and getting the shop interior built to our company’s specification. We pride ourselves on the fact that someone can go from investing to opening in less than two months (and in some cases four weeks or less). Some investors choose to put their stock into the initial investment and we tend to estimate that a total initial investment of £30,000 should provide the store with enough stock to operate for the first 3 months. Once the shop is open, we supply all the stock, train the staff and provide 24/7 support to ensure that the business is able to function effectively.’
Alongside this aspect sits their increasingly significant presence as a consultancy business, especially with drinks manufacturers in Europe and Russia. Having already set up drinks brands in Russia, Procan Biosciences are now advising companies on how to roll out their products across new territories (including the UK) and consulting with some of the biggest names in the drinks industry to advise on the potential to incorporate cannabinoids into their products and working closely to ensure that they can be integrated whilst maintaining a high standard of taste and a high level of health benefit. Notably, they pride themselves on operating as consultants for small independent companies too, such as a vegan-friendly range of bath products and salves which are being developed by a ‘one-man band’ who is single-handedly bringing his ideas to fruition and is dependent on Procan Bioscience’s highest quality product to ensure that there is a solid end product for his customers.
Overall, it’s clear that Paul and his team are looking to carve out their own path in the hope that people will follow in their footsteps when it comes to the standard of the products they bring to market. From a moral standpoint he maintains that ‘everything has to be above board and done to the highest standard. Everything we buy in is GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) flower, so there’s no pesticides or enhancements which could be passed onto the consumer at the point of consumption. Everything has to be of the best standard – it’s what I feel is a personal moral obligation. Ultimately it comes down to the idea that what it says on the label is what you get in the product. We’re passionate about what we do and this passion is helping us to create a range of products which can help to change public perception. We hope to see that the benefits of CBD will become ingrained into the moral fabric of the UK and we want people to see a different side to the plant so that it can help them in any way that it can.’
If you’d like to find out more then head over to www.thcfreeweed.com and check it out for yourself.
Image – Dirk Wouters
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 139