Cannabis Watch: Cannabis edibles company Wyld builds national footprint as it keeps hiring
Wyld plans to add about 200 more workers to bulk up to nearly 1,000 employees next year, but the Oregon-based cannabis edibles company has no immediate plans to raise outside capital.
Wyld CFO Eric Hoest told MarketWatch that the company has been funded entirely by its founders and its own revenue to grow to an expected $150 million in sales, from $100 million in 2021.
In a move often referred to as “bootstrapping,” the company remains self-funded instead of selling stock as a micro cap or seeking a backer from the world of private-equity or venture-capital funds.
Inspired by the activism of outdoor-clothing and mountain-climbing-gear maker Patagonia, Wyld prides itself on its environmental and social-justice work rather than focusing purely on profits.
The path it’s chosen without any institutional capital helps it retain its independence for projects such as investing in more environmentally friendly packaging with its new Good Tide premium gummy products, Hoest said.
“Outside capital can be extremely powerful and useful, but it also comes with other things,” Hoest said. “If you’re able to manage through without it and can get the right team at the table, then there’s no rush.”
A solvent-free hash-rosin gummy, Good Tide has earned a Climate Neutral certification. It contains terpenes and minor cannabinoids in flavors including mango, guava and pineapple and comes in fully recyclable and compostable packaging.
Wyld is considering further expansion from its roots on the West Coast to the Northeastern U.S. as more states roll out adult-use cannabis programs.
“We are always exploring new states to move into, and we are actively exploring New York and New Jersey,” Hoest said.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Aaron Morris, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Joseph and sales executive Rene Kaza, the company originally branched out into cannabis from the spirits business.
Joseph and Morris experimented with edibles at a farmhouse in Oregon and officially launched the company about six years ago. The edibles come in a dozen flavors and feature unique packaging in the form of a 10-sided origami-like box decorated with images of fruit.
Gummies containing 10 milligrams of THC apiece account for most of the company’s sales. In 2019, it launched Wyld CBD gummies and beverages.
The retail cost of Wyld edibles depends on the state, but pricing is competitive, not ultrapremium, Hoest said.
“The idea is, this is a predictable, trustworthy product that you know what you’re going to get when you buy it,” he said. “People have responded really well to that.”
Wyld has not launched any nano gummies, which are faster-acting edibles that take effect in roughly half an hour, compared with one to two hours for traditional edibles.
“We’re really disciplined about when we add something,” Hoest said. “We move into things when we get the packaging and the product just right, but we don’t chase a trend.”
Asked about any signs of a recession in cannabis markets, Hoest said Wyld and others have seen a “bit of a pullback” in some areas, but each state is different.
“For us, it’s about making sure we keep getting our offerings to the consumer and have it available and are able to stay nimble with what happens in the next year or two,” Hoest said. “We know there’s something broadly going on in the economy. It’s just another thing to make sure we’re thoughtful about.”
As CFO, Hoest continues to focus on making sure the company has enough cash to continue its upward trajectory.
“We’re not stopping our investment in new states and launching new products and supporting existing teams,” Hoest said. “We’re definitely always careful with our cash, but it doesn’t mean we’ll stop growing.”
Wyld, whose parent company is Northwest Commonwealth LLC, continues to view itself as one of the top national brands in edibles, driven by health and wellness.
“We built a really replicable process, so if you get one in one state, it’ll be the exact same profile as one made somewhere else,” Hoest said.