Natural born corporate matchmaker brings together diverse wants to obvious needs in the global cannabis market
If Sean Dollinger has his way, his empire of vaporizer distribution will soon be joined via technology to medical practitioners and cannabis delivery.
The dot-com wizard turned ganjapreneur helms Namaste Technologies Inc. (CSE:N), which already is a global leader in medical cannabis delivery systems with 30 ecommerce retail stores in 20 countries.
The latest promised land for Namaste is Israel. Last month, Namaste signed a joint venture with one of Israel’s premier online vaporizer retailers, Vaporiza.co.il to increase revenue and gain greater exposure in the Israeli market. “Israel is a high priority for us,” said Dollinger, adding he plans further partnerships with Israeli medical cannabis producers that could supply to Canada.
The Montreal native and father of four is a natural born corporate matchmaker, bringing together diverse wants to obvious needs. While studying business at Marianopolis College, he ran several enterprises including a baseball school. After finishing his degree in Maryland, Dollinger started up a business, picking up and delivering whatever a customer wanted, and within a year after acquiring a competing business, sold it for 10,000 times his initial investment. Dollinger then went on to obtain a networking degree and started his first advertising and marketing company, which attracted over 10,000 clients in its first year of operation.
Today as CEO of Namaste Technologies Inc., Dollinger’s early training has him working with partners and clients around the world, including Canada, United States, Mexico, Bahamas, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Australia, South Africa, Monaco and Ireland.
“Namaste plans to leverage its existing consumer base and innovative technology to disrupt the global cannabis marketplace,” said Dollinger, whose database of global customers exceeds one million averaging 500,000 visits to the company’s websites. He attributes this phenomenal digital presence to advance analytics techniques and machine learning algorithms within Namaste’s e-commerce platform and sales channels.
“There is a huge, worldwide trend towards vaporizers, and Namaste is positioned to gain unprecedented access to one new market after another,” said Dollinger, pointing to legislation in Florida as an example. Florida bans smoking marijuana but allows vaping and cannabis-infused edibles.
Conservative estimates put vaporizer sales as a $2.5 billion market, and Namaste expects its revenue to hit C$25 million by Aug 2018 and those revenues to increase 35 per cent each year through 2020.
BIS Research said that the market will grow at over 22 per cent per annum to 2025, at which time it will have a market value of $50 billion, if you include electronic nicotine delivery systems like e-cigarettes.
Ted Ohashi, a veteran investment analyst and portfolio manager, said he recommends Namaste to his clients because it is in the rapidly growing internet marketing segment. “This is a high growth segment and Namaste’s consolidation moves makes it an established player when full legalization comes into effect next year in Canada,” said Ohashi, the author of "Let's Toke Business" newsletter.
Ohashi said Namaste’s management pedigree in this field is rare and is raising eyebrows with recent partnership deals in fast growing cannabis markets like Australia, Israel and Brazil. “Locally, with the CannMart deal, Namaste will be in a position to sell directly to customers using its extensive database next year,” said Ohashi, referring to Namaste’s acquisition of CannMart Inc., a late stage applicant under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.
The CannMart acquisition allows Namaste to market and brand medical cannabis products to its 50,000 plus dataset of Canadian consumers, and gives it the ability to provide same day delivery within the Greater Toronto Area, and next day delivery within Canada. “It expands our product offerings with a central warehouse in the CannMart facility to process both vaporizer and medical cannabis shipments, medical cannabis packaging, filling for pod-based vaporizers, and distribution for other brands of medical cannabis products,” said Dollinger.
Via the CannMart marriage, Namaste has also developed NamasteMD, an innovative telemedicine smart-phone app, which has been submitted to both the Apple Store and Google for approval. NamasteMD has been designed to provide a simple process for patients to connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner through a virtual consultation, from wherever they are. “We have now engaged multiple doctors and nurse practitioners who will be trained to provide consultations on the NamasteMD app, and issue medical documents to Namaste's patients,” said Dollinger.
“Patients who complete their consultation and receive a medical document through NamasteMD can then connect to CannMart’s online portal where they can purchase a wide range of medicinal cannabis products,” said Dollinger.
For Dollinger, Canada is leading the race towards world domination in the cannabis industry. “Namaste believes that Canada is at the forefront of the industry for cannabis legalization, and we intend to leverage our digital expertise to become the world’s leading online retailer for medical cannabis,” he added.
With a variety of deals over the last month and on the horizon, Dollinger, armed with powerful digital channels, is well on his way towards world domination in the sale of legal cannabis products.