A little more than a year ago, Chris Driessen, then the chief business development officer for O.penVAPE, had reason to adopt a “sky’s the limit” attitude about the future of the company. Its performance in the preceding years had been astonishing. “We grew 1,600 percent in 2013, another 450 percent in 2014, and are on pace to more than double again in 2015,” he said. “Currently, we sell a product somewhere in the U.S. every ten seconds.” In July 2016, Driessen also added to his resume the position of president of Organa Brands, O.penVape’s parent company. The company continues its upward trajectory as a dominant cannabis brand.
How was 2016 for the company in terms of market expansion and share?
In 2016, we expanded our licensee network to twelve markets, adding four new states including Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Vermont. In addition to our growth through market expansion, we have also increased market share in our more mature markets, like Colorado and California. In Colorado, BDS Analytics rates our market share at 51 percent, which is impressive when you consider there are 61 other competitive brands in the pre-filled cartridge vertical.
What about 2017? Any new products or partnerships on the horizon?
Organa Brands, the parent company to O.penVAPE, is poised for dynamic growth by way of brand, product, and market expansion. We have begun to launch several new brands, including Bakked concentrates, District Edibles, and The Magic Buzz cannabis shots.
We are the only cannabis company that currently operates in all four newly legalized states, so we have a special focus in those markets to scale and be prepared for the coming increase in demand. We are expanding our footprint in California and introducing all of our brands in an effort to gain more market share prior to adult-use going live in 2018.
How many shops sell O.penVape products? Are you planning to expand into any new states in the near future? Are you pleased with the way in which retailers are marketing your products?
We have licensees in ten states and Jamaica. You can find our THC products in over 1,200 dispensaries and our hardware and ancillary non-THC products in thousands of stores in eight countries. In 2017, we anticipate welcoming an additional three states to our licensee network, going live in Jamaica and expanding our international footprint into six more countries.
The cannabis industry evolves quickly, as do the marketing and retail strategies being used around the country. We have introduced our app, O.penREWARDS, in Colorado. It currently has 10,000s of users, and has been extremely well received by customers, store owners, and budtenders alike. The app will roll out across the country, where possible, in 2017.
Are there any trends in the vape sector you want to comment on?
The cannabis consumer of today is more knowledgeable than ever before. People expect, and have a right, to know what they are putting into their bodies, including what terpenes and cannabinoids other than THC are found in their favorite products. This trend has produced a demand for distillate oils, which has swept across the country in the past year. Distillation allows for an exceptionally pure oil, devoid of almost all other plant byproducts. The result is an extremely pure, extremely tasty finished product.
In addition to pure oils, the consumer wants to consume that oil in hardware that allows them to be in control. It’s not good enough anymore to simply burn oil with high heat to produce large clouds of vapor. The hardware of the future is simple to use, smart-enabled, and can provide the end-user with variability in experience.