- Celebrating International Women's Day with Alisia Ratliff, Scientist and CEO of Victus Capital Ventures.
- A frank conversation about the frustrations of being the only woman in the board room; the push to keep evolving and starting Victus with her husband Chris.
- Leading with science and data. Building awareness and strategic change.
- Loving extraction & new cannabinoids coming online. The stress of having IPs without capital.
Alisia Ratliff is CEO of Victus Capital Ventures and is about to start a new position as Chief Scientist Officer for an up and coming hemp company in the UK. Victus specializes in helping investors and venture capitalists go from conceptualization to a fully functioning operation with a diverse product portfolio. Alisia was recently named to Cannabis Scientist's 2021 Power list of inspirational mentors and has been published in Cannabis Business Times, The Cannabis Scientist and Terpenes & Testing. Christopher Ratliff, President of Victus Capital, joins us towards the end for a fully inclusive picture of the way forward.
- Worked at medical distribution company in logistics, began to understand product movement and flow. After getting Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry, worked in testing space as lead extraction specialist working mostly with water and soil testing. Then expanded into business aspects of running a lab doing contract analytical work for large contract research organizations. Making data relevant. In 2016 approached to be a lab director in cannabis space and discovered building outprocessing facilities was her niche. Product development, exclusive deal with Charlotte's Web (OTCQX:CWBHF) taught Alisia valuable lesson.
- Inspired by green medicine. Not masking the pain with opioids and synthetics. Endocannabinoid system is natural - how it affects wide variety of pain management. Increased bioavailability hard not to be excited by.
- Data will drive change and destigmitization. Extremely expensive to break into vertical market and data has been light except for what was coming out of Israel. Now more scientists to really vet the data.
- Started Victus last year - looking for the right investors to partner with, either in the European market or processing facilities in North America. Alisia had gained all this knowledge in all parts of the supply chain, but as a woman and woman of color experienced a lot of challenges from executives and board members who were also ignorant to science aspects of cannabis. Most recent professional frustration led her to start Victus with her husband Chris.
- Diversification of investment - less than 5% of investment in the cannabis industry go to people of color and even less go to women owned cultivators or processors, but on retail side, huge number of minority or women owned dispensaries. Has to do with access to capital. $25-50 million for a vertical startup not as accessible as start-up fees for dispensaries which doesn't amount to more than a few hundred thousand dollars.
- How do we affect change for issues plaguing industry - raising awareness. Chris wrote an article about this last year. Cannabis control commissions are starting to diversify their boards - great step - and that will affect legislation. Social equity programs curated by people really in the know or that have been directly affected also helps directly impact the absurd injustice of people making millions while others remain in jail. Investors also must be informed the history, how the hemp industry started during slavery - enlightened investors beget diversified, enlightened companies.
- Stringent research and development lacking in the industry. Mostly a race to go public. What it takes to win over the long-term, not just start up a business. Finding the hidden gems that really know about cultivation - it's a scientific and horticultural industry. Paying for scientific talent.
- National Diversity and Inclusion Association - local and conference platforms. Minorities in Cannabis Association - diversity inclusion needs to actually be done not just talked about. Expanding awareness across different platforms. Consumer base is now extremely sophisticated.
- Thoughts on European cannabis market - how it's different than the US. More emphasis on long-term planning. State by state similar to country by country in Europe. Europe's market being dictated by compliance, US is behind in that regard - they went online before compliance was standardized.
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