Chill Brands Group has appointed former senior sales director for Juul Labs and Anheuser-Busch InBev as chief commercial officer (CCO).
Michael Sandore is joining Chill Brands Group, an international consumer packaged goods company, as CCO.
Sandore has built a world-class track record in Sales Management over the past 18 years with two iconic consumer brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Juul Labs. Starting his career with Anheuser-Busch in 2003 to help activate its sports and entertainment properties, he advanced to wholesale and retail sales management roles during his 15 years representing the company.
Chill Brands co-CEO and founder Antonio Russo, commented: “We are honoured and excited to welcome Mike Sandore to Team Chill.
”This is a landmark achievement for our Company. His outstanding track record of sales and profits, and his background working with major national and international brands, makes him a perfect fit for our future.”
Mr Sandore commented: “Chill Brands is positioning itself as an early leader in two of the fastest-growing consumer brand segments – CBD and tobacco alternative products.
“Today’s adult customer is looking for alternative products and the Chill brand is positioned to offer a variety of alternatives for any occasions those adult customers gravitate to. I want to personally thank Antonio Russo and Trevor Taylor for this incredible opportunity.”
Sandore was recruited in 2018 by Juul Labs to build its retail and wholesale business among key regional and national customers. He was named national accounts senior sales director for JUUL’s top national key accounts within the US convenience store channel.
He was also directly involved with deploying JUUL’s industry-leading age-verification platform consistent with its PMTA commitment, as well as additional strategic priorities, including merchandising contract design and execution, retail trade marketing and brand messaging, and an expansion of the brand’s digital engagement.
Cannabis Trades Association now under new leadership
The UK Cannabis Trades Association has appointed a new executive director.
The Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) has appointed Marika Graham-Woods as its new executive director.
Graham-Woods was voted in by the CTA board in November as executive director.
The trade body is Europe’s largest representing the interests of the cannabis and hemp industry, and the only Association formed to work with Government to create a legal and sustainable European cannabis industry.
Graham-woods brings specialist experience in strategic international marketing and market development as well as business growth and change leadership.
The CTA stated: “Over the last year we have become an outward looking organisation which exists to support our members, and their businesses by opening up the Hemp and Cannabis Markets in the UK, EU and further afield.
“The UK markets are set to open rapidly with legislative changes during 2022. The CTA is at the centre of these changes helping to remove the legal barriers to hemp and cannabis markets and enact legislative change.”
Speaking in a public post, Graham-Woods, stated: “I am the new Executive Director for the CTA, and together with my fellow Executive Director Sian Phillips we are changing the CTA together. I was elected to my role at the end of November…
“The CTA is forming the Industrial Hemp Marketing Board to organise and market growers, production facilities and the products that vertical integrated markets needs eh building materials and bio-fuels.”
In July 2021, the body struck a deal with a local UK authority, Oxfordshire County Council, to help it navigate regulations – a relationship is known as a primary authority partnership.
The partnership was formed due to Novel Food regulations on CBD products – for which the Foods Standards Agency, recently announced local authorities will need to ramp up efforts of enforcement as applications make their way through the approval process.
“Every milestone we go through as a business gives me a moment of pride.”
Matthew Anderson shares his journey from marketing to the CBD wellness space with the launch of his new business, RAIN.
Matthew Anderson, managing director of RAIN speaks to Cannabis Wealth about his start in the CBD industry.
Matthew was inspired to enter the CBD industry after it was recommended to him during a stressful period in his life. As he began to feel more relaxed, he wondered if there was a way he could combine his marketing skills with wellness products.
“I tried CBD after a friend gave it to me to help me with how stressful things were at the time. I had no experience with CBD and zero knowledge about it other than it was related to cannabis. It blew me away and I was surprised by how much it helped me,” he said.
“That was the beginning of my curiosity on a purely personal level. I began to realise that the career I was in wasn’t sustainable in a lot of ways. I had been interested in wellness and the area of CBD was becoming something I was interested in.”
By chance, Matthew was introduced to Harry Jameson, the personal trainer and wellness consultant. Together they developed the idea for RAIN. The brand launched in 2021 with a selection of three products including their RAIN cloud CBD pen, a balm and a candle. The candle is described as containing a “fragrance contains only non-synthetic essential oils which evoke delicious notes of the cannabinoid sensory experience… without unnerving the neighbours.”
Matthew explained the reason behind the name. “We liked it as it is symbolic of renewal. Cleanse the old and tend the new is our line which is what rain does. It embraces the natural world which is what the brand is about. Everything we do is 100 per cent natural in terms of ingredients in our products, even our pens.”
The signature product for the brand is their CBD pen which contains 40 per cent of high-quality broad-spectrum CBD with a carefully selected array of terpenes. The pen has a citrus flavour and contains terpenes such as linalool, citral and terpinolene. The pen design is sleek and it can fit easily into a pocket or handbag.
“Our RAIN CLOUD sums up the real essence of the opportunity we saw. On a formulation level, we saw the chance to make a product that is genuinely cleaner than others by using the best ingredients. The vape industry was lacking an elegant beautiful device as vapes were traditionally clunky, big devices.”
With his background in marketing, Matthew has a head start on how to position the brand or advertise. But, the CBD industry is a difficult one to advertise in due to restrictions and now, social media bans.
Matthew said: “Social media is not our friend in the way it is to a lot of brands at our stage. It is the go-to marketing channel for early-stage consumer business and there is no getting around that. We would like it to be for us as well and we can do that but to a very limited extent. We can’t put any money behind paid marketing on a lot of platforms.”
He added: “It can be incredibly frustrating when you are trying to figure out a strategy, how to scale or grow your business. You may not have the money to put into traditional advertising channels and PR isn’t a cheap thing to do either.”
As with a lot of brands, the changing nature of the CBD industry has had an impact on the products Matthew and Harry have decided to launch. The novel foods regulations have meant they decided not to launch an oil.
“The novel foods regulations have been the biggest headache for the business. We would have had a sublingual oil on the market were it not for that regulation. It has been a big frustration for us. We refocused what we wanted to do and hopefully one day we can make a product like that.”
RAIN is Matthew’s first business and as a result, he feels incredibly proud about what he has achieved. He has been delighted by the success of the business but feels that the reaction from customers has made it even more worthwhile
“As it’s my first business, every achievement is cool. The fact that people wanted to put their hard-earned money into the business I run is something in itself. Then there is having a business which is on the shelves in shops, including Selfridges as well, he said.
“The most meaningful thing has been the customers who love the products. The feedback has been phenomenal. We really believe in our products like our balm. We’ve had people find it incredibly useful for things like arthritis and I use it when I play tennis.”
“On a professional level, just about every milestone, we go through as a business gives me a moment of pride.”
Productive start to 2022 for Apollon Formularies
The company has secured new agreements, confirmed the renewal of licenses and has appointed a new non-executive director.
After ending 2021 initiating the treatment of cancer patients in Jamaica, UK-based Apollon Formularies has continued with a productive start to 2022.
International medical cannabis company Apollon Formularies has announced the appointment of Roderick Claude McIllree as a non-executive director of the company.
McIllree, who was instrumental in bringing the company to the AQSE Growth Market via a reverse takeover in April 2021, has advised, funded and run public companies across multiple global exchanges in several sectors for more than 20 years. He has specific experience in technology, mining, international logistics and finance.
The news follows announcements across January 2022, including the renewal of its licenses in Jamaica which will enable the company to operate its new pharmaceutical processing laboratory, as well as to operate consumer dispensaries and provide spa services. It also announced the signing of new agreements with Jamaica’s Cannabis License Authority (CLA) licensed cultivators allowing access to high-quality flower, working with Jamaican farmers.
CEO of Apollon, Stephen Barnhill, MD, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Rod to the Board as a non-executive director.”
McIllree currently owns ordinary shares in the Apollon, representing approximately 29.06 per cent of the issued share capital.
“Rod, a significant shareholder in the company, has a long-established career with a demonstrable record of growing small-cap companies and creating shareholder value of many business ventures over a long career,” continued Barnhill.
“He brings a wealth of financial and directorial experience to the team, and I look forward to working with him as we move our business towards the global rollout of Apollon’s product range and medical expertise to supportive jurisdictions.”
Currently charmian of AIM-listed Bluejay Mining Plc., McIllree has been a long-time advisor to, and investor in, Apollon. The company has stated that it believed his appointment strengthens its board at a time that the company expects to experience significant growth.
In July 2021, Apollon announced results of third-party independent testing of its medical cannabis formulations, which demonstrated they were effective in killing hormone-resistant and hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cells in 3D cell cultures.
McIllree commented: “Apollon is an excellent example of utilising research and development to help improve people’s lives.
“The compelling results of Apollon’s formulations killing cancer cells in 3D-cell culture and the upcoming opening of the International Cancer and Chronic Pain Institute in Jamaica are important milestones for the company and offers outstanding potential on many fronts.
“I look forward to working with Dr Barnhill and the wider Apollon team at this exciting time for growth as the company looks to execute on the various business partnership opportunities becoming available.”
Apollon expects to appoint further high-profile directors to the board in the coming month.