Interview, Part 2: Great North Distributors’ Doug WielandJanuary 21, 2020
In the second part of our interview with Doug Wieland, the president of Southern Glazer’s Canada and cannabis subsidiary Great North Distributors discusses the parallels between cannabis and beverage alcohol, as well as what form factors he sees driving Canada’s recreational cannabis market now that Legalization 2.0 is underway.
SND: With Legalization 2.0 kicking off, which form factors present the best opportunities for growth moving forward?
Wieland: We see a lot of opportunity with concentrates such as shatter, live resin, and so on. We believe that the market will develop similarly to recreational markets in the U.S—for example, Colorado, where flower sales have declined from 65% to approximately 40% of sales, and concentrates have increased to 31% of sales in the four years post-legalization. In the mid-term, we see potential for the development of beverages and edibles in Canada as well.
SND: Has the Southern Glazer’s expertise in beverage alcohol provided useful parallels in the cannabis category?
Wieland: We’ve found a number of similarities between beverage alcohol and cannabis. The most notable is the relationships with the regulatory boards and ways of working. We have a strong understanding of what the boards are looking for in partners and how to manage the entire process, from listing through sales to the end consumer. In this respect, we pride ourselves on having some of the best relationships in the country. This is a real differentiator we offer to new suppliers in the market.
SND: Has the beverage alcohol angle offered any advantages at the retail level?
Wieland: Yes, we’ve also found parallels in the tools that we use to connect our sales team with store staff and “budtenders.” We’ve used many best practices from our beverage alcohol business to help develop meaningful tools for our territory managers to better engage at the store level.—Daniel MarstellerSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning. You will also receive the Cannabis edition as part of your subscription.