TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Vinzan International Inc., a global cannabis trading company headquartered in Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelsey Barnes as Vice President of Operations. Kelsey joins Vinzan International after a 20-year career as a senior officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and most recently from IBM where he worked as a Senior Project Manager, leading cyber security teams for government and financial industry partners.
“We are thrilled to add Kelsey to our team as we continue to commercialize our operations in Colombia and Southeast Asia,” said CEO, Brian Armstrong “His operational experience and leadership will be an invaluable asset during our commercialization and our 2019 initial public offering.”
Vinzan International is building world-class pharmaceutical grade extraction facilities in Colombia and Southeast Asia and has 280,000kg of THC/CBD production allocated through multi-year supply agreements with international partners. By applying a 150-year old business model used by the world’s largest agriculture companies, Vinzan has positioned itself to be a leader in the global cannabis market.
“I watched traditional licensed producers spend millions of dollars on electricity to power and irrigate indoor grow facilities in Canada and I knew there had to be a better model.” said Barnes “Vinzan International removes those risks and overhead costs by deploying Canadian expertise and leading-edge extraction and processing technology to the world’s best cultivation regions.”
Prior to his time at IBM, Kelsey worked as Director of Operations at MedReleaf Medicinal, where he was responsible for operationalizing their Canadian growing and processing facilities. Under his leadership at MedReleaf, the company’s valuation increased from $750mm to $3bn. Kelsey also served in the Royal Canadian Regiment as a decorated Infantry Officer where he was responsible for leading large teams and operationalizing allied bases in developing nations.
“We have assembled a blue-chip team to further expand our global capabilities.” said Armstrong “Kelsey’s experience operationalizing military bases overseas combined with his experience in the cannabis sector make him the perfect fit to lead our international operations.”
This hire comes just one week after Vinzan International announced the appointment of Donald Stewart from Morgan Stanley.
About Kelsey Barnes:
As a Senior Project Manager at IBM, Kelsey led a team of cyber security experts responsible for developing cutting edge capabilities to protect vital information for government and financial industry partners. During a time of rapid scaling at MedReleaf, as Director of Operations Kelsey led their production hub and built the corporation’s capacity planning platform as well as the implementation of lean methodologies for GMP performance. Serving in the famed Royal Canadian Regiment as a decorated Infantry Officer, Kelsey gave over 20 years of his life to his country. During his military career, he carried out operational deployments to the Middle East, Africa and Central America. Kelsey Barnes holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business.
About Vinzan International:
Vinzan International is a licensed global cannabis trading company with operations in Laos, Thailand, and Colombia. These three markets were identified because of their low cost of production, legal cannabis framework, and ideal cultivation climate. Vinzan embraces the 150-year old physical commodity trading model used by the world’s largest agriculture companies. Using contract farming, Vinzan offtakes hemp and cannabis from cultivation partners and process them in world class facilities at above EU GMP standards. The product in extract or final form is then shipped to top-tier international partners in key regions. Vinzan is currently allocating 280,000kg of product through 5-year supply agreements. Using encrypted extraction on cloud technology with leading edge processing and extraction systems, Vinzan's facilities are equipped with the latest and best industrial components for maximum through put and systems dependability. The regional cultivation partners are provided with seeds from the Vinzan genetics program that are grown and developed under an IP growth management plan for each country of operation for maximum yield and consistency. With global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, the Vinzan International team brings years of experience in cannabis, capital markets and global physical commodity trading. Vinzan is currently in the final stages of a first-round capital raise and on track for an initial public offering in 2019.