Cannabis Operator Vertical Bets Big on Hemp with Plans to Spin Out a Wellness Company
Vertical is all about brands in both the cannabis and hemp spaces, and, right now, the company has a portfolio of 35 brands already in the market and in production.
Exclusive Interview with Vertical’s Wellness Division CEO Smoke Wallin
January 24, 2019 at 4:21 pm Exclusive article by Carrie Pallardy
Smoke Wallin, CEO of the company’s newly created wellness division, spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the company’s model, plans to spin out Vertical Wellness into a separate company and the upcoming IPO.
The Vertical Leadership Team
Wallin has spent most of his career focused on brands and distribution. Two years ago, he sold his vodka and whiskey company and began exploring new opportunities. His wife suggested cannabis, and he started to do his research. At a meeting of the Young Presidents’ Organization, he met his current partners Todd Kaplan (CEO and founder of Vertical) and Courtney Dorne (President of Vertical Brands).
Kaplan comes from a healthcare background, while Dorne previously worked in the food industry. On the branding side, Kevin Henry and Nelson Giacometto, both from the alcohol industry, serve as Directors of Brand Management. The company also recently appointed Marine and operations expect Drew Milburn as COO.
The Company Footprint
Vertical is active in California, Arizona, Ohio, and Kentucky. In Needles, California, the company’s 29-acre campus includes a 40,000-square-foot cultivation facility, a second 20,000-square-foot cultivation facility nearing completion, and a 10,000-square-foot building for manufacturing and extraction. The company is also building a commercial kitchen through a joint venture with Form Factory, soon to be acquired by Acreage. Depending on timing and capital, the company has the capacity to build another seven or eight buildings on the campus, according to Wallin.
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