Earlier this week, The Dales Report sat down with Jakob Ripshtein, the newly appointed chairman of Humble & Fume, to catch up on the company’s latest developments.
With its impressive list of brands including Puffco, Storz & Bickel, Fume, and more, Humble & Fume (CNSX: HMBL) (OTCMKTS: HUMBF) is a North American distributor of cannabis and cannabis accessories that began in 1998 as B.O.B Headquarters, a headshop in Brandon, Manitoba. Today, it has grown into an international company operating four subsidiaries focusing on distribution, sales, and manufacturing.
Ripshtein, a career executive and former president at both Diageo and Aphria, was appointed chairman of the board at Humble & Fume on November 30, just one week prior to the company’s debut on the OTCQX Best Market.
“There’s a lot of great companies in the industry and choosing which one to be associated with actually has more to do with a company, the future, and the people in it who are working with you on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s really the people behind it that make the difference.”
Based on his existing relationships with the company’s director, Shawn Dym, and its CEO, Joel Toguri, he said taking on an expanded role with Humble & Fume “just makes sense.”
Ripshtein stressed that after three years of cannabis legalization in Canada, what attracts investors to the market has changed significantly.
“You can see the confidence in the investment community is different now,” he said.
“Years ago, in the beginning, every news release created a buzz and everything went up in value. Today’s a bit different… the fundamentals should be there. You want to invest in a company that has grown-ups around the table with a clear strategy and a real pathway to success.”
When it comes to the cannabis retail market, Ripshtein said a move that has helped Humble & Fume find success in a high-density industry is partnering with companies on both the product and the distribution side, as well as on both sides of the border.
Humble & Fume recently signed an $8 million private placement deal with Green Acre Capital Distribution Corp. to establish a joint retail venture in California. Through the deal, Johnson Brothers, a leading alcohol distributor, has the option to acquire roughly 15 percent equity in Humble & Fume, if and when cannabis is legalized federally in the United States.
“We wanted to make sure we partner with a great company that has the same philosophy, the same background, the same values, and is ready to grow in this great industry. What they have, as you can imagine being part of the distribution of spirits in the U.S., is more distribution,” he says.
“The partnership is an advantage for both sides: the knowledge of cannabis world, you get from Humble & Fume, and the knowledge of U.S. distribution, you get from Johnson Brothers.”
To hear more from Humble & Fume chairman Jakob Ripshtein on the company’s new opportunity in cannabis retail, watch the video above.