Colorado marijuana extraction company Evolab has partnered with one of Canada's heavily funded public pot companies, according to a joint announcement from Canadian marijuana firm The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD) and Evolab. The licensing deal will take Denver-based Evolab's production technology as well as its CBx Sciences brand into Canada after that country implements federal marijuana legalization, which could come as early as August.
Having a presence in Canada also gives Evolab a chance to jump across the Atlantic Ocean, according to Nicole Smith, CEO of Evolab and CBx Sciences. Canada, already a global exporter of the plant's medical products, will be shipping out even more marijuana products after new businesses open in July, she says, with the potential for Canadian marijuana companies to distribute their products in up to fifteen countries that allow medical THC products — not including America, where medical marijuana is still federally prohibited.
"It certainly expands our breadth and reach of products. The cool part about working with Canada is those [other] countries have reciprocity, meaning you can ship THC or cannabis products to other countries," Smith explains. "We don't have that opportunity here in the States."
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As part of the partnership, Evolab will provide TGOD with extraction technology, branding and product lineup from its recreational and medical lines, though Smith notes that they will look different because of Canada's stricter product regulations. However, the products will also be sold online, as much of the country's legal cannabis products are purchased on the Internet. "Initially, as the Canadian laws allow the evolution of products, we'll be manufacturing some of the ones we do here and developing some products that will fit Canada," Smith says. "They're much more limited in what they currently allow, but that's changing."
Both sides had expressed interest in working together, she adds, but talks didn't heat up until a few weeks ago, after TGOD's initial public offering on the Canadian stock market on May 2. Unlike America, where marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance with no medical value in the eyes of the federal government, Canada allows IPOs for medical marijuana companies and soon-to-be recreational businesses that directly handle the plant. According to TGOD's website, the company has raised $160 million in funding with over 4,000 shareholders so far.
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"The team at CBx has vast experience in researching and commercializing new and novel consumer products and cannabinoids, and we are excited to be able to offer a platform to take their cutting-edge technologies and advanced formulations worldwide," TGOD co-chairman and CEO Rob Anderson says in a statement regarding the partnership. “This licensing partnership for industry-leading technologies and formulations will further allow TGOD to execute on its plans of offering novel and safer delivery methods of both non-psychoactive and psychoactive cannabinoids to patients and consumers around the globe."
Evolab has been experimenting with other cannabinoids instead of just THC — the psychoactive compound in marijuana — such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) in its Cbx Sciences line of topical and vaporizer products. Each cannabinoid has shown potential for medical benefits that range from pain relief to sleep induction, and scientists are discovering more as they continue their studies.
The Denver-based extractor also introduces fruit flavors like blueberry and peach into its CO2-derived hash oil for new and novice recreational users.
Evolab follows a short list of major Colorado marijuana companies jumping into the Canadian market; Dixie Elixirs, Incredibles, LivWell Enlightened Health, Native Roots and O.penVape recently inked deals to operate north of the border.