Mexico Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtJune 30, 2021
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5min10690

As the United States inches closer to legalization, yesterday Justices on Mexico’s highest court have essentially decriminalized cannabis by allowing adults to possess and cultivate small quantities of marijuana without penalty. The Justices have given lawmakers until April 30 to create legislation regulating the use of cannabis by adults. Having said that, Mexico’s  House and Senate lawmakers did not agree on a plan prior to the deadline. Mexico’s Supreme Court also mandated that the Health Department begin issuing permits to members of the public who wish to either possess or grow personal use quantities of cannabis.

In 2009 the country decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis (5 grams or less). On March 10thMexico’s Chamber of Deputies voted 316 to 129 to advance a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis use in the country. Commercial sales will remain illegal for the time being, but companies are already lining up to get into the market.

“With these actions by the Court, the United States has become an island of federal marijuana prohibition in North America,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said.

Companies Lined Up for Mexico

In 2018, Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ: ACB) bought Farmacias Magistrales S.A., which at the time was Mexico’s first and only federally licensed importer to date of raw materials containing THC, gaining the necessary licenses, facilities, and permissions to import raw THC material, and manufacture, store, and distribute medical cannabis products containing over 1% THC. It established Aurora’s first-mover advantage in the country.

Vicente Fox, Khiron (OTCQX: KHRNF) Director and former President of Mexico said, “I believe Mexico will be the largest legal cannabis market in the world, and with a proven strategy for Latin America and the knowledge and track record to execute, Khiron remains at the forefront of this exciting market. Today’s vote by the Supreme Court is an important step forward on the road to full legalization in Mexico .” Khiron believes that its experience in Colombia could provide competitive advantages for its entry into Mexico’s medical cannabis market.

The Canadian parent of medical cannabis company PharmaCielo Colombia,  PharmaCielo Ltd. (TSXV: PCLO) (OTCQX: PCLOF) believes it is well-positioned to become a preferred supplier in the country. In March, Henning von Koss, CEO of PharmaCielo Ltd. said, “PharmaCielo Mexico is positioned to become a preferred B2B supplier in the country, backed by PharmaCielo’s broad extract portfolio, scale and flexibility, and MINO Labs’ long track record of success in the market.” PharmaCielo Mexico was created in 2019 to bring PharmaCielo’s high-quality cannabis extracts and derivative products to the Mexican market. PharmaCielo submitted a request to initiate the Mexican GMP audit process, which the company said it expects to be complete by the end of Q2’21, depending on the Mexican Authorities’ availability. With the voting of the Bill, PharmaCielo Mexico will immediately initiate the process to obtain an import license for cannabis products in Mexico. PharmaCielo is currently producing extracts in compliance with EU-GMP guidelines.

 

 


StaffJune 17, 2021
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Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVR) said it has entered into an active pharmaceutical ingredient supply agreement with CBD Life Holding SAPI de CV, an emerging leader in the Mexican cannabis industry which offers a line of CBD Wellness and consumer products and medical cannabis products which are under development. The partnership is Clever Leaves’ first commercial agreement in the Mexican market, and it comes shortly after regulations were fully approved in the country, providing a strategic growth opportunity in one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical markets. Clever Leaves also said recently that it is set to join the Russell Microcap Index, effective at market open on June 28, 2021, upon the conclusion of the Russell indexes annual reconstitution.

According to a recent report from Prohibition Partners for Latin America and the Caribbean (2020), the medical cannabis market in Mexico could be worth $60 million by 2024. So, it isn’t a huge market by comparison to the U.S. or Canada but still holds many opportunities.

“As a multinational cannabis operator with substantial operations in Latin America, it has always been one of our top goals to identify leaders in the region and build long-lasting commercial relationships,” said Kyle Detwiler, CEO of Clever Leaves. “CBD Life’s brand positioning and local exposure are attractive, but it’s their commitment to high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products that makes this an ideal partnership.”

Under the agreement, Clever Leaves said it will act as the API supplier for the development and manufacture of CBD Life’s medical cannabis products. Beginning with CBD isolate, Clever Leaves aims to be the ongoing supplier of the required APIs for CBD Life’s product manufacturing purposes. CBD Life has significant distribution in Mexico, with its products available at more than 18,000 points of sale. The company has established itself as an early-mover when it comes to providing cannabis-based products to the Mexican market. It also has formed strategic alliances with some of Mexico’s largest media groups and is the first cannabis company to launch a nationwide advertising campaign for non-psychoactive cannabinoid-based consumer products.

“We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Clever Leaves on our mission to develop safe and accessible pharmaceutical-grade cannabis medications of the highest quality. Our partnership will further propel our domestic and international expansion efforts thanks to their unmatched expertise and certifications that meet the highest standards and regulatory compliance equivalencies in most countries,” said Janko Ruiz de Chavez, COO and co-founder of CBD Life.

CBD Life’s current product line is comprised of topicals (including the traditional Hispanic household brand “Mariguanol”), beverages, and food supplements infused with hemp-derived CBD.


Debra BorchardtJune 19, 2018
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Long-time cannabis media company High Times is launching an equity crowdfunding program under the SEC’s Reg. A+ process. The company had made plans in 2017 to go public following a merger with Origo Acquisition company, but so far the deal hasn’t closed.  With the crowdfunding campaign, High Times will offer investors a chance to buy shares before the delayed initial public offering.

The Reg. A+ stock is to be priced at $11 a share and the company is saying that this will be a 10% discount to its planned price on NASDAQ.  The shares are available for purchase at hightimes.com/invest. For some reason, the company statement says that “Investors can buy one of the first Cannabis-related stocks expected to go public.” Yet, there are already hundreds of cannabis-related stocks that are publicly traded.

“It was important to me that this offering be open to anyone who wants to join this historic moment, not just those with big brokerage accounts,” said CEO Adam Levin. “We’re becoming one of the first Cannabis-focused companies publicly traded on the Nasdaq. We got here in no small part because of our incredible audience, who have been supporting High Times for decades. As interest in cannabis grows and legalization spreads, so too will High Times.”

However, Cronos Group (CRON) recently listed on NASDAQ, plus there are several biotech companies listed on NASDAQ that use cannabis for their compounds like GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), so this is a really odd comment to make. Plus, NASDAQ has made numerous attempts to delist Origo Acquisition, which is doing the deal with High Times, so it isn’t certain that the shares will ever truly list on the exchange. A company spokesman said that extensions have been made and preliminary approval from NASDAQ has been granted.

In addition to the crowdfunding program, High Times announced that it is adding the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox Quesada to its board of directors. Fox was once the President of Coca-Cola Latin America. He later served as governor of the Mexican state of
Guanajuato, before becoming President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. Fox has been a prominent public speaker and writer and a popular social media presence, all while overseeing development of the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library, and Museum.

“Vicente Fox Quesada brings international relationships and decades of experience in business, politics, and policy,” said Levin. “He is a proven leader and global statesman whose unique experience, perspectives and connections will be invaluable for High Times as we expand overseas, online, and into so many new areas. We’re fortunate he has decided to join our leadership team.”

“At a time when nearly two-thirds of the United States have legalized some form of cannabis, and the U.S. Congress is considering giving all states control over legalization decisions, this is the right time to invest in the business of cannabis,” said Fox. “The ‘Green Rush,’ as it’s been called, will be one of the largest wealth creators of our generation. And as we move out of the shadows, real businesses in this sector will prosper in a way most industries only dream of.”

Debt Problems Remain

High Times said back in January that it was going to try to raise money. In order to meet the NASDAQ listing requirements,  High Times will need $14.7 million from this offering. The company has said that it has 400 new investors from the new Reg. A process. The company also said that the new ownership has expanded it online reach with digital impressions topping 275 million per month an increase of 425%.

In addition to raising money, High Times said it would also address its debt obligations. High Times had extended a loan payment that it owed to ExWorks from August 2017 to August 2018 for a principal amount of $11.5 million. This has been extended to August 2019 with the option to extend to 2020 or convert to stock. It made a down payment of $2.7 million but has been staring at this huge looming payment due in months. The merger with Origo Acquisition that was expected to be closed months ago would have solved many problems. Instead, the merger has dragged on for months and the clock has been ticking away.

It was rumored that a different party had offered to purchase the company’s debt, but this was never confirmed. A move of this sort would have saved the company by paying off the impending debt payment but then it would also have reduced the valuation of the company dramatically.

In addition to the financial struggles, the company was running an advertisement on Indeed for a new Chief Financial Officer. The company said it was only seeing what talent was available on the market. Green Market Report also learned that Levin has also approached other individuals to become the company’s Digital Editor-In-Chief and it was offered to Sean Cooley.

Editors Note: Green Market Report is a partner with High Times Television and is providing financial videos for the business channel. 

 


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