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Growing Cannabis for Positive Impact: Kumara Farms Gives Back to its Community

·3 min read

Photos Courtesy of Kumara Farms

Kumara Farms is on a mission to help people rediscover the health, wellness and medical benefits of medicinal plants ancient civilizations have employed for centuries.

Whether it’s cannabis, marigold, or the psychedelic brew Ayahuasca made from the Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis plants, Kumara Farms is committed to ensuring it gives back to the communities it serves.

Kumara Farms is an innovative social impact company that brings botanical products traditionally used by ancient civilizations to the health, wellness, and medical markets. Social impact companies prioritize work that consciously, systemically, and sustainably serves a local or global community’s needs.

“Our decisions are not merely based on the financial return of our business,” said Andres Vazquez, president of Cann Farm, Kumara’s Peruvian subsidiary. “During our decision process, we consider whether we help any specific social issue, and that’s added value for our investors as well.”

One of the areas where Kumara has made a social impact is in its partnerships with patient associations, which put pressure on the government to legalize medical cannabis but still aren’t allowed to grow the plants. Kumara has proposed that Cann Farm set aside space on its farm where these organizations can grow their own cannabis plants.

“We’ll charge them some basic minimum costs on the water they use and those sorts of things, but I’m not going to charge them like it was a business relationship,” Vazquez explained.

Kumara’s other social impact activities include educating people — including competitors — about the cannabis plant and business opportunities through seminars and training courses and ensuring that indigenous people who have recognized the plant’s benefits for centuries are not excluded from the industry.

“We are creating new business models in a way that the indigenous community is not left out,” Vazquez said.

Cann Farm holds the country’s first and only cannabis cultivation and manufacturing licenses. It also has a cannabis import and distribution license and is a registered importer of cannabis seeds.

Though it may have the first cultivation and manufacturing licenses, Cann Farm isn’t the only company that wants to operate a cannabis business in Peru. Toronto-based Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), which sells its products in Argentina and Chile, also wants to start operating in Peru.

The company, which started selling its products in 2020 and will generate revenue of $100,000 in 2021, anticipates steady growth and expansion. It’s projecting its revenue will reach $1.1 million in 2022 and $6.3 million in 2023.

So far, Kumara Farms has secured more than $8 million in funding that it used to buy its nearly 150-acre farm and build its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, as well as working capital. It’s in the process of raising a Series B round of $1 million to use for launching its cultivation operations and expanding its team.

The company distributes its products through a national network of more than 40 points of retail sales — primarily inside pharmacy chain stores. It’s also entered into additional exclusive commercial agreements with smaller, independent retailers.

Kumara Farms has also established a strategic collaboration with Canna Hope, the most successful cannabis clinic in Peru with more than 2,000 patients and 200 consultations per month.

Kumara is no stranger to farming plants for medicinal purposes. The company, which has advanced seed genetics and agronomics in place, has more than 15 years of experience farming and processing organic marigold flower extract for the medical industry. Marigold extract is used to treat macular degeneration.

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