Photo by: Maya Grace Photography, Parksville BC
Warren Dale Cudney
Warren Dale Cudney is president and CEO of Wahupta Ventures Inc., a privately held corporation based in Vancouver, Canada, specializing in the genetics, farming, production, and processing of hemp. Additionally, Wahupta, under Cudney’s direction, recently acquired Curran Technologies Inc., further growing the company’s portfolio to also include hemp oil extraction for medicinal and recreational products.
With an extensive background in medical device technology and as a past owner of a medical clinic, Warren now leads an amazing team dedicated to helping improve the lives and health of people with alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical drugs.
The idea for Wahupta Ventures came from your experiences with patients in your medical clinics. Tell us about this.
I was drawn into the hemp and cannabis industry five years ago, but I came in begrudgingly. My background is in medical devices and tech, and I was always educating myself on the wellness factor. I was working in my medical clinic at the time, and I wasn’t aware of the medicinal values, but I started seeing people, and especially the older population, who were looking at CBD and THC supplements to find alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for pain management and inflammatory diseases, especially those using opioids. I did a tremendous amount of research on it, saw its value, and combined my tech and medical background to team up with strong industry experts to form Wahupta to help people use the hemp plant in a beneficial way. I believe our company and our team can leave a legacy of helping people and bringing about a significant change to the industry.
What does Wahupta Ventures do specifically in the hemp space?
We’re focused on more so the medicinal side of hemp and the science and innovation side. THC has benefits as well, but we focus on the hemp plant, which has a low THC percentage, so people don’t get the effect of being high. I love the science side, and what the industry was lacking five years ago was knowledge in two critical areas: dosing and deliveries. People were very unaware of dosages and what they should be, and then also how to administer it. A huge responsibility comes with being a part of this industry, and dosing is a key component. We’re now able to get involved with key scientists who are working on these two key areas. We recently acquired a technology company, Curran Technologies, which manufacturers extraction equipment that takes the plants’ primary constituents and extracts them as an oil. Through Health Canada-compliant producers, we help them formulate medicinal and recreational products with those oils.
Tell us more about how hemp, CBD, and cannabinoids are helping people with chronic health issues, and how it is being consider for the treatment of COVID-19.
Right now, we’re connected to and watching a brilliant doctor and friend Dr. Robert Pastore who is working on projects to advance researching in areas such as a current health concern we all know, COVID 19 and CBD as well as many other ailments. Regulatory bodies are beginning to recognize CBD as a solution to arrest symptoms of a cytokine storm or an inflammatory response in specific receptors in the body caused by this virus. and in so many other diseases. A root cause of disease is inflammation, and we now know with some degree of certainty that CBD, or a combination of cannabinoids (potentially in conjunction with traditional western medicine) can arrest inflammatory responses. We have this opportunity to take this incredible plant, hemp, and use the extracted oils to arrest the symptoms of many diseases, and I want to say one day we could find a cure.
You work closely with First Nations partners to help bring CBD to their communities. Can you tell us about this?
We do. In fact, we have First Nations partners on our board of directors in Canada. In the infancy of the cannabis space, including the hemp side, the Canadian First Nations and Tribal Nations had not been part of the conversation, so from very early on, we worked with them and found that they were nervous about introducing something that could be viewed as a drug into their community. We went out with Tribal Nations leaders, became educated on their communities, and in turn tried to help educate them on the opportunity of CBD as a solution; not another drug but a solution to the problem. We continue to provide education and an outlet for First Nations people.
What makes Wahupta Ventures unique from others in the hemp and cannabis industry?
Certainly, Canada has been a tremendous leader in this market. There has been a lot of capital raised to build these mega-companies in the industry, and they’re doing it at a quick pace. I’ve tried to work with our team of experts to lead a smaller more focused approach to the supply of oils and the focus on science specifically. We recognized how quickly the plant became commoditized and that the need to really pivot and focus and specific niches was needed. We’re unique because we’re a group of people with a small, tight shareholder base that recognizes that if we look at it from a scientific basis and work with a full-spectrum oil, not just CBD in its isolated form only, but the purest oil with the richness of the plants constituents, we can find potentially much better solutions. While others may focus on being broad, we stay focused on aligning ourselves with companies who work on that dosing and delivery piece. We’ve grown slowly, survived the shift in capital markets and the global shutdowns due to COVID and picked partners carefully. We are trying to grow on science, tech, and the medicinal markets. We’re very particular about who we work with and what we go to market with. Our idea is not only revenue-focused, but rather doing things the right way, and focused on the partners and teams internally that really are value based and understand what we do matters. Not unlike the hemp plant, we have stayed true to our word and we are overcoming many obstacles, and as a team we have so much to offer the industry and ultimately the consumers that will benefit from this healing plant.
Warren Dale Cudney
President & CEO — Wahupta Ventures Inc.
LinkedIn: Warren Cudney