SōRSE Technology Announces Two New Members to Board of Directors

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SōRSE Technology, the leading water-soluble CBD, hemp and terpene emulsion provider for infused CPG brands, announced today the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. Mary Wagner and Allen Hsieh’s tenures on SōRSE’s selective board will begin effective immediately.

Mary Wagner is a recognized executive leader and board director who has established a reputable career in the food industry for creating innovative products, managing risks and developing measures to ensure food quality and safety. Wagner is an industry veteran that has held key positions including Senior Vice President of Global Product Innovation, Food Safety, and Quality for Starbucks Coffee Company, General Manager of Mars Botanical, a division of Mars Candy, and Chief Technology and Quality Officer at E. and J. Gallo. She currently leads MK Wagner and Associates Inc., a solutions provider in innovation and food safety. In addition to serving on SōRSE Technology’s Board, Ms. Wagner also serves on the Board of Directors at Griffith Foods International, Jones Dairy, and Skagit Valley Malting. She also chairs the Food Safety Advisory Board for Ecolab. “I hope to contribute my knowledge in food and beverage, as well as my years of experience and connections with industry, government and academics to help make cannabinoids mainstream sooner rather than later,” said Wagner.

Allen Hsieh brings over 25 years of experience in business and finance to SōRSE’s board and has managed companies that generated $100 to $500 million in revenue annually. Mr. Hsieh’s broad financial background has spanned various industries, including all aspects of financial operations, reporting and internal controls, sale or divestitures of businesses and raising capital. Most recently, Mr. Hsieh served as the Chief Financial Officer for A Place for Mom, North America’s largest senior living and care referral service, where he successfully led the sale of the company from Warburg Pincus to Silver Lake Partners and General Atlantic. Mr. Hsieh has also served as the Chief Financial Officer for two publicly traded companies, Flow International and InfoSpace, Inc. He has successfully managed relationships between company boards and private equity groups with their respective stakeholders and currently serves as a Board Advisor to Ultrata based in Seattle. “Given how much progress has been made in the cannabis industry, this is an exciting space to work in, and I look forward to strategically positioning the company and its technology in the marketplace.”

“We are excited and honored to have attracted such a high caliber of talent to SōRSE Technology’s Board since both Mary and Allen have been associated with the best technology, food, and beverage brands in the world,” said SōRSE Technology CEO Howard Lee. “Our company has had a longstanding mission to make cannabinoid consumption as safe, accessible and enjoyable as possible and we look forward to tapping into Mary and Allen’s invaluable industry and business expertise to reach wider audiences.”

SōRSE 2019 Recap

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For a company that started 2019 with 15 employees and is finishing with over 40, it has been an exciting year for SōRSE Technology, one filled with change, growth, challenge, and promise.  The articles listed below document some of the many highlights for SōRSE from the year — from Geekwire’s peek into the goings-on in our Seattle offices and labs, to a press announcement about our expanded partnership agreement with Valens. The articles highlighted throughout the year are on some of the people who power SōRSE and the events where we have showcased our products and our knowledge about the marketplace. SōRSE is definitely ending the year on a high note, having emerged as an innovative leader in the industry.

SōRSE Featured in Geekwire

In May, a team from Geekwire paid a visit to SōRSE headquarters and wrote this piece about the company’s beginnings, the products #powered by SōRSE, and on the magic happening in the labs. Writer Kurt Schlosser commented, “Lee considers what his scientists are working on to be more of a platform — like Gortex — and he said the breakthrough for the company has been in understanding food technology, speed to market, and getting the right people to actually help drive the product.”

Forbes: Five Questions with Scott Riefler 

In July, Chief Science Officer, Scott Riefler, was interviewed by columnist Warren Bobrow on his background in aerospace and food science, as well as the work he is doing at SōRSE. When asked about short and long-term goals, Scott commented: “Regardless of the timeframe, our team is always focused on improving and evolving our technology.”

Emily Skrobecki Recognized as Fifteen Power and Innovation Women in Cannabis 

In August, Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was named one of the Cannabis industry’s most powerful and innovative women by Forbes. When describing Emily, writer Warren Bobrow commented, “The challenge of the unknown is what drives Skrobecki to search for knowledge and dive deep into this type of science.”

Mad Tasty Featured on the Today Show

In September, Ryan Tedder, frontman of the band, OneRepublic, appeared on the Today Show to talk about his successes, his failures, his creative process. Toward the end of the interview, after being handed a can of Mad Tasty (powered by SōRSE)  and asked what it was, he commented, “In all my downtime, I started a beverage company about a year ago with Interscope Records, my label, and some friends…It’s got 20 mg of CBD in each can…zero sugar, all natural. I drink about five a day.”

SōRSE Debuts Agglomerated Powder at SupplySide West 

In October, at SupplySideWest in Las Vegas, the SōRSE team unveiled its agglomerated CBD powder, which allows for rapid hydration for instant beverages. When describing the power of the powder, VP of Science, Michael Flemmens commented, “This is a game-changer and silver bullet for the cannabis functional ingredient space and infused products.”

Diana Eberlein Gives Her Insight on the Celebrity and Cannabis Wave Featured on CNN 

In November, CNN ran an article on Drake entering the cannabis space through a partnership with Canopy Growth. VP of Marketing, Diana Eberlein, shared her thoughts on which types of celebrity brands resonate with customers, and which don’t. “People are attracted to brands that are real and authentic…If it feels inauthentic, they will lose that audience very quickly.”

Emily Skrobecki Named in High Times Female 50

Also in November, Manager of Process Engineering, Emily Skrobecki, was honored for her work in the cannabis industry in the inaugural honoree class of the High Times’ Female 50. Each woman featured on the list was nominated and voted on by the public. High Times staffers wrote, “This collection represents fifty women in all areas of the cannabis space, from research to business and from politics to activism, who have made their mark in a truly significant and impactful way.”

SōRSE Wraps up the Year with a Successful BevNET Live Debut 

In December, the SōRSE team traveled to Santa Monica for the company’s debut as an exhibitor at BevNET Cannabis Forum and as a Gold Sponsor of BevNET Live Winter 2019. A highlight of the conference was SōRSE partnering with Drop Water and hosting a “Build Your Own CBD Beverage” station where guests could create their own CBD beverage. CEO Howard Lee shared, “Our team showed the breadth and array of flavor and dosage possibilities to attendees and generated positive buzz around our technology and this emerging category.”

SōRSE Expanded Partnership Agreement with Valens 

In December, SōRSE and Valens announced their expanded partnership agreement, which grants Valens an exclusive license for Canada, Europe, Australia and Mexico to use the proprietary SōRSE emulsion technology to produce, market, package, sell and distribute cannabis-infused products. Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens, commented, “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.”

2019 has proven that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts at SōRSE. Yes, we have increased our staff three-fold in twelve months, but what is most important about this growth is the intelligence, innovation, and the range of professional experience that each member of the team brings to the table. SōRSE is powered by creative, analytic, fun-loving people who are passionate about what they do, who believe in the products they are producing, and who appreciate the strengths and talents of their co-workers. When we look back at what the company has accomplished in 2019, we can only be excited for what is ahead of us in 2020 and beyond.

SōRSE TECHNOLOGY EXPANDS AGREEMENT WITH VALENS

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SōRSE Technology, the leading water-soluble CBD, hemp and terpene emulsion provider for infused CPG brands, announced an amended manufacturing and sales license agreement with Canadian cannabinoid-based product company The Valens Company. The agreement grants Valens a license to produce, market, package, sell and distribute products made with SōRSE’s proprietary emulsion technology to international markets in EuropeAustralia and Mexico, in addition to Canada.

The agreement also allows for Valens to produce and sell SōRSE’s portfolio of branded products in the agreed upon territories. This includes the top 2 infused beverages in Washington State — Happy Apple, a cannabis-infused apple cider, and Major, a cannabis-infused fruit drink.

The initial five-year agreement will increase the addressable market by almost 20 times, from 37 million people in the current Canadian agreement to 700 million people in the new international agreement. SōRSE Technology currently works with over 30 brand clients in the United States, including leading CBD beverage makers Mad Tasty and Vybes. SōRSE Technology provides product developers with a CBD solution that is shelf stable, homogeneous, and better tasting with the highest safety and quality standards.

“We are proud to expand our partnership with Valens and leverage their near-term access to various global markets,” said Howard Lee, CEO of SōRSE. “Over the last year, our team of more than 40 plus professionals has continued to actively focus on creating and developing innovative, desirable products and formats of consumption for cannabis consumers. As emulsion technology becomes more popular through new delivery methods such as ingestion, transdermal, topical and more, it is imperative that quality and safety in consumption leads all innovation in this sector. This is a shared value and mandate that our teams at SōRSE and Valens both prioritize. We look forward to continuing this working relationship with Valens and introducing our award-winning emulsion technology to global markets.”

“We have seen incredible interest from our current and potential clients regarding the SōRSE emulsion technology and we are thrilled to finalize the expanded license agreement with SōRSE,” said Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens. “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.”

The SōRSE emulsion technology, which offers an improved flavor profile, consistent dosing and experience, and safe ingredients, changes the landscape for future cannabis infused beverages, food items, and topicals. In the past, ingestibles have been plagued by the stigmas associated with edibles – namely inconsistent dosing and experience, and bad taste.  With the expanded agreement, SōRSE can eliminate the typical concerns around ingestibles around the world, making edibles and topicals a preferred method of consumption for consumers.

The manufacturing and distribution agreement between SōRSE Technology and The Valens Company was closed at $10 million USD, comprised of $6 million USD in cash and $4 million USD to be issued in Valens common shares. The agreement carries an initial 5-year exclusive term with a 2-year renewal of the exclusivity, subject to operational and financial performance. Valens will also transfer royalty payments to SōRSE calculated as a percentage of sales and will be subject to an annual minimum of $2 million over the 5-year term.

About SōRSE Technology
SōRSE Technology is a water-soluble CBD, hemp extract and terpene emulsion technology designed for producers to provide consumers with a better cannabis experience with near-perfect dosing, stability, and safe ingredients. Our patented technology converts oil into SōRSE, our water-soluble emulsion, for seamless integration as an ingredient in a beverage, food item or topical. For more information, visit www.sorsetech.com

About The Valens Company
The Valens Company is a global leader in the end-to-end development and manufacturing of innovative, cannabinoid-based products. The Company is focused on being the partner of choice for leading Canadian and international cannabis brands by providing best-in-class, proprietary services including CO2, ethanol, hydrocarbon, solvent-less and terpene extraction, analytical testing, formulation and white label product development and manufacturing.  Valens is the largest third-party extraction Company in Canada with an annual capacity of 425,000 kg of dried cannabis and hemp biomass at our purpose-built facility in Kelowna, British Columbia which is in the process of becoming European Union (EU) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant.  The Valens Company currently offers a wide range of product formats, including tinctures, two-piece caps, soft gels, oral sprays and vape pens as well as beverages, concentrates, topicals, edibles, injectables, natural health products and has a strong pipeline of next generation products in development for future release.  Finally, the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Valens Labs is a Health Canada licensed ISO 17025 accredited cannabis testing lab providing sector-leading analytical services and has partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific to develop a Centre of Excellence in Plant-Based Science.  For more information, please visit http://thevalenscompany.com.  The Company’s investor deck can be found specifically at http://thevalenscompany.com/investors/