Weekend Unlimited (CSE:POT,FWB:0OS1,OTCQB:WKULF) President and CEO Chris Backus believes that consumer packaged goods (CPGs) will help drive brand recognition and revenue generation in the cannabis industry. He believes that developing cannabis brands that satisfy all market segments will define the future of the recreational and wellness markets.
In the interview below, Backus talked about his background in interest-based negotiations and how the skills he learned with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the United Nations (UN) will help him lead Weekend Unlimited to success. He also discussed the company’s recent win at CannaGather. Weekend Unlimited, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) and Curaleaf (CSE:CURA,OTCQX:CURLF) all won awards at the conference. Backus believes that the award points to the company being on the right track in terms of their corporate strategy.
Backus also talked about his plans to drive revenue generation across all of Weekend Unlimited’s verticals. One such tactic the company is using aligns with their recent change in branding. According to Backus, the shift is already bringing in positive feedback from consumers. Backus may also make some changes to the company’s structure to help optimize its processes.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Weekend Unlimited CEO and President Chris Backus. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: What’s your background and how did you first get involved with Weekend Unlimited?
Weekend Unlimited President and CEO Chris Backus: I joined the RCMP 20 years ago and was involved in drug investigations. During that time, cannabis was a criminal element, and I came to understand the plant. Health Canada would give the police licenses to grow cannabis so we could understand its cultivation cycles, quality and the value of the plant on the black market. This was so we could give subject matter expert witness testimony in court. My time with the RCMP let me be involved with the industry long before it became legal. I was able to talk to people in the industry about the recreational and medicinal value of cannabis.
Another thing I learned during my time with the police was crisis negotiations. I was allowed to continue my education and complete a master’s degree in interest-based negotiations. It allows me to help others understand their operations, objectives, what they want and how to achieve their goals. After that, I worked for the UN and was stationed as a strategic negotiator in Africa.
At the end of my law enforcement career, I started a consultancy company, because I saw the value of being able to execute an operation and how to communicate with others strategically. Through my consultancy agency, I’ve had the opportunity to work in various cultures and industries. I’ve helped with systems analysis, leadership training, communications and consulting in the law enforcement, retail, government and technology industries. Now, I have transitioned over to venture capital — that’s how I became involved with Weekend Unlimited.
I’ve been a consultant for Weekend Unlimited for over a year, and I have known the company since its inception. Over time my role at Weekend Unlimited has increased, and I’m honored to be the next CEO. I believe that I have the necessary skill set and understanding of the company to push it forward.
INN: What does the Weekend Unlimited’s recent win at CannaGather say about the company?
CB: I admire what CannaGather has done since the industry’s inception. They’ve been able to bring the leaders of the industry together to share ideas and recognize the progress that’s been made so far. For Weekend Unlimited to be recognized alongside companies such as Canopy Growth and Curaleaf is rewarding and an honor for our team. It indicates that our strategy and approach is on track.
INN: Why has Weekend Unlimited focused on consumer packaged goods?
CB: Through our research and experience, we determined that brands are the future of the industry. We’re focused on developing lifestyle brands that will define the future of the recreational and wellness markets and will satisfy all segments of the recreational market. By using a disciplined consumer packaged goods approach, we’ll be able to drive brand recognition and loyalty. We recently unveiled our Weekend product line and have received positive feedback from consumers. This disciplined approach to production, consistent high quality, packaging, sales and distribution allows us to put a high-quality product behind our brand as we foster its growth.
INN: Now that you’ve been appointed as CEO, what are your next steps?
CB: We’re looking at our verticals and our stories. Our shareholders have put time and money into them and now is the time to start generating revenue. Like a football team, you must have multiple initiatives going at the same time. You have to be forward thinking to reach your long-term goals, but you also need to run the ball. We need to show our shareholders that we are generating revenue and profit through our brands and verticals. I want to take our branded products to market by getting them on the air, telling our story, building our branded product portfolio, expanding market reach and creating revenues.
INN: How important is revenue generation to a cannabis company like Weekend Unlimited?
CB: It is critical. Our focus is on revenue generation right now. I believe that my background in understanding people, their values and where they are coming from will help drive the company forward. I’m going to make sure that we’re aligning ourselves with good people with great intentions and values that share our goals. I think we have a great team in place. We may restructure how we do things slightly, and I am committed to delivering positive results for our shareholders and customers in the months ahead.
This interview is sponsored by Weekend Unlimited (CSE:POT,FWB:0OS1,OTCQB:WKULF). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Weekend Unlimited in order to help investors learn more about the company. Weekend Unlimited is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Weekend Unlimited and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.
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