Exclusive Interview with Jack Yu From Mernova Medicinal

Creso Pharma's wholly-owned subsidiary Mernova Medicinal has been on a tear lately, securing millions of dollars of purchase orders across Israel and Canada since last summer. To learn more about Mernova, we sat down with the company's managing director, Jack Yu.

Mernova Medicinal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH), which CPH purchased in July 2017.

Operations are conducted at a world-class, fully-licensed, 24,000 sq. ft. indoor growing facility in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The facility is currently in phase 1 of Mernova's 3-phase plan, boasting 10 grow rooms with a total production of 1200-1400 kg/year. Mernova is in the advanced stages of securing EU-GMP certification for this facility.

In 2020, Mernova hit several key milestones, including receiving a series of purchase orders for its hang dried, hand-trimmed, cured cannabis flower, worth over A$1m from Israel partner UNIVO Pharmaceuticals, as well as more recent PO's across Canada.

Mernova commenced retail sales in 2020 across several territories throughout Canada, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Yukon, with the company also having recently received its first and second PO's from Ontario, Canada's largest legal recreational cannabis market.

To find out more about Mernova, we sat down with Jack Yu, the company's Managing Director.

What does Mernova Medicinal do?

We cultivate, hang dry, hand trim, and cure, some of the finest, high quality, artisanal, craft cannabis in Canada. We have also begun to manufacture select cannabis 2.0 products, which we will be launching very soon.

Where is Mernova Operating currently?

Currently, we're operating in Windsor, Nova Scotia, but we are seeking additional production capacity, so we may soon have operations in other locations as well.

Mernova has announced that the company would be launching cannabis 2.0 products. Why should investors care about this, and what are the benefits of producing this extended range of products?

The cannabis 2.0 products we're currently focusing on are those that require little or no processing, in order to best preserve the quality of the starting material. By reducing the amount of processing, we experience less loss of the original qualities of the cannabis utilized. This is why we have decided to focus on Pre-Roll Joints, which require no processing other than grinding the cannabis down to size, and Hash, which is a solventless extract produced by physically removing the valuable trichomes.

Investors will be happy to know that the 2.0 products we've chosen to focus on will allow us to increase the amount of useable/saleable material from each batch. This is in addition to the obvious: growing our line of premium quality product offerings to offer consumers more choice, which will increase the number of Mernova's revenue streams.

Mernova recently secured multiple purchase orders for Ritual Green products, can you tell me a little bit more about that?

We recently received multiple repeat POs, as well as our first and second POs from the Ontario Cannabis Store, which is a huge milestone for us. We now have three of our high-quality strains officially listed in Ontario, Canada's largest legal, retail recreational market.

Both yourself and Isaac Allen came from Canopy Growth. Tell us a little bit about your transition to Mernova and what inspired you to make the move?

Our transition to Mernova happened just prior to the world locking down due to COVID-19, so there were some difficulties from that alone. Operating our business in that environment of uncertainty was not without its challenges.

In addition, we basically took over an early-stage start-up, so there were those inherent difficulties to deal with as well, but thankfully, Mernova had a great team in place, and we're now just starting to come out the other side.

Our business is beginning to take off, and we're establishing a reputation for growing some of the best cannabis in the country. We've received some feedback from people in the cannabis world that our latest strain Black Mamba rivals anything in the black market. For those in the know, this is huge.

The move to Mernova was inspired by the incredible potential of both Mernova and Creso, and the opportunity to help build something special from the ground up. We're not the only ones who see this potential. We have been in contact with some early Tweed/Canopy investors, who tell us we remind them of Canopy in the early days, when it had huge untapped potential. There are some savvy industry insiders keeping an eye on us. By now, I'm sure that everyone is aware that Bruce Linton has joined Creso as our Special Business Advisor.

What is your professional history, and what do you plan to bring to Mernova?

I started out in the industry as the original Master Grower and Production Manager for MedReleaf. I also held the position of Regional Production Manager for Eastern Canada for Canopy Growth Corp., as well as the positions of Interim Cultivation Manager for Canopy's Newfoundland, Edmonton, and Scarborough facilities.

What I bring to Mernova is extensive cultivation and industry experience. Everyone has a unique set of knowledge, skills, and experience, and I believe mine have helped me lead Mernova onto the path to success, and make the strategic decisions to help navigate Mernova through an ever-evolving market. This industry is changing fast.

Those that can adapt will have new opportunities arise as surely as those who don't adapt will see theirs diminish.

What are some things on the horizon for Mernova Medicinal?

In addition to the cannabis 2.0 products we have on deck, we are exploring other 2.0 options, as well as looking at increasing our supply through acquiring additional product or grow capacity, partnerships, and/or expansion.

To learn more about Creso Pharma, visit the company HQ here.

Disclaimer: Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.