KIM RIVERS, CEO OF TRULIEVE CANNABIS CORP - INTERVIEW WITH TOP 100 INNOVATION CEO
Kim Rivers, Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve Cannabis Corp. has been selected by the Judges of World Biz Magazine's Annual Awards to be a recipient of the Top 100 CEOs in Innovation Award 2022. This selection follows a stringent process that evaluated over 40,000 nominees to select the exclusive list of 100 winners. Charles Brown will appear in the Top 10 of the 100 winners.
Kim Rivers currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a vertically-integrated "seed-to-sale" operation based in Florida. Rivers joined Trulieve at its inception and has been the key driver for the Company’s customer-centric vision, strong growth, strategic expansion, and industry-leading profitability. Ms. Rivers oversees every activity involved with the cannabis process from seed to sale to ensure quality, operational integrity and financial success.
Prior to Trulieve, Ms. Rivers spent several years in private practice as a lawyer where she specialized in mergers, acquisitions, and securities for multi-million dollar companies and has run a number of successful businesses from real estate to finance. Her experience has been instrumental in building Trulieve’s market leading position in its home state of Florida and provides the solid foundation on which to execute on growth and expansion initiatives as a multi-state operator.
Ms. Rivers also plays an active role in her community in addition to serving on numerous charitable boards. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Multinational Business and Political Science from Florida State University, where she also served as FSU’s student body President, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida.
Highlights for Ms. Rivers at Trulieve include:
• National Cannabis Roundtable – serves as the second vice chair
• Completing the largest M&A transaction in the history of the cannabis industry (Harvest)
• Establishing the FL medical cannabis market
• Issuing the first ESG report in the U.S. cannabis industry
• Trulieve’s expungement efforts
• 15 consecutive quarters of profitability
• Impact on majority minority communities (Gadsden, FL as example)
Share with us some of Trulieve recent successes under your leadership.
Some of the key initiatives championed as the CEO of Trulieve during the last 12 months include:
Acquisitions – Trulieve has executed a number of key acquisitions in 2021 to accelerate the growth trajectory for the company and establish the company’s self-sustaining ecosystem of businesses. In October, Trulieve completed its acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation, which expanded Trulieve’s retail and cultivation operations to 4 new states, allowing the company to become the largest and most profitable multi-state operator in the United States. The company also announced the acquisition of PurpleMed Healing Center in Tucson, Arizona, Keystone Shops in Pennsylvania, and Nature's Remedy of Massachusetts, Inc.
Increased Retail Footprint – Trulieve more than doubled its retail footprint substantially over the past 12 months. The company began 2021 with 75 dispensaries in 5 states and ended the year operating 160 stores in 11 states.
New Markets – Trulieve’s recent success expanding in the South – a region that has been slow to embrace legal cannabis – strategically positions the company to shape the long-term growth and development of these emerging markets.
Georgia – Trulieve became one of two cannabis businesses to secure a Class 1 production license in Georgia’s nascent medical market and will be one of six companies permitted to grow and manufacture low-THC oils once legal medical sales commence.
West Virginia – In November 2021, Trulieve launched West Virginia’s medical marijuana market, opening the state’s first dispensaries and serving its first patient.
Harvest acquisition added Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada.
ESG/DEI (see below)
Expungement Clinics in multiple states
Morehouse College of Medicine partnership for cannabis research and education
Thurgood Marshall College fund established to provide scholarships
Share with us some insight into the innovation culture at Trulieve.
Innovation is at the heart of Trulieve’s products. As a company serving both medical and recreational consumers, it strives to create the highest-quality products for various need states. Some consumers can’t smoke, while others can’t swallow pills. Innovation is key to creating new form factors that will create better access and availability to our products.
Recently, Trulieve developed and launched a new line of high-quality cannabis concentrates made through hydrocarbon extraction. Live Resin, a high-terpene, single-source extract, is the first offering from Trulieve's new hydrocarbon line. Live Resin is created in Trulieve's state-of-the-art hydrocarbon extraction lab using the Company's proprietary blend of propane and butane on TruFlower that has been frozen immediately after harvest. The result is a strain-specific and full-spectrum concentrate that is exceptionally flavorful. It contains higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes than other concentrates. Live Resin provides patients with a powerful and richly aromatic experience with a broader sensation of effects.
Additionally, using exclusive a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art process call TruNano Technology, we developed and launched TruTonic, a brand-new drink powder that is the first of its kind in Florida. TruTonic offers a fast-acting, long-lasting alternative to smoking or vaporizing cannabis. TruTonic is intended to be added to water before ingestion, and when mixed will dissolve and fizz to create a seltzer-like beverage. The nano-based formulation allows patients to feel the medication's effects quickly. Trulieve's TruNano Technology allows for water solubility, increased bioavailability, and a faster onset than a traditional, distillate-based edible medication.
At Trulieve, we're dedicated to meeting and exceeding patients' needs at every end of the cannabis experience spectrum by leading through innovation and continuous improvement of our research and development, products, methods, and processes.
How does Trulieve stand out in the Cannabis market?
Trulieve understands that people consume cannabis for different reasons. The company has developed a comprehensive brand portfolio that includes four distinct brands designed to meet the needs of all consumers, from the canna-curious to the canna-connoisseur. With the addition of the Muse™, Sweet Talk™ and Momenta™ brands and the expansion of the Cultivar Collection™, the company today provides a range of high-quality, innovative, proprietary brands that together meet the full spectrum of consumer motivations and need-states.
Share with us some details of Trulieve's commitment to CSR.
In November, Trulieve was the first multi-state operator (MSO) to issue an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, containing standard disclosures from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards, The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The company is committed to operating transparently for its stakeholders and the industry at large. In 2020, it was also the first MSO to issue a Sustainability Review.
The report underscores Trulieve’s high standards of ethics and governance, and accounts for how they are integrated into the way they do business every day. The report highlights ESG achievements to date and serves as a foundation for demonstrating how the Company's ESG approach, strategies and commitments are embedded within its core business.
Key figures the ESG report revealed:
100% reclaimed water at our greenhouses
71% of our stores (all Florida) utilize a recycling program
LED lights reduce heat generation and consume up to 60% less energy
6 Supplier Diversity corporate memberships
Work with over 150 organizations nationwide for DEI related activities – Expungement/clemency, Pride, Vets, Women orgs, cannabis advocacy, and social equity and minority groups
Over 700 people applied to our sponsored expungement clinics nationwide since 2020
> $1.5M spent on two economic empowerment applicants in MA – both approved by CCC/moving forward
Approximately $1M spent to date in 2021 across DEI efforts
42% of our employees are minorities / 17% of our leadership are minorities
38% of our leadership are women / 48% overall employee base identify as women
50/50 female representation on the Board
7 out of 8, or 87%, independent board members
What improvements do you envision for the Cannabis industry?
We envision a future where cannabis is safely accessible for all who need it and an industry that continues to release innovative new products and applications for medical cannabis.
Trulieve works hard to improve our patients’ and customers’ lives and care deeply about making a difference in our society through providing the access to cannabis that may have the potential to, among other things, improve medical conditions and provide the opportunity for all consumers to live their best life.
We focus on growing safe, quality cannabis and continually innovating to provide a large variety of products. We strive to be leaders in our industry by taking meaningful action for the patients we serve, our employees, the environment, and the community – including accelerating our efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We work with purpose to advance education and awareness of cannabis to address challenges facing our country. With all the goodness we bring to our consumers and communities every day, we understand growing cannabis does have an impact on the environment. We aim to be good corporate citizens committed to addressing ESG risks effectively and transparently for our stakeholders. Trulieve has grown every year since its inception. Still, our unwavering commitment to our patients and customers, shareholder value, and sustainability has remained the same and will be key to maintaining our long-term success. This is the Trulieve way.
In 2022 and beyond, Trulieve is embarking on a multi-year effort to improve its ESG capabilities, quantify and track its progress, with a particular focus on efforts that translate to better healthcare for patients, motivate employees and build long-term financial value for shareholders. Trulieve is committed to being good corporate stewards to ensure the cannabis industry is safe, inclusive, equitable and sustainable for generations to come, all while communicating their progress.
What makes a good leader?
A good leader is always striving for excellence and expects the same of others. They have a clear vision and their energy and enthusiasm for that purpose inspires others. A good leader can articulate an organization’s mission and prioritize tasks to help the company achieve it. That focus means leaders have their eye on the big picture and have no tolerance for corporate politics. Leaders are active participants in the company, leading by example. They connect with workers and take the time to mentor talent to create tomorrow’s leaders. Leaders mold a culture of integrity and respect that allow the important work to get done.
Trulieve is an industry leading, vertically integrated cannabis company and multi-state operator in the U.S. operating in 11 states, with leading market positions in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Trulieve is poised for accelerated growth and expansion, building scale in retail and distribution in new and existing markets through its hub strategy. By providing innovative, high-quality products across its brand portfolio, Trulieve delivers optimal customer experiences and increases access to cannabis, helping patients and customers to live without limits.
Today, with the completion of the Harvest acquisition, our Company has over 100 stores in Florida, and approximately 150 operated and affiliated dispensaries nationwide, with more growth ahead. Strong financial performance, driven by sales to a loyal and dedicated group of patients affectionately called Trulievers, positions Trulieve’s commitment to continue its pattern of growth.
As the company continues to expand as an Multi-State Operator (MSO) in our hub model, we are broadening our support into new states. With operations including Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, the company added application wins in West Virginia in our northeast hub and Georgia in our southeast hub in 2021. In addition, Trulieve’s recent news of acquiring Harvest Health expands our footprint in the northeast with additional affiliated facilities in Pennsylvania and entry into Maryland, in the southeast with additional stores and cultivation and production facilities in the Florida, and adds a southwest hub with dispensaries in California, cultivation and production facilities in Nevada and Colorado, and a leading vertical presence in Arizona. By delivering strong financial discipline, building a recognized brand through optimal customer experiences, and executing on our hub model strategy, we have become an industry leading MSO holding licenses to operate in 11 states and the largest operating retail and cultivation and production footprint in the country.
For more information, visit: trulieve.com