Almost four years after its inception, the Société québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) will soon begin selling KEB, the only local rolling paper in Quebec.
“We launched KEB 30 months ago with the equivalent of a used tank. It’s a great moment for us, it proves that our approach works,” launches Renaud Lessard Ste-Marie, the duo’s artistic filmmaker.
Together with his brother Jérôme, CEO of the young company, they now have the opportunity, if all goes well, to live off the fruits of their labor.
At the time of the passage of protocol At Jérôme’s last Friday, the two entrepreneurs were in the process of receiving their order for 100,000 packs of 32 sheets for the SQDC.
This corresponds to all orders in the last two years. These 100,000 packages will now be sent to each of the 90 stores to start selling in two weeks.
Produced in Quebec soon?
The aim is to sell them in three months, so that the target annual turnover is 400,000 packs per year. At $1.99 per unit, we’re talking nearly $800,000 in annual sales.
For the time being, KEB produces its organic and vegan paper in France. The goal is and always has been to make it here.
“Two municipalities have already approached us to get a paper mill back into operation. We really want to produce in Quebec and the SQDC will give us the critical mass to do that,” says Renaud.
It will be through sales, they say, as banks and institutions have been skeptical about funding a business remotely linked to cannabis.
“We were rejected at the Business Development Bank of Canada and at PME Montréal. We had to fight with Desjardins to get them to give us the necessary credit line,” says Jérôme.
Finally they persuaded Desjardins, who had initially refused to fund them, by insisting that it was the Lévis institution that was in charge of the SQDC’s financial management.
“We can hardly wait to join the SQDC, KEB will be a real business, we can make a living from it and maybe even pay an employee,” says Jérôme happily.
Other products soon
The two brothers are not lacking in ambition. They already have other products in mind, such as a St. Lawrence walnut top or ashtrays made from recycled glass.
“We are there thanks to our community, the rollers and rollers who have bought our products online when it is not common,” emphasizes Renaud.
All this to say that they are attentive to the needs of their customers. Walking through the doors of SQDC was neuralgic, and quite frankly it went without saying, but it’s just a first step towards greater things.