Grown Rogue International (OTCMKTS:GRUSF) CEO Interview: Making Money with Michigan Marijuana

November 22, 2021
Obie Strickler is the CEO of Grown Rogue International (OTCMKTS:GRUSF)

Obie Strickler, CEO, Grown Rogue International (OTCMKTS:GRUSF)

Obie Strickler is the CEO of Grown Rogue International Inc. (OTCMKTS:GRUSF).

He founded Canopy Management, LLC in 2015 to consolidate the three medical facilities he had operated since 2006 within one company.

Mr. Strickler formed Grown Rogue (OTCMKTS:GRUSF) in late 2016 and entered the Oregon recreational cannabis market with a plan to build a multi-national cannabis brand.

Mr. Strickler was successful in building a profitable medical cannabis company and used that foundation to build Grown Rogue where he has led a team that now has operations in three states with over 20 licenses.

Mr. Strickler has a B.S. in Geology from Southern Oregon University and is also an Oregon Professional Geologist. During the time he was financing and overseeing Canopy’s growth he was also the regional manager for a large multi-service natural resource company before starting his own business in 2011 to provide management services to large natural resource companies primarily in the mining sector.

In this role, he was responsible for building and integrating complex technical teams to advance large, world-class, multi-billion-dollar mining projects from exploration through feasibility primarily in base and precious metals.

In 2014, Mr. Strickler teamed with aerospace engineers to form HyperSciences, Inc., a platform technology company focused on commercializing hypervelocity technology into a variety of industrial applications.

Mr. Strickler helped secure a large contract with one of the world’s larger oil and gas providers to solve deep drilling challenges and moved this project through proof of concept before departing to focus on the opportunities in cannabis full time. Mr. Strickler is taking his production and product innovation experience in the cannabis industry and his integration and execution experience from the natural resource industry to build Grown Rogue (OTCMKTS:GRUSF). into a premier cannabis company.

In this 2,582 word interview, the Grown Rogue CEO Obie Strickler details his company’s growth prospects and strategic vision.

“There were three reasons we decided to jump into it full bore in 2016.

The first was, like anytime you start a business, you hope that there’s some sort of financial opportunity.

Secondly, we wanted to change the stigmas and the perception of cannabis as this stoner, non-reputable type of product that only the dregs of society used.

Professionals use it as well — doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and so on.

And lastly, the community we’re in has been known for cannabis production and operations for a long time. We wanted to make sure it was built properly in our region. We are both from this area and we have three kids, so we’re very entrenched in our community.

We wanted to make sure it was built in a way that we can be proud of and that the community can be proud of.”

Grown Rogue (OTCMKTS:GRUSF) has developed a significant growth opportunity in Michigan:

“Our current business model is flower only.

We’re about to launch pre-rolls in the Michigan market, but it’s basically flower only — high quality, low cost of production in both states, indoor and outdoor production methodology.

Our reason for that is that we decided to really focus in on a simpler business model and get really good. Then we can build additional product lines from that strong foundation, like we’re doing in Michigan with the pre-roll launch that we expect to come out in the next month or two.

The reason we can do that is because at one point in the beginning of the company, we had every product type in the industry.

We had cartridges, concentrates, edibles, pre-rolls, multiple brands, and we got really spread out.

So we’ve simplified the business to become stronger and more efficient. We’ll look to expand with additional product lines as we continue to grow…

Michigan fit our model for timing. We like to target states that are transitioning from medical to recreational legalization and regulatory structure.

Michigan was right in that time band where we see the real opportunity to serve a broader range of customers.

Medical is great, but when recreational opens up, you get a lot more customers and consumers and we’re able to spread our messaging and our products to a broader base.”

Grown Rogue (OTCMKTS:GRUSF) is navigating the start up cannabis industry adroitly under the leadership of Obie Strickler:

“We continue to grab market share.

One of the big things we’ve seen is that Oregon has had slightly declining sales, yet our sales have been increasing.

We are actually swimming against the tide when it comes to grabbing more market share in a compressing state. Same thing in Michigan. I think we’re a top 12 producer at this stage, and we’re not one of the biggest volumes, we just have really strong demand for our products with some of the innovation we bring, like our nitrogen sealed jars.

We’ve really created a brand that the consumers can trust and rely upon for transparency, education, and reliability. So that’s how we separate ourselves from our competitors, who are much more focused on just more internally rather than externally.

…We’ve seen several things in Oregon creating some supply/demand pressure. 2020 was a really strong year.

The surge from COVID caused a little bit less supply in the marketplace because of the previous year’s oversupply. So now we’re seeing a little bit more supply in the market. That’s one problem, but again, part of that is we’re producing more at this point, but we’re still able to sell it.

So that’s been a little bit of pressure on pricing.

The state grew 40% from 2019 to 2020 and expecting that to continue into 2021 was unrealistic.

Part of the decline is just the speed at which a market can grow isn’t infinite.

Cannabis at this point, ultimately as a commodity, is going to get supply/demand fluctuations, and that normally impacts price.

We’re going through another little piece of that right now, but it’s not unexpected and we’ll manage through it, tighten our belts a little bit as we get into maybe a little bit of a margin pressure.

But our business is so efficient, with good cost of production, that we can weather quite a bit of compression and still be very secure in our economic position.”

Get the inside scoop from Obie Strickler of Grown Rogue International (OTCMKTS:GRUSF) by reading the entire 2,582 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.