Canadian Underwriter

You wanted the best, you got Gene Simmons

May 24, 2018  

Print this page


You know there’s money to be made when Gene Simmons shows up somewhere. And he showed up—in my inbox—back on March 14, 2018.

Now, let me be clear: the bass player from KISS did not send me an email directly. (He’s actually more than just the bass player from KISS, but I’ll get to that stuff later.) No, this email came in the form of a press release from Invictus MD Strategies announcing that Simmons had been named their “Chief Evangelist Officer.”

What, you might wonder, is Invictus MD Strategies? I wondered the same, and it turns out they have nothing to do with the Invictus Games. Invictus—formed in 2014 and based in Vancouver—has ownership stakes in various licensed producers of medical cannabis throughout the country. And, with the legalization of recreational cannabis just around the corner, Invictus is no doubt seeing dollar signs in all the new licensed producers that will be cropping up (pun intended).

So, what exactly is a Chief Evangelist Officer? According to the press release, Simmons will be responsible for “providing marketing counsel, serving as a spokesperson in the media, public appearances and participation in the company’s annual general meeting and investor meetings.” Those will be some interesting meetings!

Simmons will report to Dan Kriznic, chairman and CEO (the normal kind of CEO—not an evangelist) of Invictus. According to Simmons, who is quoted in the press release, he and Dan hit it off immediately when they met for the first time.

“Values and family are very important to me, and when I first connected with Dan at Invictus, I understood immediately that we enjoyed a shared passion for these key life foundations,” Simmons said. “Instead of launching straight into business, we talked about the things that matter the most.”

How heartwarming.

The press release also explains that Simmons has a licensing empire with more than 2,500 licences (for things like KISS T-shirts, pinball machines, credit cards, lunch boxes, caskets and condoms, if I’m not mistaken). Oh, and he’s launching a “premium soda line” called MoneyBag™ Sodas at 7-Eleven stores everywhere, in addition to launching MoneyBag™ FootGear, which, I assume, must be premium shoes.

So, why is Simmons suddenly appearing as the chief evangelist of a Canadian cannabis company just before recreational pot becomes legal here? Because there’s money to be made. New money—this stuff wasn’t legal before! That also means there’s money to be made for brokers, because these licensed producers ain’t gonna insure themselves.

This month, we’re doing a deep dive into the legalization of recreational cannabis, giving you all the information you need to ensure that you, dear broker, can also capitalize on this new money.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the May edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.