SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals Ltd. was a sponsor at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on February 25-26, 2021. The information contained in this article in no way represents investment advice or opinion on the part of Benzinga or its writers and is intended for informational purposes only.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world by surprise last year, cannabis businesses around the world faced the uncertainty of one of the most challenging years for everyone. However, in the middle of chaos, many positive things happened in the industry.
In Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that cannabidiol (CBD) was no longer a narcotic under the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 — allowing free trade among EU states. North America declared cannabis an essential business, and many M&As opened the window to new international markets.
In fact, companies like Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) entered the European cannabis market with the acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences. Investors are finally seeing the full potential of this market that is poised to reach $36,997.1 million by 2027. Having the right strategic partnership and understanding of EU compliance requirements will be crucial to reach the old continent. Thankfully, there are many local companies with a strong presence and amazing capability.
For example, SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on extraction, cultivation, research, development, and distribution of GMP pharmaceutical-certified cannabinoid products for the EU market aims to help global pharmaceutical distributors reach a broader demographic through the successful model of Solaris Farms in the U.S.
Here’s what you need to know.
Who Is SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals?
SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals is a medical model for the cannabis industry, initially focussing on the extracts market and development of pharmacological applications with 90%+ THC distillate and 99% THC-A isolate, which can be used to formulate THC and CBD combinations for oral use like drops and pills.
SOMAÍ has extensive experience in the U.S.-based cannabis extraction that allows it to avoid the usual pitfalls of the cannabis startup scene. The company’s strategy of development is to construct multiple low-cost, easily scalable extraction hubs in various suitable countries around Europe. In fact, SOMAÍ has started construction on it’s an extraction hub in Lisbon, Portugal this month and is at an advanced stage of licensing applications.
Why Portugal Is An Important Hub
Just like understanding the importance of being compliant to GMP-EU requirements, geographical locations are important to expand strategically throughout the EU.
The largest producers are Denmark (44 licenses), Portugal (8 operating and 26 licenses), Germany (3 licenses), the U.K. (1 operating and 2 licenses), the Netherlands (1 license), Italy (1 license), Spain (1 license), Greece (1 operating and 44 licenses), Austria (1 license) and the Czech Republic (1 license).
Portugal has the most advanced rules in the EU to allow the import of products from non-EU countries to be used for extract. The Portuguese health ministry fully supports the pharmaceutical advancement of cannabis, allowing for easier passage of approved products. Lisbon has a highly educated professional medicinal employment pool to staff extractions.
SOMAÍ Corporate Highlights
SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals has a scaled approach to EU development based on actual business knowledge of developing new states in the U.S. for the past 6 years.
The company’s CEO, Michael Sassano, is also the founder and CEO of Solaris Farms, a Nevada-based cannabis cultivation company.
SOMAI has closed 12m in investment and subsequently signed an 11-year lease on its site in Carregado, Portugal with an option to buy in 5 years. Now, as they begin construction on the facility, the fundraise remains open for the final 2m of the 14m round, aimed at European expansion, the development of more advanced product lines.
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