“It’s Personal”: a Q&A with Tyler Robson, CEO of The Valens Company
Meet Tyler Robson, fearless and forward-thinking CEO, co-founder and chair of The Valens Company, one of the world’s most innovative cannabis companies. With an arts and science degree, a professional sports career and a grassroots foundation, Tyler is building an emerging powerhouse in the world of cannabis.
Valens specializes in high-quality formulas that are precisely made for specific uses. Whether it’s medical or recreational, local or international, Valens is pursuing meaningful extraction, formulation, product development and testing to bring purposeful cannabis to the people. Through science, art, and exploration, Tyler is leading Valens to develop new products and formulations to advance the future of the industry.
Get to know the challenger behind Valens.
You’re building a legacy. How did it all start?
I was raised in Kelowna, B.C., and witnessed first-hand the success of cannabis in medical applications. I immediately saw huge potential, and I knew I wanted in. To do that properly, I had to learn more about this world. It’s what drove me to get a degree in arts and sciences, with a specialization in biology, from the University of Saskatchewan.
I was always a sports fan—football in particular. I was drafted by the CFL for the BC Lions. Hard work, dedication, focus, commitment, communication and agility are just a few of the incredible things sports have brought into my life. They shaped me and helped me see what I’m capable of bringing to the world and how I can build a team to execute on it. I think sports and science, as well as my early exposure to the cannabis industry, all came together to help me co-found what is now Valens.
What drives you personally on a day-to-day?
I come from humble beginnings. My parents didn’t have much, but they were always there to support me. They provided for me. They came to every single one of my football games. I owe it to them and to myself to never miss an opportunity.
You’ve already accomplished a lot with Valens. What are you hoping to achieve moving forward?
In many circles, there is still a lingering negative stigma around cannabis. I want to transform it and challenge those negative beliefs. We’re here to create products for those who need them. There’s a global landslide of cannabis coming, and people don’t understand the magnitude of what’s going on. It’s going to be huge, and having this opportunity to be a challenger in the space is amazing.
We have been meticulous in our approach. We have focused on sustainable growth and building our foundations and expertise before expanding. Valens planted its roots as a third-party extraction company. We built the most diverse and advanced extraction platform in Canada and worked with the industry’s renowned licensed products to extract and test the world’s finest cannabis. Our product manufacturing is now expanded into every cannabis consumer packaged goods category, and with recent M&A activities, Valens is now a leading Canadian Licensed Producer. Focused, precise growth is the name of the game. We have cannabis experts surrounded by a best-in-class leadership team that is taking us to new heights. We aim to be one of the most respected cannabis brands standing at the end, and our team is brilliant. They’ll get us there.
What does being a challenger mean to you?
Hunger, hard work, determination—these are core attitudes that take you places. You can always teach someone a skill set, but you can’t teach attitude. Our team has this unrelenting passion to push the boundaries of what’s being done by others. As we do that, we inspire others to look at the industry in a different light, to see its future potential.
That’s what Valens stands for. When people see the logo, they see a brand that challenges the way things are and challenges perceptions. I see some of the greatest innovators in our lifetime, and they broke through the ceiling in a similar way. We’re here, pushing to go beyond the limits. Not just for us. For everyone around us.
What makes Valens unique in the cannabis space?
What’s special about Valens is we’re real. We’re cannabis individuals, and we put best-in-class products on the shelf. To get to this level, you need some key ingredients to drive your success: focus, fundamentals, innovation, resilience. You need to love what you do, but most of all, you need lots of amazing, like-minded people.
We’ve always been seen as the underdog. It’s part of what drives us to want to be bigger, to push the industry to be bolder and to bring people along for the ride. We have this mentality that nothing will stop us, and we see the future in a way that nobody else does. In the cannabis space, that gives us this great lens on seeing what others are doing right and wrong. That gives us a competitive advantage.
You built yourself from the ground up. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you can stay curious and motivated, if you can break preconceived notions, you can truly change the game, change the industry for the better and help people in a positive way. I’ve always believed that, in my personal life and my work life. And if on the way, you can create a community and support the people around you, then you know you’re doing something right.
How important is this notion of community to you?
The power of the people in your life is undeniable. You have to surround yourself with the ones who share your vision and who are excited to work together to create change. My family, my colleagues who inspire, challenge, and collaborate with me are my inspirational circle. They make Valens what it is.
This is the first of a series of short videos about Tyler Robson and his leadership team, diving deeper with each episode, getting personal and covering their journey from modest beginnings to mogul success. To discover more about the people behind the Valens products, keep an eye out for the next videos coming soon.