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Jamaican cannabis company expands footprint in Europe

Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation, which has a presence in Jamaica and Toronto, has announced the acquisition of Materia Ventures, a supply and distribution company for cannabis and CBD products located in Malta.

The new business is described as an GMP-certified medical cannabis production facility, a requisite of European Union regulators which call for all cosmetics and medications that contain CBD be inputted into the Eudra database of the European Medicines Agency. The agency collects and centralises data on manufacturing, import and wholesale distribution authorisations; and GMP, or good manufacturing practice and GDP, or good distribution practice, certificates.

Jamaican Medical Cannabis’ Global Director of Marketing & Communications, Shelley Boyes, said the company’s Jamaican operations span four sites.

“We have offices and a laboratory in Montego Bay, and our main operations site for cultivation and processing is in the surrounding area,” said Boyes.

“We currently employ about 40 people in Jamaica,” she said.

Jamaican Medical Cannabis markets dried flower and various extracted medical cannabis products, with its target markets “at this time” being Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“The Malta unit is to be renamed JMCC Life Sciences, Europe,” Boyes said.

The company, in its release on the acquisition, said that the deal comes with Materia’s 32,000-square-foot processing and manufacturing facility.

The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.

“That number is confidential, but we can say we have invested five times as much in Jamaica to date,” Boyes, adding that the investment to date and projected break-even timelines were ” proprietary information”.

The new Malta assets will expand warehousing and distribution capacity, adding to JMCC European Distribution Limited that’s located on the island of Jersey, between Britain and France.

“We’ve made a commitment to both patients and healthcare professionals globally that JMCC will invest in the R&D required to produce science-led and pharma-like products that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective, as well as easier for patients and prescribers to use,” said CEO Diane Scott in a statement announcing the new acquisition.

She said that even though the recreational market for cannabis was more lucrative, JMCC would “stick to its promise”. Jamaica only allows trade in medical cannabis.

The company has been doing business in Jamaica sine 2018, when it signed an agreement to invest US$2 million over 10 years to “identify, analyse, and preserve Jamaica’s indigenous cannabis strains”.

The agreement with the National Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology was in furtherance of a project titled ‘Identification, Isolation and Conservation of Local Strains of Cannabis for Medicinal Use’, which was said to be funded through the JMCC’s charitable foundation.

The company notes that in Malta, the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act supports legal cannabis production. The new law, which came after amendment of Malta’s Drug Dependence Act, allows prescriptions for medical cannabis preparations.

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