November 13th 2019 – Denver, CO—Kola Authentix, a recently formed entity out of Colorado focused on strengthening the cannabinoid supply chain through rigorous authentication protocols, has announced the launch of its virtual vertical to connect consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) with pharmacist authenticated cannabinoids and provide the industry with a roadmap to full legitimacy.
A Market with Infinite Potential
Science has spoken; the market has responded. With peer-reviewed research now validating cannabinoids’ therapeutic effects for pain, migraines, headaches, seizures, depression, opioid dependency, chronic cancer, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, and more; we are witnessing an ever-increasing demand from the evolving medical, health and wellness sector for access to nutraceutical-grade hemp and its derivatives. According to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, the CBD market alone will surpass $20 billion by 2024. Opportunity is calling.
A Precarious Landscape
Though filled with possibility, the road leading to the industry’s full potential is fraught with uncertainty. This market, long relegated to the shadows has not adjusted easily to the light. Regulation and oversight have been virtually nonexistent, and the dire consequences for consumers have nearly kept pace with the industry’s expansion. Most recently, we’ve witnessed an outbreak of deadly lung diseases resulting from tainted cartridges infiltrating the vape market. Meanwhile, in August of this year, it was reported that products from one of the largest entities in the space were found to be tainted by cough suppressants and synthetic cannabinoids. But these are only the latest developments. Since the market’s inception, products advertised as safe and organic have repeatedly tested positive for excess THC, harmful pesticides, and industrial solvents; while others have tested negative for any cannabinoids at all. Fraud is rampant; liabilities abound.
The supply chain is lacking its critical link. In its place is a void in quality control and security; a gap of unpredictability that separates the aspiring consumer market entrants from the growers and extractors vying to be their source for those valuable compounds.
The Critical Link is Here
Kola Authentix was formed precisely to fill that void, to be the bridge of safety and security that connects reputable CPG companies with verifiable, scalable sources.
“We have all of the resources right here together,” founding partner, Mark Mersman elaborates. “We are a distribution company providing all different forms of cannabinoids in different preparations, yes, but we also function as a consulting firm. We connect companies entering the space to our virtual vertical at any level of the supply chain and provide them with the expertise crucial to their success.”
They achieve this by nurturing strong relationships throughout the vertical, putting them in a position to audit their sources of supply to the same degree as any conventional ingredients company.
“However,” Mersman continues, “it’s important to understand that we are not an agricultural firm. The only things we are cultivating are the relationships that make it happen. We are a bioscience firm working directly with our network of verified growers and extractors to bring authenticated products to the CPG companies in the marketplace.”
Jeff Beverly, a former investment manager with a background in law, has spent the last decade as the primary driver of multiple hemp and cannabis start-ups, beginning first in California’s medical market, moving quickly into accessories, and ultimately landing in the nutraceutical hemp market.
Mark Mersman, also from the financial sector, brought his passion for cannabis into the open when the recent wave of legalization began to crest and has since worked tirelessly to bring his entrepreneurial expertise in compliance and education to the burgeoning marketplace.
Rounding them out is Paul Sullivan, RPh, the catalyst behind the firm’s founding. A compound pharmacist with over 30 years experience and more than 1,100 formulations to his name, Sullivan is one of the foremost authorities on pharmacogenetics. His skills and expertise, honed over a lifetime, enable Kola to not only create flawless cannabinoid applications for their clients, but also audit the processing, extraction and manufacturing facilities within their network.
But this founding trio is only part of the story. The company is moving quickly to round out their advisory board with the very top experts in cannabis commerce and science, as well as utilizing their vast network to forge partnerships with the most influential operators in the market. The coming weeks will see a steady stream of announcements from Kola highlighting exciting new additions to the endeavor who will widen the company’s scope and further solidify their role as the industry’s standard bearer for safety, security and authentication.
The Value Delivered
Kola Authentix provides an integrated system of authentication, a virtual vertical that ties each step in the process together and provides the ability to execute on stringent quality controls with confidence. They deliver value through risk mitigation and timely market awareness, consistently informing their clients of new developments and discussing strategy to keep them competitive while ensuring access to the most advanced product offerings with the highest quality and safety.
With a stringent third-party compliance process that stays two steps ahead of the game, and an ever-evolving network of experts; they have set themselves up as not just a connection, but the connection; the critical link in the supply chain, poised to bring a new standard of safety and security to a marketplace where standards are all but nonexistent.
“What’s good for the industry is good for all of us,” Beverly asserts. “They say a rising tide lifts all boats; well, a receding tide sinks them into the mud. We don’t want a couple bad actors out there jeopardizing the whole industry.”
Safe. Secure. Authentix.