Valens + Green Roads – Foundational Synergy
We all know companies that have set themselves apart in an industry. In corporate cannabis, where intense competition and rapid innovation are the norm, these companies are tirelessly working in the background, laying the foundations for long-term strategic success. They’re calm and collected, unphased by the frenzy around them. They’re unshakable, adapting in real time with a quiet self-assurance and a commitment to rise above.
They are companies that are invested in the whole, and committed to empowering their industry. These companies don’t spring up overnight. Their composure comes from a slow grind and a persistent journey in building a strong foundation. Like an old-growth tree with an expansive root system, these companies have grown right. They know the value in rooting down, before growing up.
Companies like this move at their own pace and steady the course. They are at the forefront, they push frontiers and break down barriers. Not by racing to get there first, but by blazing their own trail.
Their confidence touches every relationship – partners, suppliers, innovators and consumers. Their difference is unmistakable, an anchoring presence in a fast-paced industry. When these companies come together, their foundations and motivations mirroring one another, they become an unstoppable force. Their partnership is magic.
The best partners bring their own individual strengths to the table, two great parts forming a greater whole. To understand why these partners fit so well together, it’s helpful to know who they are as individuals. This is the origin story of two industry pioneers, The Valens Company and Green Roads, and the foundational synergies between them.
ROOTED IN PLANTS & PEOPLE
The Valens CompanyThe Valens Company (formerly Valens GroWorks) was co-founded in 2012 by CEO & Chair of the Board, Tyler Robson. A Bachelor of Arts & Sciences graduate with a football scholarship from the University of Saskatchewan, Tyler had a vision for the future of cannabis. He knew he wanted to be part of Canada’s emerging cannabis industry, and through trial and error, gained extensive knowledge in the transformation of the plant to reliable, repeatable, and consistently high-quality products. Tyler dreamed of an industry unhindered by barriers, and got to work on building a business to bring out the best of the plant.
Valens started with the support of like-minded people. The company was built with a focus on bringing safe, high-quality cannabis to the public, drawing it out of the shadows of past prohibition. Tyler had first-hand experience in cannabis’s therapeutic potential. He set out to break the stigma of the plant and bring it back to the people, with science and with purpose.
Green Roads was founded only one year later in 2013, following a similar dream, over 3,000 miles south of the Canadian border. Laura Fuentes was working in Florida as a licensed compounding pharmacist, helping others through a well-established career in formulating medicines.
Her community included a family friend with health problems that weren’t being met by modern medicine. He turned to Laura for help and together they became optimistic about the medical potential of CBD. At a time when most Americans had never heard of CBD, Laura began to unlock its benefits.
Pairing 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical science and the desire to share CBD’s therapeutic potential, Green Roads was born. Laura worked to formulate products, at first on evenings and weekends, then as a full-time enterprise. What started as a mission to bring CBD to the people, nine years later, has become one of the largest CBD companies in the US.
VLNS x GR – KEEPING IT PERSONAL
Tyler witnessed the therapeutic potential in cannabis and became fascinated early in life. He began his journey cultivating and growing licensed medical cannabis, supporting patients including his own father. He built a company with the intention of creating products for those who need them.
This human lens has been Valens’ driving force since the beginning. It lives in the company’s mantra and is woven into its culture. It champions the individual through delivery in a variety of innovative formats, expanding accessibility and optionality. It’s a commitment to products that are personalized, safe and effective.
“At Valens, it’s Personal.”
In a similar manner, Laura spent those early days making products to help her friends and family live their healthiest lives. The response was incredible, and helping people became a personal and unwavering mission. Her dedication is what drove Green Roads to become the national enterprise it is today.
Regardless of size, Green Roads has never wavered in its purpose. The company is committed to only making high-quality products that deliver real benefits. They go above and beyond with customer service, even when it impacts their bottom line. They practice empathy and conduct business with a people-first philosophy.
“For Us it’s Personal”
TRAILBLAZING IN A TIME OF RESISTANCE
The road to success is never easy, especially for companies growing within new regulatory legislation. Driven by purpose, Valens and Green Roads jumped head-first into uncharted legal territory, tackling problems that had yet to be faced by many in the industry.
The Valens CompanyThe Valens Company was founded in 2012, in Kelowna, BC. This early entry into the cannabis space helped set the company on a course to become an industry leader.
Valens was built on three pillars: Valens Labs for analytical testing; Valens Agritech for extraction and processing; and Valens Farms for cultivation. Three platforms meant numerous licensing applications and regulatory hoops to jump through. Few people knew how to cultivate under Health Canada’s new regulations, which meant figuring out the complicated paperwork without much guidance.
Since inception, Valens has been relentless in pursuing research, development, and innovation. The company has expanded to include a suite of products and extraction technologies, with partnerships and facilities touching every corner of the globe. Through a commitment to excellence and an unwavering purpose, Valens has become a recognizable name in medical and recreational markets.
Laura at Green Roads left the stability of a 25-year career to pour herself into the potential of CBD. Until the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD was federally considered a Schedule I controlled substance, with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”. This murky legality meant that banks, insurance companies, and other crucial partners wouldn’t take Green Roads’ business. They were scrutinized by every regulatory authority along the way.
Getting CBD products to market was one thing, but people’s unwillingness to try them was an even greater challenge. With a lack of consumer education, Green Roads’ products were often misjudged as illegal or intoxicating. Colleagues from the pharmacy world thought Laura was foolish for supporting such a controversial medicine, sharing concerns over losing her pharmacy license or ending up in jail.
Though there’s still a long way to go with consumer education, public opinion has drastically improved surrounding CBD products. Today, millions use cannabinoid-based products as part of their wellness routine and countless more are curious about their therapeutic value. Scientific research is catching up to medical potential, and previous drug schedules are being reclassified. The journey has been hard, but it was a risk Laura was willing to take.
VLNS x GR – OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
Founders, Tyler at Valens and Laura at Green Roads, took big risks to pioneer the industry. Their drive to push through uncertainty and overcome challenges has moulded their companies into what they are today. This parallel sharing of passion and purpose has held them through the changing landscape. It has made them adaptable, one of the key factors in business success.
LEADING THE WAY WITH TRANSPARENCY & PURPOSE
The Valens Company
From the start, Valens was committed to creating a gold standard in analytical testing. Valens was the first Canadian ISO 17025 accredited cannabis testing lab, designated as a Center of Excellence in Plant-Based Science in partnership with global testing authority, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Unlike many B2B companies, Valens took a different approach to partnerships, one that kept the end-consumer at the forefront. Valens’ goal is to provide safe, consistent experiences across a variety of delivery methods, for patients and recreational consumers alike. Valens is committed to transparency across all platforms, making sure that products have the strengths they claim, with no contaminants or fillers.
In a growing industry, transparency is not the fastest way to make a profit. Where there’s a demand, supply will quickly follow. The market is full of products that don’t hold up to what they claim. Valens has chosen vigilance, and in doing so, has become a name synonymous with quality.
Meet the Executive Team
Global leadership isn’t a party of one. Like Green Roads, Valens has ensured success by bringing together a passionate team of driven, knowledgeable individuals. Some with grassroots experience in cultivating cannabis, and others in supporting industries such as science, finance and global business.
Each Valens team member has a unique background, but shares a common goal of creational exceptional products with the end user in mind.
The most important consideration in creating purposeful products is the end user, their experience and their safety. Green Roads takes pride in formulating original products from the ground up. They are one of the only CBD companies in the US that produces products in their own Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) compliant manufacturing facility.
In an industry known for bandwagon-jumping and corner-cutting, Green Roads goes the extra mile to ensure product transparency. They were one of the very first companies to insist on full-panel independent lab analysis of every product batch, and they print QR codes on every box to give customers direct access to those lab reports. Transparency is easy when you have nothing to hide.
Meet the Key Management Team
Green Roads’ success has been shaped by many who share Laura’s commitment to excellence. While Laura poured her passion and expertise into science and product innovation, Dale Baker, COO & President, took on the company operations. From manufacturing and sales, to marketing, distribution and IT, Dale led Green Roads to become the largest privately held CBD company in the world.
Having taken several companies from start-up to success, Dale’s experience in business and differentiation strategy was integral to building the right team of professionals. The key management team shares a common goal of bringing purposeful products to the world, while each bringing their unique expertise to the company.
VLNS x GR – UPHOLDING INTEGRITY
Like The Valens Company, Green Roads was one of the earliest advocates for independent, analytical testing on every batch of products. Without cutting corners or settling for mediocrity, these companies have independently committed to becoming the gold standard in their fields.
Together, The Valens Company and Green Roads will continue to advocate for standardized testing and quality standards. They will promote consumer transparency on a global level, working towards universal standards that hold the industry accountable.
“Everything we create sits at the intersection of what our customers really need and the best of what science can offer.”
– Laura Fuentes, Green Roads Co-Founder & SVP Science & Innovation
COMPANY GROWTH & EVOLUTION
The Valens Company
Valens is a publicly-traded, multi-licensed cannabis company that continues to expand into emerging markets. The company collectively has over 77,000 square feet of licensed manufacturing space and as Canada’s largest third-party custom manufacturer of cannabinoid-based products and services, this means partners can scale up without sacrificing quality.
Valens specializes in extraction, formulation, manufacturing and product development. Supported by its subsidiary, Valens Labs, Valens is committed to industry development through R&D and analytical testing. Valens has secured IP in innovative processes, equipment, and products.
Valens’ IP includes SōRSE by Valens, an unparalleled emulsion technology that transforms oils into water-soluble formats. Boasting zero cannabis taste and smell, SōRSE by Valens elevates the consumer experience and provides stability for accurate dosing. With a predictable onset and shelf-stable homogeneity, this allows for seamless integration of cannabinoids into foods, beverages, and topicals.
Consumer demand is moving towards products that are precisely administered, portable, discreet, and predictable. With five core extraction technologies, Valens is well positioned to support this growing demand. From price-conscious customers looking for value-based products, to those looking for premium, small-batch products, Valens’ proprietary technologies allow the company to meet every client’s demands.
For consumers in a saturated market, quality and consistency don’t go unnoticed. Green Roads produces an award-winning B2C product lineup that continues to deliver and outperform. With over 30,000 five-star reviews on their robust ecommerce platform, their consumer satisfaction is an astounding testament to their product quality.
Green Roads’ hemp-derived CBD products can be found in over 7,000 locations nationwide and 10 international countries. Their product categories include oils, topicals, ingestibles, and personal care and pet products. They are well known for their proprietary formulations, their line of functional gummies that target sleep, stress, and immune support, and their award-winning Hemp Flower Coffee.
Based in the largest CBD market in the world, Green Roads shows no signs of slowing down. Their domestic and international distribution capabilities and in-house manufacturing facilitate geographic expansion. They are currently ranked as one of the largest CBD brands by market share in the US CBD market.
VLNS x GR – THE PERFECT PARTNERSHIP
As early movers with grassroots experience, Valens and Green Roads have taken their place as pioneers in the legal market. This has translated into years of experience and innovation, and foundations that are unmatched by others in the industry. Their dedication to clients is unwavering, and they champion the individual in all aspects of their business.
As a combined entity, Valens and Green Roads will be primed for significant growth as the global market for cannabinoids develops. They will further their common goal of creating exceptional products with the end-consumer in mind. Together, they will continue to demonstrate the transformative potential of cannabis.
“Our complementary businesses, culturally aligned teams, and shared ‘it’s personal’ mission to provide consumers with high quality, innovative cannabis products led to an undeniable combination that we believe will disrupt the industry.”
– Tyler Robson, CEO, Co-Founder & Chair of The Valens Company
“Together with Valens, the growth opportunity is unmatched, and we look forward to working with the team to strengthen our leadership in the health and wellness category in North America and beyond.”
– Dale Baker, President, U.S. of Green Roads