Message from CEO and Director, Robert Galarza
To My Fellow Shareholders:
As we embark into 2021, I want to personally reach out and thank you for your continued support.
We entered into the previous year with some exciting accomplishments, including the completion of the first two phases of the medical cannabis verification pilot program (“Pilot Program”) with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers (“Shoppers”) and made considerable strides with great Licensed Producer partners like: Aphria (TSX: APHA), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB), Avicanna, Inc. (TSX: AVCN), Dosecann, The Flowr Corporation (TSXV: FLWR), Medipharm Labs (TSE: LABS), Organigram (TSX: OGI), Radient Technologies (TSXV: RTI), WeedMD Rx (TSXV: WMD) and Zenabis (TSX: ZENA). Prior to that, in 2019, we began working with Colombia based Clever Leaves (NASDAQ: CLVR) on using StrainSecure™, our blockchain-secured platform, to register and track their pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis and hemp extracts for a broader global market.
We knew that the successful launch of the Pilot Program with Shoppers had provided us with a remarkable opportunity to tie the utilization of our technology as a central hub for asset tracking, validation, and product authentication, into a real-world study for patients.
Global pandemic or not, this was an opportunity we could not miss.
Shoppers and UHN: Medical Cannabis Real World Evidence
Early in 2020, University Health Network, led by Dr. Hance Clarke—Director of Pain Services, Toronto General Hospital—began working with Shoppers on a first of its kind study that would utilize blockchain secured products whose data would be rendered in real time into a digital portal for patients and practitioners. This would effectively connect real time chemistry and the genetic details of every product with the patients using them in the study. It became our sole focus as an organization to ensure the success of this project.
Our team began working fervently with the digital team at Loblaws and Shoppers to ensure that our platform could render all necessary data into their ecosystem while working with the exceptional team at Ample Organics to integrate our technologies and meet the needs of our mutual client.
At the same time, we also began working with several leading analytical laboratories, including: SGS Canada, Sigma Analytical, High North and Anandia Labs to expedite testing data from participating Licensed Producers. In addition, we began coordinating a standardized process for managing testing with a keen focus on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as a core tenet for our future.
The culmination of these efforts was a successful launch of the Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence (MC-RWE) clinical trial in early July, and a continued commitment to expand and refine this program going into 2021.
We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and believe it marks a big step in bridging the cannabis industry with the mainstream medical sector.
2020 Business Development
In addition to our work with Shoppers and UHN, and our expanding relationships with leading Licensed Producers and laboratories, we are also grateful for our ability to take advantage of the digital business processes unfolding worldwide. Through this technology, we were able to maintain and expand our relationship with partners like Deloitte Canada and Microsoft and continued to work with partners to refine our strategy for the emerging cannabis, food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. From hemp-derived CBD fitness water AKESO™ produced by NXT Water, to the emerging personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Safe Company, and Hygen-X sanitization products manufactured and distributed by Riviera and West One Logistics, our commitment to transparency through innovative technology continues to serve as a hallmark of our organization.
Additionally, 2020 afforded us an opportunity to begin securing our long-term future by finalizing critical intellectual property rights, and implementing a strategy that would support a broader international business model.
In July, we secured a software-license agreement with OrionOne Global, Inc., (“OrionOne”) a technology provider with a cloud based multi-enterprise collaborative logistics platform that acts as a smart-hub for navigating shipments and logistics within the global supply chain. This license not only provides us with critical technology to support commercialization of our core products, but also creates new opportunities to work with clients focusing on imports and exports. An example of this was our collective participation in a pilot launched in August by Avicanna. This project focused on utilizing our joint technologies to support the traceability of Avicanna’s isolated CBG exports from Colombia to the United States, as well as commercial exports of isolated CBD from Columbia to the United States. We believe this initiative is a first of its kind example of how these mutual technologies can function in a broader international context, especially as the legal landscape of cannabis and hemp-derived products continues to grow.
The Road Ahead
Heading into 2021, we are continuing to make operational improvements that we consider to be in the best interest of our shareholders with a focus on increasing revenue and expanding our business. We are extremely optimistic about the changing sentiment we are seeing around our technology, as well as the cannabis industry overall.
A more refined approach to the commercial utilization of blockchain, combined with the glaring supply chain issues highlighted during the global pandemic have started to bear fruitful discussions about the expansive potential of this technology. We are very optimistic that companies and industries will continue to invest in this future. Furthermore, despite the early growing pains that the Canadian cannabis market faced, we are seeing a renewed commitment to rectifying early mistakes and bringing forth a future dedicated to meeting the needs of patients and customers.
To our shareholders, partners and allies within the cannabis community, and the entire Medical Cannabis by Shoppers team, we thank you for your unwavering support and for sharing our vision. Our promise to each of you is to remain committed to a successful future for us all.
We have a renewed optimism for the changes evolving in the Canadian market, as well as potential evolution we hope to see in the United States and beyond. We believe we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of these opportunities. We are starting 2021 with industry validation, critical product adoption and an ecosystem of partners and affiliates looking to mature our industry together.
Additionally, we are extremely excited to be joined by remarkable leaders of industry at the Company’s Board level. Early in 2020, we had the fortunate opportunity to be joined by Cesare Fazari, a seasoned entrepreneurial strategist with a career of completing turnkey projects for Shoppers Drug Mart, Marshalls, Trade Secret and Public Mobil. Most recently, we’ve had the privilege of welcoming two key new board members to help guide the Company into the future. Mr. Allan O’Dette, current CEO of the Ontario Medical Association has joined as our new Chairman of the Board, and successful entrepreneur, business leader and community activist Mr. Pradeep Sood is serving as an independent director. It has been one of the great honours of my career to begin working with these three esteemed leaders of industry. Their personal integrity and professional ethics serve as a compass and guide for our future.
In summary, TruTrace is well-positioned for the year ahead. Our newly refined leadership, market validation and renewed strategy, provides us with the catalyst required to capitalize on the opportunities we expect to see in the near future. The TruTrace name has begun to garner industry recognition amongst manufacturers, distributors, regulators and consumers, and we are thrilled about our prospects.
Finally, it cannot be stated enough that this year could not have been achieved without the remarkable professionalism and personal dedication of our team. The countless hours of sacrifice and effort combined with the grit and determination of each one of you allowed us to fulfill some remarkable accomplishments through an unconventional year. I cannot thank you enough for your commitment to our company and our future.
I look forward to continuing to serve you all and keep you abreast of our progress throughout the year.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
TruTrace Technologies, Inc.