Green Spirit Industries Inc. will be entering Puerto Rico’s medicinal cannabis market with the acquisition of four pre-approved and one pending medical marijuana dispensaries on the island, company CEO Les Ball said in an interview with Dave Gentry of “RedChip Money Report.”
Although the planned investment was not disclosed, Ball said the company’s “funding has been secured, as well as near-and-longer-term plans for Green Spirit’s operations and growth.”
This was the first interview conducted by Ball since his appointment to head Green Spirit earlier this year.
The first dispensaries will be located in Fajardo, Carolina, Dorado, Isla Verde, and San Juan, he said. The company’s goal is to open and acquire an additional 15 dispensaries in Puerto Rico over the next 12-18 months, he said.
The sale of medical marijuana was legalized in Puerto Rico as of Jan. 1, 2017.
In the interview, Ball cited the advantage of “being an early mover in the marketplace, and in addressing Puerto Rico’s estimated $300 million-$500 million black market for marijuana. We believe we’ll be one of the first in the game.”
Ball, former chairman of Macy’s Midwest and president of Macy’s East, called the potential for market growth in Puerto Rico “infinite,” and went on to say, “I believe that the future of cannabis is comparable to what happened to spirits at the end of prohibition; however, in this case we are focused on providing cannabis for its abundant medical applications.”
“We believe that the legalization of medical marijuana here is welcome news for the Puerto Rican people who are now able to benefit from its use in treatment, and we are pleased to be one of the first and largest providers here,” Ball said.
In states where medical marijuana has been introduced, doctors prescribe cannabis for pain management, from headaches, diseases like cancer, or long-term conditions that include glaucoma and nerve pain.
Other conditions for which medical marijuana is prescribed include: muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis; nausea from chemotherapy to treat cancer; poor appetite and weight loss brought on by chronic illnesses such as HIV and nerve pain; seizure disorders, and Crohn’s disease, among others.
“Unlike most of the competition out there, Green Spirit is going to be professionally managed to the highest standards,” Ball said. “We know how to do leases, open dispensaries, do customer servicing and run a business professionally.”
“We are in a business that has traditionally been run by entrepreneurs with minimal retailing experience and not particularly well-funded,” he added.
Ball also spoke to Green Spirit’s strategy to become a complete vertically integrated company, one with multiple revenue streams.
“We have a plan to both organically grow and make acquisitions as appropriate, both in the dispensary side and on the grow side, as well as in the manufacturing of the various products [which include edibles, oils, pills, etc.],” he said, anticipating potential acquisitions that will take place in both the continental U.S. and other countries.