Marijuana Business Magazine - April 2018

Q&A D erek Peterson is the head of one of the largest and most stable plant-touching cannabis com- panies in the United States – California-based Terra Tech Corp. Terra Tech has acquired 10 marijuana retail and cultivation permits in California and Nevada since its founding in 2008, along with an organic lettuce and herb greenhouse business to diversify its portfolio. Over the past decade, Peterson has grown the company from $7 million in revenue in 2014 to more than $25 million in 2016. Though Terra Tech’s complete financials for last year were not available as of press time, the company reported revenue of nearly $25 million for the first three quarters of 2017. The company trades on the over-the- counter market as TRTC. In an interview, Peterson addressed the challenges of heading a publicly traded marijuana company, Terra Tech’s plans and other topics. Q What are the biggest challenges in running a publicly traded plant-touching company? A Banking. Because we’re publicly traded, we have quarterly reviews and annual audits. And because we have to deal in cash at almost all of our loca- tions in some capacity, the reality is we have no long-term banking solution in any market, which means a lot of cash handling. That adds a ton of time and complexity to the audit. When you add complexity to the audit, it raises the cost. When you add time to the audit, it raises the risk of not meeting your filing deadline. (Lack of access to banking) also makes M&A challenging. There are maybe three or four com- panies out there that I would want to buy. ... But if Running a Publicly Traded MJ Business Five Questions with Derek Peterson, Terra Tech CEO and founder they don’t have books and records that are in order because of their own banking, I can’t buy them. If I buy them and I bring them in and I can’t audit them within 72 days, it puts my filing at risk. What banking provides is a statement, and off a state- ment I can get an audit done relatively easy. It’s easy for them to validate cash in and cash out, because it’s done with an unaffiliated third-party entity. By John Schroyer 16 • Marijuana Business Magazine • April 2018