The Business Year

Dwayne McKenzie

President and Co-Founder, EPICAN

Javin Williams

CEO, Herboo Corporation Limited

Smart firms are harnessing brand Jamaica for far more dynamic commercial pursuits.

What were some highlights of 2018?

Dwayne McKenzie After going through a long and strenuous two-year process, we have finally been able to apply for a license, allowing us to move forward and implement all the practices we have been waiting to implement. The excitement now is about what all our efforts will result in; there is no roadmap but there is anticipation to see what is going to happen as we put our best foot forward. Then there was our partnership with the Green Organic Dutchman Ads. Here we were trying to associate ourselves with a brand with similar concept and beliefs. It is the only 100% organic company around, and since we are an organic company as well, we decided to form a partnership. Other than that, we liked their business model and international outreach. We are getting local physicians on board and engaging the government by providing it with data so it realizes the importance of helping enhance Jamaica’s medical community and widen the horizon of how we treat patients. We are hoping that these efforts will give physicians the ability to prescribe cannabis for their patients. At present, we have eight physicians working for EPICAN.

Javin Williams This year was one of the best years we have had. In February, we successfully pitched to First Angels Jamaica, a private investor firm. The support of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) was also vital in this endeavor, and has been on a number of other occasions. Moreover, we secured a distribution deal with Cari-Med Ltd, the largest personal care products distribution firm in Jamaica, which has already enabled us to reach 78 stores across Jamaica and will help us expand across the Caribbean in the near future. We also launched our new packaging, which is colorful and appealing due to its Caribbean vibrancy. We changed the logo, making it more sophisticated and demanding in order to connote a world-class product. We wanted a systematic design for the packaging that could relate all of our other products to the brand. We wanted it to be clear that all of our products were in the same family.

Do you have anything else in the works?

DM Yes, we have our processing facility in Jamaica where our CBD oil is being extracted through a CO2 extraction process, the purest extraction process to date. From that oil base, we produce a wide range of finished products, from topicals and mouth sprays to balms and tea. When the CLA and Ministry of Health evolve to the point where edibles are legal and regulated, we will have a wide range. At present, the Ministry of Health is not allowing anything over 1% THC, so we are only able to register CBD products. For now, we are limited in the number of products; however, we still have 10-12 different delivery systems that can work by making finished products from oil.

JW In 2019, we want to launch three additional products and build more local brand awareness. We want at least 50% of Jamaica to know about the brand Herboo and what we offer. We are working closely with our distribution company to expand our distribution channels and are going to do a lot of social media as well as traditional marketing to build brand awareness. Our main focus is local, but we welcome business from abroad as well. We are targeting countries in the Caribbean where there is a high demand for natural and organic cosmetics. We also export to the US, Europe, Canada, and the Cayman Islands. We are specifically looking at Trinidad, which has shown great interest in our products through social media. We have requests for a separate shampoo and a separate conditioner, and also want to create a body wash that helps with eczema.



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