Cannabis Company Kaya Holdings (OTCQB:KAYS) Reports 700% Year Over Year Revenue Increase in Q10 Filing: Taps Marijuana Business Lawyer David Kotler to Ready for National Expansion
PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kaya Holdings, Inc. (KAYS) announced today that it has filed its third quarterly report for 2016, in which the Company details its financial results from operations, the licensing and build-out status of the two new Kaya Shack Marijuana Superstores currently under development, as well as discusses forward looking growth plans for the Company after legal marijuana’s November 8th ballot victory in 7 states. In a related announcement, KAYS tapped David Kotler, a former South Florida Prosecutor who has significant experience in the early stages of medical marijuana licensing in Florida, as well as extensive contacts nationwide in the cannabis industry.
“KAYS’ revenues for Q-3 2016 are up approximately 700% versus Q-3 2015, and revenues for the 9 month period ending September 30, 2016 are up approximately 700% versus same period ending Sept 30, 2015,” stated Kaya Holdings CEO, Craig Frank. “We are maintaining the $1mm pace in sales for FYE 2016 to set as our target. We are proud that all our revenues are generated from the production and sale of legal cannabis, and not from tomato farming, consulting, or other non-cannabis related endeavors often used to bolster revenues”.
Further, in light of the recent electoral victories in the legal cannabis sector which are estimated to add over $7 billion in sales to the market by 2020, the Board has confirmed David Kotler to head our nationwide expansion team. Mr. Kotler is an attorney with extensive experience in the marijuana sector, with specific expertise in the coveted Florida market. With additional attractive states targeted for Company growth, management has elected to initiate construction of a broader and well-rounded executive team.
“We feel it is time for us to launch our active exploration of opportunities beyond our continued expansion and growth in Oregon”, stated Kaya Holdings CEO, Craig Frank. “David will be instrumental in assisting Kaya Holdings in navigating multi-state issues. Moreover, he is an extremely talented individual who can serve as the anchor for operations in Florida should the regulations be inviting”, Frank continues.
Mr. Kotler will be responsible for overseeing company licensing matters for growing, processing and retailing of marijuana in States permitting and licensing the Company to do so. Mr. Kotler will also advise the Company on compliance structures in other states, and assist with potential acquisitions.
“I am pleased to join the Kaya Holdings team and will do everything I can to assist in the growth and expansion of the company and its assets”, states Mr. Kotler. “I view my job as providing sound and thoughtful guidance on matters of licensing, but also to advise, connect and recommend as needed”.
David Kotler, Esq. is a partner in Cohen Kotler P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida and is Of Counsel to The Hoban Law Group, a Denver, Colorado law firm with a national cannabis practice. Cohen Kotler P.A. contains a practice area established in 2014 as Medical Marijuana Business Lawyers LLC.
Mr. Kotler was one of the first attorneys in Florida to undertake representation of clients exploring operations in Florida under the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 and after the legalization of full medical marijuana. He has a wide range of experience in the cannabis and hemp industries from license applications in multiple states to start-up and regulatory matters. David sits on the advisory boards of The Cannabis Marketing Lab a leading cannabis-marketing agency and the Florida Medical Cannabis Industry Association. Mr. Kotler also serves as General Counsel to the Florida Cannabis Industry Association. He has been interviewed by news sources including the Daily Business Review, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, National Public Radio in Miami, Florida and Marijuana Business Daily, among others. He writes a monthly column for the Cannabis Industry Journal, is a contributor to the South Florida Hospital News (CannabisNewsFlorida publication), and a member of the Editorial Board for the Cannabis Law Journal.
About Kaya Holdings, Inc. (www.kayaholdings.com)
KAYS (OTCQB:KAYS) through its subsidiary, Marijuana Holdings Americas, Inc. owns and operates the Kaya Shack (www.kayashack.com) , the first legal marijuana dispensary by a U.S. publicly traded company – Kaya Shack™. KAYS creates and establishes it own brands that produce, distribute and/or sell premium cannabis products, including flower, concentrates, and cannabis-infused baked goods and candies.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: KAYS is planning execution of its stated business objectives in accordance with current understanding of State and Local Laws and Federal Enforcement Policies and Priorities as it relates to Marijuana (as outlined in the Justice Department's Cole Memo dated August 29, 2013), and plan to proceed cautiously with respect to legal and compliance issues. Potential investors and shareholders are cautioned that AFAI and MJAI will obtain advice of counsel prior to actualizing any portion of their business plan (including but not limited to license applications for the cultivation, distribution or sale of marijuana products, engaging in said activities or acquiring existing Cannabis production/sales operations). Advice of counsel with regard to specific activities of KAYS and MJAI, Federal, State or Local legal action or changes in Federal Government Policy and/or State and Local Laws may adversely affect business operations and shareholder value.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes statements that may constitute "forward-looking" statements, usually containing the words "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect" or similar expressions. These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, acceptance of the Company's current and future products and services in the marketplace, the ability of the Company to develop effective new products and receive regulatory approvals of such products, competitive factors, dependence upon third-party vendors, and other risks detailed in the Company's periodic report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.
For more information contact Investor Relations: 561-210-7664
DELRAY BEACH — Jeff Korentur (medical marijuana business lawyers' client) was an Army intelligence officer and Scott Keeler sold ATM machines, but they may soon be in the same business: medical marijuana.
Korentur, 47, is close-cropped, buttoned down and lives in Delray Beach. Keeler, 46, is long-haired, more laid-back and is based in northern Palm Beach County. He prefers to not say exactly where. They are both making business plans to implement if Amendment 2 is approved by voters in November.
Polls have the measure winning at least 50 percent of the vote, and some say more than 80 percent. It needs 60 percent to pass. This doesn’t surprise Keeler, 46.
“Many in the baby boom generation have experienced marijuana firsthand,” he says. “And many people know someone in need who has benefited from it.”
That said, some high-profile groups oppose the bill, at least in its current language. They include the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Medical Association.
The amendment allows Florida doctors to certify patients suffering from a “debilitating medical condition” to use marijuana. Those conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease “or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” Among the other conditions mentioned is post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects some veterans and other trauma victims.
In June, Gov. Rick Scott signed the Charlotte’s Web law that allows doctors to certify patients to use non- euphoric medical marijuana if they suffer from cancer, epilepsy or other conditions that cause seizures or frequent muscle spasms. Amendment 2 would expand the use to other ailments, would increase the potential patient base in Florida from about 125,000 to more than 400,000 at the least, and would require hundreds of dispensaries around the state.
In other words, Amendment 2 will make medical marijuana even bigger business.
“There is a huge market,” says Korentur, who wants to carve out a particular clientele.
Korentur’s wife owns a business that provides non-medical home care to senior citizens. He says his family knows a lot about Palm Beach and Broward County seniors and is aware that some already use marijuana to treat pain and other maladies.
“Yes, we know some that self-medicate,” he said. “They take small amounts and satisfy their care needs.”
His late mother-in-law used marijuana to allay the pain of cancer and the nausea caused by chemotherapy. Korentur says the legal medications seniors take now for their ailments often have worse side effects than marijuana. But seniors don’t like having to purchase it illegally.
“They are having to buy on the black market,” he says. “This is the World War II generation, the greatest generation, as it’s known. There is guilt.”
If Amendment 2 passes, Korentur wants to open a dispensary that would attract seniors. He would specialize in non-euphoric marijuana because most seniors aren’t interested in getting high, he says. He calls it the “non- dude experience.”
“No Bob Marley music or blacklights,” he says. “It will be as if they are walking into Walgreens to buy Advil or Aleve. We want to make it as unintimidating as possible.” Consultants would discuss the strain of marijuana that might best serve the patients, as is done in Colorado where marijuana is already legal for both medical and recreational use.
Korentur says he opposes giving strains of marijuana exotic names, as some vendors do in Colorado. Among the products sold there are Blue Dream, White Lightning, Bubba Kush and Jilly Bean.
“No fancy names,” Korentur says. “Just, ‘This is a marijuana strain for cancer patients.’”
He says some marijuana users trying to combat pain or nausea prefer to smoke it because it can take effect faster than in pill or liquid form.
“But folks in assisted living facilities can’t go around smoking joint or blowing clouds of smoke into communal areas,” he said. He said liquids, tinctures and vaporizers could be used.
Korentur wants to operate in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area. He figures it will have to be in an unincorporated part of the county, because municipalities already are planning restrictions on where such outlets can be. He says he hopes Palm Beach County commissioners will be “more understanding.”
He says it will cost at least $750,000 to open a dispensary, including a license, and if he decides to grow marijuana himself, at least that much again. Family members “with deep pockets” will fund him.
Korentur insists if anyone had told he might go into the medical marijuana field, he would have thought the person crazed.
“I had a very high government clearance,” he says. “I am the poster child for none of this. I’m not looking to save the world. I’m not Mother Teresa. I see a business opportunity, but I am hoping to bring some people relief.”
Keeler, meanwhile, is already part way to a marijuana growing operation. He owns a hydroponic organic food business, where he cultivates and sells wheatgrass, sprouts and micro-greens. He grows them indoors, as all Florida medical marijuana will have to be grown. He uses no soil, and instead employs bright lights and organic nutrients.
Keeler recently attended a Miami-Dade meeting with venture capitalists and asked for $500,000 to expand his growing facility, introduce marijuana plants and create a dispensary.
“From the facility standpoint, we are 80 percent of the way there,” he says. “If you were going to build this from scratch it would be much more expensive” To grow marijuana he will have to buy carbon dioxide injectors and specialized lights, both of which spur plant growth.
As for expertise, he has two minority partners from California, where medical marijuana has been legal for almost 20 years.
“They have a tremendous amount of experience in growing and dispensing,” he says.
Keeler says he wants to continue to grow his healthy food, add the marijuana as a product, and also make available acupuncture, massage and yoga classes at the same facility. He wants to make medical marijuana part of “a holistic environment.”
He also had a family member who used marijuana to treat an illness: His father-in-law suffered from multiple sclerosis but continued to work as a cinematographer with the help of marijuana, he says.
As for zoning, he says his current location is not near a school and “would pass zoning application in Colorado.” He hopes it will pass in Palm Beach County.
Keeler says he plans to send letters to local physicians letting them know he wants to go into business, so they will know where to refer patients.
“I’ll tell them, ‘We want to be your provider,’” he says.
Keeler says he is a recovering alcohol and drug user, who won’t use the product himself but sees the beneficial effects for others.
“I’m sober 23 years,” he says. “If all this happens, I’ll be growing marijuana here and then going to say hello to my buddies at my AA meetings.”
“It will be as if they are walking into Walgreens to buy Advil or Aleve.”
Jeff Korentur, of Delray Beach, who wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary catering to seniors.
By RICK STONE
Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 6:34 am
Florida's new Office of Compassionate Use has issued proposed rules for the regulation of Charlotte's Web, that buzz-free variety of marijuana the Legislature approved for limited medical use this year.
Credit Mohamed Aseel Hassan/Flickr
In Tallahassee on Monday, hearings and public comment began on the proposed rules. They cover every aspect of the limited medical marijuana program that will focus solely on patients with seizure and spasticity disorders.
The program is medical marijuana but it has nothing to do with Amendment Two, the much broader medical marijuana amendment that will go to Florida voters in November.
But the prospect of Amendment Two's passage for is one reason attorney David Kotler is paying attention to the Charlotte's Web rule-making. He and his partners from a Boca Raton law firm have launched a new business unit that will provide legal representation for people making a legal living in the (possibly) future medical marijuana business.
So far, he says, the Charlotte's Web rules read like the reasonable product of a state that has witnessed and learned from the mistakes of other medical marijuana states.
But Kotler has some quibbles. One of them is the strict oversight on the levels of THC, the stuff that gets you high when you smoke marijuana. Charlotte's Web has only trace amounts (the therapeutic ingredient is a different chemical called cannabidiol).
Kotler says he's hearing from patients that the low-THC stuff may not work so well.
"A cancer patient may need the THC level and some level of euphoria... appetite stimulation, that this (marijuana) just doesn’t accomplish," he says. "And so I think that, while well-meaning, it just doesn’t go far enough."
The Charlotte's Web law and the rules being made will carefully track every scrap of marijuana in the Charlotte's Web production process. And that aspect of the regulation is so strict that, according to Kotler, it makes no provision for an approved grower to acquire the first marijuana seed or clone to begin the first crop. "You may have to break the law to follow the law," he says.
The rules are so strict and so oriented to making sure that nobody can get high that Kotler (and some others) worry that they may carry over to govern medical marijuana under Amendment Two if it passes.
June 18, 2014
Florida Entrepreneurs Taking Leap of Faith on MMJ Legalization, but Some Hedging Their Business Bets
By Fred Dreier
Florida is months away from voting on a measure to legalize medical marijuana, but entrepreneurs are already spending big bucks to start cannabis businesses.
Some have purchased expensive extraction machines, while others have leased cultivation space. Consultants have founded medical marijuana business schools, while lawyers have launched consulting practices.
To outsiders, the frenzy may appear premature. Voters must approve the measure – Amendment 2 – with a 60% super-majority for it to pass. While recent polling is positive, opposition groups are organized and well-funded.
Entrepreneurs, however, feel it’s important to position themselves early, having seen the frenzy that develops in other states that pass MMJ laws. Still, many are hedging their bets by investing only small sums at this point and creating backup plans for their marijuana-related assets. Others are aiming to work with the state’s approved CBD-only industry, which could present business opportunities.
“If November comes and [Amendment 2] fails, I will have bought a website and that is about it,” said lawyer David Kotler, who began working with cannabis clients in January. “People are having to ask themselves what their tolerance for risk is prior to November.”
Here are some strategies entrepreneurs are employing in Florida to prepare for medical marijuana opportunities:
Investing in flexible assets
The publicly traded real estate company Cannabis-Rx Inc. made headlines earlier this year when it spent $1.21 million for three commercial buildings totaling 209,000 square feet in Sarasota.
The company hopes to lease the space out to cannabis growers, but it has a Plan B should Amendment 2 fail. Llorn Kylo, the chief executive officer of Cannabis-RX, said he chose the property because it has value to non-cannabis clients, meaning the company can likely find tenants from other industries if MMJ falls through.
“Anything that requires square footage would work here,” Kylo said. “If the asset didn’t make sense from a purely real estate perspective, I would not have taken a chance.”
Kylo said the property could be used as a manufacturing center, a distribution facility or even a mini storage area. He described the property as “a tear-downer” when he purchased it but believes the renovations his company is undertaking will make it attractive to many different types of businesses.
Kylo estimates that a cannabis tenant would pay upwards of $5 a square foot for the property. But based on his projections, even a non-cannabis tenant would pay $3 a square foot to lease the property. At that rate, it would still be profitable for the company.
“We’re a real estate company first and foremost,” he said. “We buy and sell distressed assets because we like the economics of the building.”
Many entrepreneurs are investing time and effort in laying the groundwork to start cannabis businesses, while keeping actual cash investments low.
Attorney Kotler said the first wave of entrepreneurs to launch marijuana businesses in Florida were lawyers who bought websites and advertised over social media. The next entrepreneurs to join the industry, he said, were consultants who offered seminars and classes on cultivation.
“You have people that have done some branding around a website or a name,” Kotler said. “There’s a lot of name-parking and web-squatting because it’s a cheap way to enter [the industry].”
A veteran criminal defense attorney, Kotler launched his business, called Medical Marijuana Business Lawyers LLC, in January. He purchased the domain name, built a website and constructed a Facebook page.
Within a week he began receiving calls.
The cannabis clients forced him to take time away from his criminal defense practice to learn about the marijuana industry. He said he traveled to conferences in other states and met with marijuana professionals to learn about the industry.
“I was forced to move a lot quicker than I anticipated,” he said.
Kotler currently works with eight medical marijuana clients, with 10 more “on deck.” He estimates he’s received between 70-80 calls for consulting help.
While he’s put several hundred hours of research and work toward medical marijuana, his spending has been no more than $2,500.
“Lawyers recognize this is a niche area,” he said. “You can make a boutique practice out of it.”
Investing for the long haul
A third group of entrepreneurs in Florida are investing large sums of money in the industry now because they believe interest in cannabis will keep their businesses going even if Amendment 2 fails.
The consultant group Florida Medical Marijuana Treatment Center organizes conferences for marijuana entrepreneurs and currently rents an office space in downtown Miami.
Jan Frel, one of the company’s owners, said his group has invested approximately $400,000 up to this point. So far, it has attracted approximately 200 people to its various seminars, which discuss everything from cultivation to dispensary management.
The seminars cost $500 to attend.
Frel said he believes entrepreneurs will remain interested in cannabis regardless of whether of Amendment 2 passes, because the momentum behind medical marijuana points toward its eventual legalization.
“There will be a need for marijuana business education in the long term in Florida, because we see medical legalization as inevitable,” Frel said. “There are enough people who are curious in the business to sustain us over the long term.”
Should Amendment 2 fail, Frel believes that Florida’s recently-approved CBD bill will create opportunities for his company. The law allows five businesses to grow cannabis, synthesize it into CBD oil and distribute the product.
The entrepreneurs hoping to win one of the five dispensary licenses will require cannabis training, Frel said.
“Even if we just focus on [CBD], we see that as a possibility,” he said. “We can survive on that.”
Orlando Business Journal
Meet David Kotler, esquire, a medical marijuana lawyer.
Kotler is a partner in Schwartz, Gold, Cohen, Zakarin & Kotler PA in Boca Raton, where he represents individuals and companies in general civil, complex commercial, personal injury and medical malpractice cases. And as of Feb. 11, he’s also a partner in Medical Marijuana Business Lawyers LLC. He was mentioned in the database I did of all the medical marijuana companies I could find in Florida.
Kotler said being a medical marijuana lawyer could become a new niche for lawyers, and he’s hoping to get in on the ground floor (think foreclosure defense lawyers in 2008, for example). But it’s coming at a bit of a price for Kotler.
“I’m giving up my opportunity to be a judge,” Kotler said. “Not that I’m interviewing or getting appointed, but if I ever wanted to, it would probably be out the window.”
A lot of the work Kotler does now is basic: creating non-compete contract, confidentiality agreements, even helping connect clients to other service providers who will work with medical marijuana companies.
It’s all about risk tolerance — even for Kotler.
“It all could be for naught,” Kotler said. “Come six months from now, I might just have a [useless] website. The question is what’s your risk tolerance. How much are you willing to spend to be on the front end of something?”
Kotler does have some clients, although he doesn’t want to say how many just yet. The perception, he said, is that he would be getting calls from old convicted felons who know how to grow marijuana.
That’s not been the experience thus far — some are even Wall Street-backed.
“Most, believe it or not, are a lot of doctors looking to see what niche they can fill, whether it’s vertical from start to finish,” Kotler said. “The other group is the experienced businessmen working in other areas with success who wish to get into this arena. These are the people who may not have even used marijuana, but see an opportunity.”