News roundup: October 2019

A monthly summary of the key events taking place in the Colombian medicinal cannabis industry

Operations

ICA approves Blueberries commercial production for 5 CBD strains

Blueberries Medical (CSE: BBM) has received ICA (Colombian Institute of Agriculture) approval for the registration and commercial production of five proprietary non-psychoactive CBD strains. According to CEO Patricio Stocker, this is a landmark achievement, especially as the company is one of the first to be approved in Colombia. The company will immediately commence cultivation of standardized medicinal- grade cannabis for oil extract. Blueberries currently has a total of 142 register strains available for review and potential ICA approval.

PharmaCielo signs US$3 million USA distribution agreement

PharmaCielo (PCLO: CVE) has signed a sales agreement with the U.S. company General Extract, an importer, distributor, broker and post-processor of hemp and hemp derivatives. PharmaCielo will provide bulk medicinal CBD isolate that meets the purity requirements of the USA Farm Bill, for sale in multiple states. The initial export shipments and verification of shipping routes and international trade and customs requirements has already been concluded successfully. For 2019, introduction revenues are projected a minimum of CAD$3 million, and the agreement allows for a renewal and volume expansion in 2020.

Josh Rosenberg joins Chemesis Board

Chemesis International (CSE: CSI) has appointed Josh Rosenberg to its board of directors. Rosenberg’s background is in global distribution and executive leadership, having spent six years leading and growing Accent Food Services. “I look forward to bringing my experience from the food services and mass distribution industry to provide strategic guidance to the team at Chemesis,” he said.

Finance and Acquisitions

Ikänik Farms acquires Pideka SAS

Ikänik International, a subsidiary of Ikänik Farms, has purchased 100% of issued and outstanding common shares in Bogotá-based indoor medical cannabis cultivator Pideka SAS. Pideka has licenses to cultivate, produce, manufacture and export cannabis derivatives, extracts and seeds for medical, scientific and commercial use (see main story on page 1). The company is also in the process of building an 80,000 sq. ft. complex for indoor cultivation in Tocancipá.

Organto Foods sells Colombian cannabis subsidiary

Organto Foods (TSX-V: OGO) has received shareholder approval for the sale of its Colombian cannabis subsidiary, Medicannabis SAS to Xebra Brands. Xebra is a private cannabis company that is developing brands and cannabis-infused beverages in Colombia and Mexico, for sale globally where cannabis is legal.

Legal matters

Colombian minister or sports to take charge of medicinal cannabis

Colombian minister of sports, Ernesto Lucena has been appointed as the ad- hoc minister in charge of medicinal cannabis. José Manuel Restrepo Ernesto, the minister of industry, commerce and tourism declared himself unable to act in this matter as he has economic interests in the issue. Lucena, who has a background as a lawyer, was recently appointed as the head of the new ministry of sports after a year in charge of Coldeportes.

Recreational cannabis law advances

A Colombian cannabis bill that would modify article 49 and allow the use of recreational marijuana in designated locations has passed the first of eight debates in the chamber of representatives. The bills proponents are seeking a different strategy in the fight against drugs, and needs to pass through three more debates before December 16 and four more next year in order to be successful.