* The following article was originally published in the October issue of Marijuana Venture, available now.
The folks at Brighton have traveled a long road to get to where they are, but plenty of miles remain before they can build their new cultivation center on a 66-acre site in Alberta, Canada.
The company has been approved by Health Canada to grow cannabis and it has completed the review process needed to begin construction. It’s taken 22 months to get to this point, with about a year still ahead before it can begin growing, but the company’s executives are not letting that stop them from moving ahead.
The leadership team turned their attention to the company’s intellectual property division in the interim, so Brighton has been refining new dosage and delivery products designed to provide consistent, reliable doses of cannabis. The company hopes the two pieces of patent-pending technology will give doctors more confidence in recommending marijuana as medicine.
“You can see we had some extra time on our hands to do something,” CEO Grant Gillott says.
Be Right On
The company that would eventually become Brighton got its start in 2006 when founder Kiley Geddie received a permit to grow cannabis at home to treat the symptoms from his spinal cord injury. Geddie, a quadriplegic, used medical marijuana to help him get off opiates that had been prescribed for his pain, according to Gillott.
When regulations changed in 2013, Geddie received a cease and desist for his personal grow, but began the application process for a commercial license.
Gillot and chief operating officer Dave Davis also got involved at that time. Together, the trio formed htKa, LLC (it stands for “honor truth Knowledge action”), which took over the licensing process the company is still in the midst of today, four years later.
But despite not being able to actually grow cannabis, Gillott, Davis and Geddie have kept busy. Facing extraordinary delays prior to opening, but needing a return on investment, the team asked doctors and medical providers who recommend cannabis about their experience and concerns with the drug, hoping to better position themselves to meet customer needs.
Gillott says doctors were concerned about dosage and consistency, the delivery methods available and the awkwardness of recommending a patient “Green Crack” or some other oddly named strain of marijuana.
Gillott, Davis and Geddie formed a second company, Compressed Perforated Puck Technology, Inc., and Davis, who received his first patent in 1988, began working on a solution to the physicians’ concerns. The result is the company’s Compressed Perforated Puck and Metered Dosage Inhaler, rolling out to the market later this year.
A third company, Canmaridon Holdings, Ltd. was created to handle the intellectual property rights and protect the group’s patents. In July 2017, all three companies were combined under the name Brighton Cares, Ltd. Gillott says the spelling and message — B-Right-On — immediately sold the team on the new name.
A slice of history
Gillott and Davis have known each other since 1988 and have worked together for 25 years. Prior to joining the Brighton team, Gillott owned four successful Chuck E. Cheese franchises in Canada. He says the kitchen staff initially trained him on procedures and he realized that without quality people on your team, you are simply out there on your own.
“There shouldn’t be a division between your line staff and your executive,” Gillott says.
It was Gillott’s experience in the corporate world that led Davis and Geddie to bring him on board. Davis, who understands cultivation and worked with Gillott as a technician during the Chuck E. Cheese years, says Gillott knew the basics of forming and running a company and helped make sure everything was prioritized properly.
With the license and facility on hold, the puck and dosing meter became the top priorities.
Gillott and Davis believe the Compressed Perforated Puck solves dosage concerns by allowing users to combine any two known strains of cannabis into a flat disc with a specific CBD:THC ratio that can be vaporized in the company’s inhaler. Terpenes, flavonoids or other additives can also be compressed into the puck to enhance flavor.
“It’s all about the ratio of medicine,” Davis says.
Brighton plans to license the puck to cultivators who can blend any ratio they want. Users can also grind their own cannabis and press it into a puck for use in the company’s inhaler device, which is also patented and keeps track of how often it is used and the time between uses to help patients keep better track of their dosage.
The company is yet to offer the puck for sale, as it wants to launch it with its own product before allowing others to create their own.
Ready to go
Because of that, Brighton still plans to get its production facility up and running as soon as possible, with the hope that it will become the company’s “bread and butter.” As Canada makes the move toward legalized, recreational cannabis, cultivators will be expected to pick up the slack to help meet rising demand in the face of shrinking supplies.
“We’ve got a real production problem north of the border here,” Gillott says.
And with 66 acres, Brighton is ready to become a major player in helping meet the country’s needs.
“We can put as many buildings on there as we want,” he says.
All three of Brighton’s founders believe strongly in the healing power of cannabis, especially after watching the plant help Geddie get off opiates and get his life back.
“We are as genuine as you can imagine,” Gillott says. “It wasn’t the money that motivated us. It’s something we felt compelled to get into.”[contextly_auto_sidebar]