A GLOBAL VISION

Colombia 2019 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

Aphria is committed to manage and control the entire process in the value chain, from the seed genetics to the patient-doctor experience.

Gabriel Meneses
BIOGRAPHY
Gabriel Meneses is responsible for leading Aphria Latin America & Caribbean’s day-to-day operations, as well as develop new strategic business opportunities that align with the company’s overall international vision and direction. Meneses has over 15 years of international experience leading large multinational organizations within the high-tech industry. Most recently, he was responsible for building and leading Apple’s first enterprise sales organization in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to Apple, he worked at Cisco Systems for more than 10 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international business with a minor in marketing from Strayer University.

How is the company investing to position itself in Colombia?
We see Colombia as a highly strategic investment opportunity, not just to position the company as a local market leader, but also to develop a complete end-to-end platform that will enable its expansion into wider international markets. In order to drive market leadership, we will be focusing on maximizing some of Aphria's key competitive advantages and strengths, including the execution of a consistent global vision that aligns with the company's core values as well as a solid go-to-market strategy that touches all critical elements of the value chain. Part of our commitment to Colombia is to assure that we manage and control the entire process in the value chain, from seed genetics to the patient-doctor experience. This means ensuring that Aphria's high-quality cultivation and extraction processes, technology, product development, distribution, and medical enablement are led by its team of experts. Besides investments in infrastructure and other material assets, one of our biggest priorities is to continue investing in human capital. We are proud of the talent base that we have integrated into our organization through the acquisition of Colcanna, a local Aphria subsidiary, and of our ongoing investment in the development of our people.

How is Aphria building relationships with the Colombian medical community?
We are currently executing multiple medical initiatives and alliances that involve partnering with respected educational and medical institutions in Colombia. One of the most exciting initiatives that we executed earlier this year was the exclusive partnership agreement with the Colombia Medical Federation (CMF), which plays a fundamental role in enabling Colombia's medical community and assuring that Colombia maintains global awareness and leadership in medical developments that impact the overall health sector. Notably, the CMF has over 2,000 affiliated doctors and a data base of about 70,000 medical professionals. We plan to work closely with the CMF to sponsor research initiatives, develop medical training programs, and design certified medical cannabis courses that leverage their virtual training platform.

How is Aphria creating long-term value for its shareholders in a competitive market?
As the medical cannabis industry continues to grow, and its business potential becomes clearer, we will see more companies try to participate in the marketplace. We are very confident in our ability to maintain sustainable long-term market leadership in Colombia due to our many competitive advantages that derive from Aphria's global strengths, experience, and expertise across the industry. We are building a business model that replicates the very best of our Canadian best practices, standard operating procedures, and technology, and we are committed to not cutting any corners if it means sacrificing the end result: low-cost, high-quality products, and best-in-class doctor and patient experiences. Shareholders can be confident that Aphria's vision and investments, backed by a solid go-to-market strategy, will represent high production yields and high profitability margins for the company. We are building state-of-the-art greenhouses and laboratories based on the most reliable and advanced technology available. When you combine this with Colombia's ideal climate conditions and amazing skilled labor force, you have a winning strategy. As far as our export business potential, we truly believe that Colombia will become a highly important international hub that will expand Aphria's market reach across boundaries and into many international markets.

What are the key advantages that this region presents as a cannabis cultivation zone?
Colombia represents ideal climate conditions, consistent weather, and a long historic tradition of highly skilled labor. Our primary local operations are located in the coffee zone, which offers us even additional competitive advantages. The coffee zone is known for its many contributions to the Colombian economy, most notable in the agricultural industry, and so we carefully assessed the potential of this particular location in order to assure that our investments were concentrated in the most ideal part for this particular industry in Colombia.