In January 2017 the Italian government passed a law (242/2016) which regulates the cultivation, transformation and sale of Cannabis and Cannabis derived products. Under this new legal framework it is possible to produce and market Cannabis and related products, which contains a percentage of THC inferior to 0.2. In this context we saw the opportunity to establish a company that operates in the Cannabis Industry according to law, a market that was completely unexplored at the time. We introduced ourselves to the market at the annual Indica Sativa Trade 2017 (one of the main Italian industry-specific fairs) presenting the first strain of “legal weed”, immediately receiving numerous positive feedbacks by the participants and a massive attention from the media. Given the success of Easyjoint at its first public appearance, and the total absence of competitors, it quickly managed to acquire market shares as the demand kept growing and new companies entered the market attracted by its potential.
As of today Easyjoint is the undisputed market leader with a share of approximately 85% of the “legal weed” industry and a well-known brand.
Being the first mover in an empty market has represented an incredible marketing leverage, with a communication campaign carried on by the leading Italian newspapers. As of today, Easyjoint has invested just €10,000 in marketing, while people have started to use the term “easyjoint” to refer to legal cannabis in general. In the first months of activity (May/Dec’17) the Company generated revenues for € 1,754,160 with a net income of € 231,146.
Financially, the Company is in good shape: it is entirely financed through equity and there are no debts with any financial institutions; the cash generated by the core activity has been sufficient to sustain the growth of the company without the need of seeking capital from third parties.
Easyjoint buy its product from independent farmers that were already dealing with hemp for the textile and the food industries. Our products are available in over 400 hemp specialized shops (which accounted for 2/3 of the total revenues) all over Italy and online and they are therefore easily available to every potential customer on the national territory.
Easyjoint established a wide and trusted network of small producers of Cannabis that is considered an important asset to the Company. From the early days were we had only one strain, we diversified our offer bringing 9 different strains in the market with different characteristics and different price positioning.
During the first days of the Company we also established an online marketplace, which contributed to approximately 1/3 of the total revenues of 2017. The website registers around 25,000 single user views, 45% are returning customers and the orders increase on average 180% per month. It is one of the best Italian e-commerce website. Although we planned to spend a considerable amount of financial resources on marketing and communication, the strong attention given to Easyjoint by the media allowed us to basically eliminate this voice of investment from our plans. On average, there are 1.4 mentions of Easyjoint in the press everyday and we registered an increase of around 500% in Google entries for the word “Cannabis” in Italy since our first public appearance.
Future Growth Opportunities
According to the data and information we have gathered through our activity we are confident that the demand for low thc cannabis will continue to grow steadily in the next years. Being the market leader in a young and growing industry we can consider a lot of opportunities. We have already started to modify our supply agreements (20 contracts have been already closed), to both have more control on the cultivation process, to ensure that are qualitative standards are met, and at the same time become the exclusive customer for our suppliers, thus enforcing the industry’s entry barriers.
Instead of selling seeds to our suppliers, and then buy part of their products, we will start to sell them newborn female plants, thus eliminating the risk of growing male plants, and by contract, the producers will be allowed to sell exclusively to Easyjoint. Another important project that is being pursued is the establishment of a Franchise network under the brand Easyjoint: as of today, we have closed 2 contracts for a shop in Rome and Milan, the two major Italian cities, that will open at the beginning of March 2018; we have 22 pre-agreements in the last phases of negotiation, and have selected 120 best potential franchisees over 800 requests that we have received.
Easyjoint will grant to the franchisees the exclusive supply of its products and other hemp-related goods, as well as furniture for the shops, the IT system for the management of orders and inventory. We have established a network of the best suppliers of hemp related products, specializing on food (hemp pasta, hemp biscuits, cannabis-infused olive oil, candies), but also extracts and cosmetics. This way, we are building relationships and strengthening our position in the industry, and at the same time decisively contributing to the growth of the industry itself.
Easyjoint is also moving the first steps toward in the medical cannabis industry and plans to sell its products in Italian pharmacy as soon as the legal framework will allow it.
Company’s Management Profile
Luca Marola (1977). Founder of Easyjoint. Owner and manager of one of the oldest Italian grow shop, the “Canapaio Ducale”, founded in Parma back in 2002.
He’s a long time advocate of the Italian anti-prohibitionist movement in favor of the legalization and normalization of the use of Cannabis. He published 4 volumes on the subject: “Marijuana in salotto” (2015), “Legalizzare con successo – L’esperienza Americana sulla Cannabis” (2015), “Marijuana rulez! Le vittorie referendarie in USA” (2017) and “Autofiorenti, il primo manuale di coltivazione” (2017). He is host and director of the only Italian radio show of the sector, “Non solo Skunk”, that is being broadcasted weekly on 5 Italian radio station.
He has been a movement’s spokesperson and activist with over 130 presences in anti-prohibitionist initiatives, he’s made multiple interventions at the Italian Parliament, and is actively involved in think tanks regarding cannabis and its legislation.
At the most recent talks at the Italian Parliament Easyjoint has been recognized as an active player in the definition of future regulations of Cannabis light. Aiming at the normalization of the legal framework, the most important agriculture industry association has established that Easyjoint’s products and ways of production represent the standards of quality that all the players in the industry must meet. This clearly puts Easyjoint in a privileged position on the normative side, being right at the center of the legislative developments, and allows the management of the company to be constantly informed on the political activity in Rome, thus creating a situation in which uncertainty is highly reduced.
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