Brian Athaide, CEO of Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGODF) , said he wants his company "to be the Whole Foods of cannabis."
Athaide's comments came in an interview at the Green Market Report's Advanced Economic State of Cannabis on Friday, Sept. 14, with TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer.
"I had the same biases [as everyone else] until a couple of years ago when I did my research and due diligence," Athaide told Cramer about his transition to cannabis from the alcohol industry.
He was tapped to become the CEO of Green Organic Dutchman in July. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Athaide was the chief financial officer of Andrew Peller Ltd., a winery company.
"Never in my life has Canada led the U.S. in an industry ... that's part of what brought me into [cannabis]," Athaide told Cramer. He said that he entered the industry because of national pride.
When asked why his company focuses on creating organic cannabis products, Athaide answered, "Organic really resonates with consumers."
"We want to be the Whole Foods of cannabis," he said. "We want to be authentic."
"The mission statement of TGOD is 'making life better' and that's really what we're about," Athaide said, smiling. He added his company doesn't throw its focus into products with high levels of THC but rather products that promote relaxation which may not appeal to customers chasing a high. "We're going after the soccer moms, the grandmas."
"Are you going to go out with your friends for a gummy?" asked Athaide. "No! You're going to go out for a drink. That's why we're focused on beverages."
The company recently signed a partnership with Stillwater Brands to license Ripple SC. Ripple is described in a press release as a "proprietary, patent-pending suite of low-calorie, fast-acting, water-soluble ingredient products that allows consumers or commercial manufacturers to simply and easily infuse cannabinoids into beverage and food products."
Setting aside the benefits of TGOD as a relaxer, Cramer asked about the possibility of cannabis products replacing sleep aides.
"There has not been a single case globally of a marijuana overdose. But opioids, there's death everyday. Thousands. And even alcohol poisoning," responded Athaide. He believes that cannabis can be a replacement for some opioid medications
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A good portion of the conference will be devoted to investing in cannabis. Cramer will talk exclusively with Canopy Growth (CGC) CEO Bruce Linton and Bill Newlands, president and COO of cannabis/alcohol player Constellation Brands (STZ - Get Report) .