Verano is a Chicago-based, vertically-integrated operator of licensed cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and retail facilities across the United States. Leveraging world-class genetics and industry-leading grow and process techniques, the Verano team develops and produces a suite of limited edition cannabis products. Verano also designs, builds, and operates Zen Leaf™ dispensaries. With a footprint spanning 14 markets and 90 planned retail locations, Verano is one of the leading seed-to-sale multi-state operators in the country.
With over 20 years in both Investor Relations and Treasury roles under his belt, Aaron Miles joined Verano to lead them on their journey to list on the public markets. As the Chief Investment Officer at Verano, his responsibilities include monitoring the major trends and new entrants in the fast-paced cannabis market, managing Verano’s expansion and growth strategies, and acting as the liaison with Verano’s investors.
“What AlphaSense has given us is the ability to scan through a massive amount of information, scale it down to specifically what I need, and focus on that”
Aaron Miles, Chief Investment Officer
With state by state policy evolving each month and a recent flurry of M&A activity consolidating the industry, Aaron and his team needed to continuously monitor US news and trade publications in order to constantly adapt and update growth strategies. To further complicate matters, the Verano team to sift through international filings and dive deep into dense regulatory documents as they prepared to go public on the Canadian markets.
Preparing to go public
Navigating the process of going public is no easy feat under normal circumstances. Compound that with the fact that in their reverse-takeover transaction, Aaron and his team needed to play by the rules of a different country’s financial standards. Listing in Canada is “something I’ve never done”, shared Aaron, something he described as a “new world for us.”
Manual readings of dense filings
On their journey to go public, Verano needed to create “a lot” of regulatory filings. “I would normally have to download PDFs and read through 550 page documents” to extract and hone messaging for these filings, a tedious process that would take many hours to accomplish.
Keeping pace with industry updates
In a fast-paced and often misunderstood industry that changes seemingly every day, keeping tabs of evolving Congressional bills, peer growth strategies or news citations about your company is essential in crafting a well-tuned narrative and honing in on the right local messaging to win over partners, investors and the public alike.
Access to domestic and international insights
Operating in the realm of Canadian finance was a whole new world for Aaron, who candidly shared, “To navigate that world through AlphaSense has been invaluable.” The ability to pull up both international and US filings in one platform has helped the Verano team expedite their understanding of the complexities of international finance and reduce the time they spent in getting up to speed on the process. Aaron also shared that when the US markets open for cannabis companies, Verano plans to use AlphaSense to help them with that transition in “going back across the border as we prepare to list in the US.”
Ease in crafting and honing messaging
Prep work prior to listing in the Canadian markets entailed combing through language in the various regulatory filings they had to prepare. Through Section Search, the team is able to “really specifically target sections” and use that information to “hone our messaging in these regulatory filings.” The end result? Aaron says, using AlphaSense, “cuts out a lot of hours that would have been very manual for me.”
Monitor hidden insights
Adding a further anecdote on how Verano has reduced the time spent in synthesizing insights, Aaron noted that the platform empowers his team to monitor a huge amount of information with ease. “[AlphaSense has] been able to pull up news articles in a small Philadelphia publication”, citing an article entailing “a win” that “we were then able to highlight.” In combining powerful search capabilities with a vast library of premium content, the Verano team was easily able to capture this niche article that Aaron admits his team might have missed had it not been for a real-time Alert that sent it directly to his inbox.
Starting with Aaron’s use case to help the company navigate the process of taking the company public, Verano now uses AlphaSense to support their research needs across multiple teams including Finance, IR, Analytics and more. “What AlphaSense has given us is the ability to scan through a massive amount of information, scale it down to specifically what we need, and focus on that”, shared Aaron, saving the company time and reducing inefficiencies.
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