Cannabis has long been known for its benefits for medicinal purposes, although its use in that context is still a legal minefield in many countries. Against that background, JuicyFields is a young company that aims to facilitate investment in the cultivation of medicinal cannabis through a novel business model. CEO Alan Glanse tells us more.
Thank you for joining us today, Mr Alan Glanse! First of all, for people outside the agricultural industry, the phrase “medical cannabis” is still somewhat of a mystery. Could you briefly elaborate on what is meant by this term?
Alan Glanse (AG): Thank you so much for having me! Yes, of course, I understand that this concept is still foreign to many out there and, in the majority of the countries around the world, it is not legal or even close to being so. However, medical cannabis is here to stay. Medical cannabis is used around the world to treat various diseases and act as a pain reliever. We are seeing a trend around Europe that more doctors are prescribing it to their patients, due to the success it has had.
Would you mind telling us how the idea of starting one of the most innovative crowd growing platforms, JuicyFields, came to be?
AG: I started out my career in the US and in Latin America. Interest in medical cannabis was growing rapidly, and there was a huge potential there. But, on the other hand, Europe was still very much behind in this growth, and I saw the potential of bringing cannabis opportunities here, and therefore I decided to found JuicyFields – a crowd growing platform that everyone can use in an easy way.
Could you give us a general idea of the overall process behind connecting cannabis businesses with potential investors in JuicyFields?
AG: Well, what JuicyFields does is that we connect people – anyone interested in investing in the medical cannabis industry with our partners. Our partners are located around the world, and are growing cannabis for medical purposes. What has made our platform so unique is the fact that we offer such a simple way to enter the cannabis industry without any hassle; you can simply grow online.
Given the legal landscape, the choice of going into the cannabis business market is an investment in both time and cost. In spite of all these challenges, what made JuicyFields pursue a future in this industry with such drive?
AG: It’s true, yes, but we still believe that the more time and effort we put into our business, the greater the change we will make. We want to be part of the industry from the very start. If we wait another 5-10 years, the hard work we are doing now will most probably be done easily, but we want to be part of shaping the industry and, for that reason, we need to start from now.
How has your company dealt with these changes and ultimately transformed them into learning opportunities, despite all the setbacks?
AG: With dedication and passion, we stand behind what we are doing. We have an amazing global team behind JuicyFields that makes this all happen every day.
JuicyFields prides itself on its extensive global reach of established cannabis production networks. Is there any particular reason for choosing cannabis specifically? Would other medicinal plants offer such potential for a good return on investment?
AG:: Cannabis is a profitable investment, yes, but that’s not why we started JuicyFields. The cannabis industry is heavily regulated and soon to be highly monopolised, as well. Our mission with JuicyFields is to give back profitability to the local growers, but at the same time be able to provide a platform that would allow cannabis to be free for all to benefit from. Wherever you are in the world, or however the legalisation of cannabis looks in your country, we have come up with a unique business model, which is also the reason for the success of the company.
We understand that there also two facets of JuicyFields’ cannabis entrepreneurship: the plant-touching and non-plant-touching businesses. In layman’s terms, what would be the definitive differences between the two? Which types of entrepreneurs are suited to each of these, and how would your company help them in the process?
AG: Absolutely, and, in a way, we can see ourselves as both; we help the people that want to grow cannabis but don’t have the capital to go through the legislation and governmental approvals required. But, at the same time, we support the local growers. We are the connection in between.
Cannabis legalisation and indoor recreation are just one of the many critical trends seeming to bolster the growth of the industry. Are there any trends you’re looking out for in particular? Do you think these innovations will disrupt the company or help it to evolve?
AG: These trends are needed to boost the growth of the industry, and they will help all companies, ourselves included, to grow even more. It’s time that we “normalised” the use of cannabis. There is still very much a stigma in many countries around this, and the more such trends we see, the more we will make people aware that it is here to stay.
What do you see as the global direction of the company in the long term? What can we expect from JuicyFields in the coming months?
AG: JuicyFields is still very much in the growth stage. We are only a year old and, even though a lot has happened in that year, we still have a lot to accomplish and improvements to be made. We are very humble within the industry and see ourselves as a company that is growing with it. We are focusing at the moment on educating our audience and new audiences, and are set to grow more internationally. We see a huge interest in JuicyFields around the world and are very motivated to grow within the next few years.