Tag Archives: International

The great race to become the World’s weed supplier

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Submitted by Marijuana News on Fri, 10/11/2019

Companies vying to be the biggest cannabis producer in America or Canada are wasting their time and suffering from a crippling lack of vision. The real play is to make a bid to become the worldwide leader in global cannabis exports — like firms in Jamaica and Lesotho as well as Canada are attempting to do — and the window of time to get in is closing fast, according to one entrepreneur with clear-cut plans to curb that market.

Though recreational cannabis is now available in two countries, medical marijuana is legal in about 50 and not every country produces adequate supply to fulfill domestic demand. Over the long-term, the thinking goes, cannabis will become like any other agricultural commodity and production will shift to the locale where costs are lowest. But so far, the limited export game has been dominated by a few players, most of whom are either occupying a very limited lane or banking on the future.

An example of the former, Bedrocan in the Netherlands, produces cannabis solely for the government authority, which then exports most of it to Germany. Bophelo Bioscience and Wellness, a startup recently acquired by a Canadian-firm and based in tiny Lesotho, the first country in Africa to legalize cannabis, is an example of the latter. Somewhere else is a company like Fotmer Life Sciences in Uruguay, which is hoping to supplant both.

The world’s most popular illicit drug, cannabis boasts at least 263 million users worldwide, according to a New Frontier Data estimate, who in turn consume $340 billion worth annually, most of which is still on the underground market. At the moment, with so few legal companies producing cannabis and even fewer exporting, it’s a seller’s market. That state of play — flux, uncertainty, opportunity — will last only about another five years, said Jordan Lewis, an American entrepreneur who is Fotmer’s CEO.

Fotmer was in the news much last week as the company prepared its first shipment of export cannabis: 22 pounds, headed for medical cannabis patients in Australia. After that, Fotmer hopes to start competing with Bedrocan and begin shipping cannabis flower and oil to Germany, with up to 220 pounds or so per month headed out of the country to global customers, as he told Reuters.

Most of that will go to Europe, which “right now represents the single largest market in the next five years,” Lewis told Supplychainbrain.com.

The window for producers to charge high prices, before a reliable global supply floods the market, is now through 2024, he added, with high THC oils and plants to preserve their value longer than CBD products.

The modest first shipment is a tiny fraction of the company’s capacity. Fotmer currently has government approval to produce up to 10 tons of flower and 5 tons of oil, said Lewis — who added that he’s asking the Uruguayan government to allow him to grow 15 times that, in order to curb that global market. (He’s also shopping for a “large strategic partner” to provide the estimated $60 million of start-up capital needed to grow all that cannabis.)

If Lewis is right and producers in other companies join in, Fotmer may be well positioned to remain competitive, an outlook shared by other analysts. As New Frontier Data noted in a global market analysis released earlier this year, South America is considered a future hub for cannabis production thanks to an agreeable climate and low labor costs.

If countries decide that domestic suppliers are preferable and throw up tariffs, Lewis’s play could disappear. Or perhaps the best praxis is to play off of the incredible hype around the cannabis industry and get acquired. The point is that in a world obsessed with the next big thing, cannabis is very quickly approaching critical mass, and entrepreneurs are slowly catching on.

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Authored By: Cannabis Now

Article category: Marijuana Business News

HempFlax invests €5,000,000 in Romanian hemp market

posted by David Cannafacts on October 13th 2015

PRESS RELEASE: 08.10.2015

HempFlax double cut technology in action

HempFlax, the leading Dutch hemp processing company, has invested 5 million euros in the Romanian hemp industry. Their first factory opens this October in Alba. Recent years have seen an increase in the market for cultivation and processing of hemp, with crops farmed in Romania being sought for export and used in various industries.

Prior to 1989, Romania was the fourth largest exporter of hemp worldwide. However, the amount of hemp grown decreased sharply after that period, reaching only few hectares in 2000. Currently, investors are again turning their attention to this market. The private investment of 5 million euros by HempFlax is a significant contribution to the revival of the Romanian hemp industry.

Hemp – a natural resource

Hemp plant in one of Romanian fields

A hemp plant in one of Romanian fields

HempFlax supports the initiative of the Romanian state to provide grants for farmers growing hemp for its seed and stems. The company is also purchasing the raw material in bales from Romanian farmers. Hemp fibre is a sustainable, renewable and therefore practically inexhaustible raw material for industrial uses. It is also one of the strongest natural fibres in the world.

„With an innovative vision and vigour, HempFlax contributes to the progress of agriculture in Romania. By providing renewable resources, the synthetic fibres made from fossil resources- such as nylon, fiberglass and plastics- can be replaced by fibres from natural resources such as hemp.”, explains Oana Suciu, CEO.

In 2015, the area cultivated by HempFlax is approximately 500 hectares located in Sebes, Pianu and Petresti. Investors expect an increase of approximately 300 hectares per year. The processing capacity of the factory is four tons of stalks per hour, which means a target of 5,000 cultivated hectares in order to reach maximum capacity.

The company also aims to establish cultivation contracts with Romanian farmers, supporting the development of the industry. HempFlax encourages an environmentally responsible approach by Romanian entrepreneurs and consumers, while discouraging unnecessary deforestation and environmental change. A worldwide leader in hemp processing, the company aims to revive the agricultural sector of Romania, returning it to its former status as a prolific exporter of hemp.

The cultivation conditions and utility of hemp

HempFlax double-cut technology

The HempFlax double-cut technology allows for the simultaneous harvesting of both seeds and stalks.

One of the most important HempFlax products is hemp fibre, used in the insulation and paper industries, in the manufacture of car door panels, and not at least in the textile industry. Hemp ‘wood’ (the interior of the stalks) is used in construction, mixed with hydrated lime to create an ideal insulation and construction material for houses or industrial buildings, replacing traditional bricks or concrete.

The process of hemp cultivation is natural and environmentally friendly. It does not require pesticides, insecticides or fungicides. After harvesting hemp, the stems are left on the field to naturally begin separating the fibres from the stalks, a process which is completed by custom-built HempFlax machinery without the use of chemicals.

Protein-rich hemp seeds are used in the food industry. The leaves are dried and used for tea blends, but also for the extraction of CBD oil, used in nutritional supplements and cosmetics.

In Romania, today’s legislation allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp. Only a select few varieties can be grown, those that are certified as having a THC level under 0,2%. The strains of industrial hemp Jubileu, Dacia, Diana, Zenit and Denise are Romanian varieties developed by the Secuieni Institute, and can be grown successfully in Romania.

About HempFlax

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Since its founding in1994, the mission of HempFlax as a pioneer of European industrial hemp cultivation and processing has been to serve both people and the environment by providing modern, natural products made from hemp stalks, and also from flax. By combining tradition with innovative technology and developing a fully integrated manufacturing process, HempFlax provides customers with sustainable, environmentally friendly, affordable products that meet a high standard of quality.

HempFlax also designs, develops and patents specialized equipment for the cultivation and harvesting of hemp, including an innovative harvester that manages to combine three distinct harvesting operations at the same time: those for the seeds, the steams and the leaves.

David Cannafacts Studying cannabis and its effects since 1995, educating the masses ever since.

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