Canadian CBD company says it will target UK, launch drink in Costa Rica

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Toronto-based Flora Growth Corp., said it has plans to export three CBD-based products into the UK and is poised for entry into Central America, starting with distribution of a drink product in Costa Rica. The company launched on the U.S.-based Nasdaq exchange earlier this month.

Despite reporting in early May that “we have not yet produced commercial-grade oil extracts,” Flora Growth said it will introduce its Mind Naturals CBD cosmetics, Almost Virgin-branded sex oil and mouth spray with CBD, and Mambe CBD drinks in the UK. Former Miss Universe Paulina Vega of Colombia, who developed the Mind Naturals brand, is to lead the company’s push into Europe, Flora Growth said. Flora Growth absorbed Vega’s company and named her as a founding partner in charge of its cosmetics division in October 2020.

‘Aggressive expansion’ planned

Flora Growth said it recently began selling cannabis-related skincare and beauty products, food and beverages, pharmaceutical items and clothing through other business units.

In Costa Rica, Flora Growth signed an agreement with GMD Latin America, a food and beverage distributor. Initial plans call for marketing of the Mambe drinks, which combine CBD with native Amazonian fruits, in Puerto Viejo, at Limón.

“The expansion, not only to the UK, but also to Central America, is perfectly aligned with our strategy of carrying out an aggressive expansion into new markets. This, as we continue to position our luxury brands internationally,” said Merchan, who predicts growth in both markets over the next few months. Merchán said Flora Growth has invested $25 million since the company was founded in 2019.

Broad portfolio

Flora Growth reported sales of $106,000 in 2020 and zero during the nearly 10 months that the firm operated in 2019. Net losses rose to $14.3 million last year vs. $2.8 million in 2019, the company said.

Flora Growth has said it intends to leverage natural, cost-effective cultivation practices to supply cannabis derivatives to the sectors it has targeted. The company said it expects to begin generating revenues from medicinal-grade cannabis, cannabis oils and extracts in July through its Colombian subsidiary Cosechemos YA SAS.

While the UK has established a path to market for CBD products, progress in lags in Costa Rica. A proposed Law on Cannabis and Hemp Production for Medicinal Purposes that would allow the cultivation of marijuana and hemp for medical products has stalled despite a promise to promote the initiative made by President Carlos Alvarado more than a year ago.

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