COLOMBIA - Health & Education
President & CEO, PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings SAS
Federico Cock-Correa is a master horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in management within the horticulture sector. He holds a degree in administration of agricultural business and agricultural sciences from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia. He serves as a member of the national board of directors of Colombian Flower Exporters Association (ASOCOLFLORES). He is also vice president of the national board of the Colombian Association of Cannabis Industries (ASOCOLCANNA).
How have the attitudes of the medical community evolved since you started?
The attitudes of the medical community, both in Colombia and internationally, have evolved significantly since we began operations. In partnership with Universidad CES, one of the leading medical schools in Colombia, we have been training doctors for more than a year now and developing courses for them in universities, training over 80 doctors to date. They are extremely enthusiastic about learning more about medicine with cannabis. We have also been working with four hospitals to develop services in pain and physical therapy, and they have been very open to learning new treatment methodologies.
What are your investment and expansion plans for PharmaCielo’s newly raised capital?
Now that PharmaCielo is publicly listed, we are extremely focused on several areas intended to deliver ongoing value to the enterprise and shareholders. Our largest area of capital investment is the expansion of our industrial capabilities, with the construction and certification of a research and technology center as a GMP facility in 2019 being principal among them. This will be complemented throughout the year ahead by continuing to expand our processing abilities and capacity through the addition of more processing technologies. As we have announced strategies for both Mexico and Italy, it goes without saying that we will also make investments in new operations in those markets as well, along with whatever else 2019 chooses to unveil.
How do environmental concerns inform the company’s philosophy?
From the beginning, we have been extremely focused on environmental and social responsibilities. All the farms that are part of PharmaCielo are certified Florverde. The cannabis industry is young; therefore, it is highly important for the industry to identify and obtain appropriate certifications that might have been applied to other sectors in the past. In 2019, PharmaCielo will receive certifications such as ISO 9000, ISO 14000, and good manufacturing practice (GMP). Overall, there are seven different certifications that PharmaCielo is set to accomplish in 2019. Our overall cultivation system is based on producing cannabis in a natural environment. To that end, we have established 10 different natural insecticides and fungicides, including different nontoxic practice methods like using sticky traps and vacuums to extract insects. Combined with these initiatives we also use the water collected from the greenhouse covers in our reservoirs. Through the efforts of our charitable foundation, Fundación PharmaCielo, we have been helping some of the communities with a variety of activities ranging from educational agriculture best practice programs to community development. One example is working with identified conflict zone communities where they were growing illicit crops. The CSR initiative focused crop substitution programs and helping with reforestation efforts and consulting about agricultural best practices. All of these efforts combined demonstrate PharmaCielo’s uncompromised commitment to building a new industry in Colombia.
What major achievements did 2019 hold for you?
Our activities in 2018 laid the groundwork for some significant achievements in 2019, including PharmaCielo becoming a publicly traded company on the Toronto Venture Exchange as well as one of only two companies to receive approval for licensed strains from the Colombian Institute of Agriculture. PharmaCielo also announced new business initiatives in Mexico and Italy to establish global operations. All these developments make us more excited about the future.
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