This week we welcome Hannah Skingle, COO of Dragonfly Biosciences, one of Europe’s leading CBD companies. Hannah is a fantastic example of an entrepreneur within the cannabis space. Dragonfly Biosciences have been stocked in many major stores in the UK including Boots and Sainsbury’s and have increased competition within the space due to their excellent quality ingredients and high standards of production. With Hannah, we discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead within the cannabis industry, and what the EU Novel Food Regulations might mean going forwards.
Hannah spent her early years as an analyst at The RSA Group and then later at Goodlord. After topping the Management Tripos at Kings College London, Hannah studied for a Masters in Management at the London School of Economics. Promoted from Business Development Associate to the Head of Business Development within a year, Hannah is passionate about CBD and is dedicated to developing Dragonfly Biosciences into a successful business.
Take away points from this episode
All Dragonfly Biosciences was started in 2017, they are a seed to shelf cultivator, extractor, formulator and distributor of CBD products and cannabis derived products.
Believe in high standards, they are at the forefront of creating new policies and setting the standards for everyone else.
Everything is batch tested, from when the plant is growing, the seeds, once extracted, tested again, quality control through formulation. They are heavy metal free, which is a major problem within the industry and the safety of the consumer is a main priority.
Dragonfly Biosciences is a seed to shelf manufacturer, this means that the company is vertically integrated. Each of the processes needed to create the final products, Dragonfly Biosciences have complete control over. This creates a huge sense of trust with the brand.
A typical harvest for Dragonfly Biosciences yields around 230,000-240,000kg of flower per harvest.
Dragonfly Biosciences spotted a gap in the market for CBD for branded goods in major retail stores, they’re even about to launch a new range in Harrods.
There are over 100 cannabinoids. Within their extraction facility they have the agency to extract other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, although this process isn’t feasible at the moment as the European market is focused on CBD.
CBD is categorised within The Novel Foods Catalogue which means that each product needs to be evaluated and authorised before they are permitted to be placed on the market. If proof exists that cannabis and hemp have been mass consumed historically, it is possible that CBD products may be removed.
Hannah fell into her job as COO by chance, she initially applied as an admin assistant but excelled to find herself at the top of the company within one year.
Biomass is the excess plant material left once the flowers are harvested. It is a great resource and can use used as fuel.
One of the biggest challenges is regulations, which need to be defined. Especially in the food supplement areas.
Competition can be incredibly fierce and can appear over competitive, the space is growing exponentially and is big enough for everyone.
Quality is everything in this business - 09:13
Don’t spread yourself too thin too quickly. You’ll see opportunities everywhere and different ways to get involved but to try and do everything at once can kill a company. Focus on what is important to you and your company and where you can make the most impact. - 22:00
Join Hannah on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-skingle-2aa88850/?originalSubdomain=uk
Novel Foods Catalogue: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food/catalogue_en
Dragonfly Biosciences: http://www.dragonflybiosciences.com/