Dosies, Ice Pops, Moats and a Baron, Sublime Canna is Building a New Cannabis Beast -- CFN Media

Seattle, Washington--(Newsfile Corp. - August 27, 2019) - CFN Media Group ("CFN Media"), the leading agency and financial media network dedicated to the North American cannabis industry announces publication of an article and CEO video interview discussing Sublime Canna's sage strategy.

In a cannabis market forecast by Grand View Research to reach $66.3 billion by the end of 2025, companies of all sizes are elbowing each other for market share. At Sublime Canna, the model is to avoid the scrum, instead building a moat around a portfolio of products that ride the line between mass appeal and novelty.

As explained "by Sublime Canna CEO Alex Fang to CFN Media's Greg Hasty at the recent NCIA CannaVest Conference, the company internally refers to its strategy as "USB," an acronym for "Unique, Superior and Barrier to Entry."

Sublime Canna CEO Alex Fang at the NCIA CannaVest Conference Speaking with CFN Media

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Dosies, Ice Pops and Fuzzies

If there is one overarching theme regarding Sublime's R&D view, it is "difficult is better." This touches on all three components of the company's USB mantra. For instance, take Sublime's choice to manufacture a Tic Tac-like cannabis product. The decision came after market research showing that the orange Tic Tac is the best selling mint in North America.

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The problem was, in the words of Fang, a sugar panned mint is a "pain in the ass" to make. The manufacturing process is "artisan in many ways," according to Fang and held extremely close to the vest by its owner.

It took a couple years and more money than was expected, but Sublime did it, developing a cannabis version of the mint that has been branded "Dosies." Sublime is also making the "Miracle Mint" in blue raspberry flavor.

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Sublime Canna's Dosies sugar panned mint available in Cara Cara Orange & new flavor Blue Raspberry

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When it came to an investment to penetrate the beverage segment, Sublime again got outside the box. Fang explained that while other companies were looking at sparkling or flavored water, Sublime management saw an opportunity to "take the vacuum in the marketplace" when California outlawed frozen confection.

While peers were seeing their cannabis ice cream, frozen yogurt and popsicles removed from shelves, Sublime was developing a shelf stable, fully California-compliant product "Sublime Ice Pops"

Again, it was market research and innovative thinking that underscored product development after leadership realized that ice pops are frequently recommended for people getting out of chemotherapy.

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Sublime Canna's Infused Medicated Ice Pops

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Sublime Canna's Infused Medicated Ice Pops

The company didn't back down from the challenge of developing a unique infused pre-roll either. Sublime's "Fuzzies" pre-rolls contain a proprietary list of ingredients including premium flower, in a recipe that creates a "very involved, complicated product that is completely different from what is the norm."

The result? The best selling infused pre-roll in California, trumpeted Fang.

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A Commitment to Differentiation

Fang explained during the discussion that it never made sense to him to spend resources on developing products that would compete head-to-head with already established products, even if he thought they could make something better. Simply, there are already plenty of "pretty good" gummies out there, so why waste resources making another?

For Sublime, the smart money goes into investing in differentiation and the technology and moats associated with it that keep potential competition at arm's length because making competing products is extremely difficult.

"We believe that by investing the time, effort and energy that we have over the past two years in all of the different formats that we have developed - as expensive as it has been - ten years down the road in retrospect when we're making everything for a few pennies a unit because we've gone through this 'manufacturing hell' that it will be money well spent," said Fang.

Apparently, the innovation is resonating with the investment community as gauged by Sublime recently closed a $20 million capital raise. A portion of the funds has been earmarked for completion of products in the portfolio. Elsewhere the company is working on new product development, which is being spearheaded by L.J. Buffardi, who came on as VP of Edibles Development at Sublime subsequent to the sale of his family business, Ferrara Candy to Nutella and Tic Tac maker Ferraro for $1.3 billion in 2018.

"There is some really exciting stuff that only exists in industrial candy that we are going to bring over to [the cannabis] industry," Fang said referencing Buffardi's skill set, adding, "It's super exciting" with a big grin.

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Fang further detailed that the company will remain focused on the upper echelon in the cannabis space. "We're not the type of company that is going to make a B+ topical or a B+ edible and dump A+ marketing behind it. All of [our products] have the ability to scale and the ability to have mass appeal. If we're doing this the right way, we can invest in making a moat and then we can run; we can go and scale from there," he said of the upcoming growth plans.

When it comes right down to it, Sublime proves that something as small as a Tic Tac can make it easily understandable about the appeal and potential for a business model underpinned by a quest for differentiated products with mass appeal.

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