For those unfamiliar with the company, Red Light Holland (CNSX: TRIP OTC: TRUFF) currently grows and sells magic truffles to the legal, recreational market in the Netherlands. We are pleased to have CEO Todd Shapiro of Red Light Holland with us to discuss the development of his Toronto-based company over the last year, the microdosing kits that Red Light Holland produces, and the possible future of magic truffles in Canada.
Here’s some highlights from the interview:
Bruce Linton on Board
In 2020, Bruce Linton joined Red Light Holland as chairman of the advisory board. Shapiro says that Bruce has done a great deal to help advance the company, and is “a fascinating guy” who provides a tremendous amount of support to both Red Light Holland and to Shapiro, personally.
Bruce Linton is the former CEO of cannabis company Canopy Growth.
Red Light Holland’s iMicrodose truffle packs: a new way of selling magic truffles, specifically for microdosing
Branding is often top of mind for the company. Red Light Holland, Shapiro says, was chosen for the company name because the name was “a bit polarizing” – a feature he likes because it creates hype and talk. But the product itself is marketed in a fairly different way.
Red Light Holland packages and promotes a microdosing kit called the iMicrodose, “comprised of the ideal truffle quantity promoting responsible use.” Currently the product is only available for sale to adults 18+ in the Netherlands in Smart Shops and online.
SR Wholesale acquired to help get shelf space for Red Light Holland’s microdosing kits
Earlier this year, Red Light Holland acquired SR Wholesale. This move, Shapiro says, was because distribution takes so much time. To get into the Smart Shops, relationships and face-to-face time with the shop owners are required, something difficult to establish in the pandemic. It took Red Light Holland a few months to get into 9 shops, but within a few weeks of acquiring SR Wholesale, they were in 13 more stores.
Red Light Holland’s marketing and ecommerce sales have been fairly conservative to date, with a reason. “There’s definitely a marketing strategy that will go into our online sales,” Shapiro says. “Truth be told, we wanted to make sure that we could grow properly, we could harvest properly, and that we could package and distribute properly, and now ship properly. It takes time. You don’t want to … invest $100,000 into marketing if you don’t think that fulfillment is a perfect operating machine.”
Confidence in that ‘machine’ however is growing, and he feels that Red Light Holland will become more aggressive with their marketing in the near future. While he wasn’t prepared to share the details of the branding strategy planned just yet, he did say that SR Wholesale and expanding their microdosing kits into as many Smart Shops as possible will be a key part of Red Light Holland’s plan.
Working with Canada’s regulatory framework
Shapiro says that magic truffles do cross the international borders from the Netherlands into Canada, and he says his company is doing this carefully. Red Light Holland is working with Seacrest Laboratories and Shaman Pharma for research, and Shapiro hopes that this shows everyone that his company is using careful corporate governance combined with regulatory authorities to show that it can be done legally, and so that his company might hopefully become part of the process of prescribing it to Canadians if naturally-sourced psylocibin becomes legal that way.