Clever Leaves has made extracts that supply the European and Latin American markets. What is the company's vision for the future development of the Colombian and Latin American markets?
One can try to imagine what the market will be, but it's important to follow the pulse of the regulatory structure in those countries. We have been operating in Colombia since 2016. Chile has already legalized some cannabinoid-based products. Brazil was almost forgotten given how restrictive its original rules were, but we are excited by the recent regulatory announcements, which present a big opportunity for Clever Leaves. Brazil has indicated a ban on domestic production; distribution will likely occur at pharmacies, and all products will require GMP-certified producers. We are tracking the implementation of Brazil's announced regulatory structure and are cautiously optimistic about 2020. Because of Clever Leaves' roots in Colombia and its desire to help patients globally, we will try to participate, if not accelerate, the growth of the local market depending on how the regulations unfold. Clever Leaves has a production plant that complies with GMP according to Colombia's National Institute of Drug and Food Surveillance (INVIMA).
What does this mean for Clever Leaves?
GMP certification from INVIMA goes a long way in terms of providing an outside measure of the quality of a product. There are limited reliable benchmarks in the cannabis industry to date. Prospective customers or partners understand that GMP certification conveys both quality and consistency in our production. A second advantage of having GMP certification is that it allows us to enter certain downstream pharmaceutical markets. We are researching exactly how many countries may reciprocate GMP certification, but to sell a prescribed pharmaceutical product in Colombia, such as a heart medication or sleep aid, the product must contain ingredients produced under GMP procedures. When the Colombian market opens up, Clever Leaves will be uniquely positioned to capture it.