Nuuvera-Aphria’s New Profile In Europe and Beyond
February 5th, 2018
In January 2018, a firm most people outside of corporate headquarters and certainly beyond the pot industry have probably never heard of, made news in several countries.
Nuuvera, a relatively new kid on the Canadian LP block, announced cannabis news in three European countries plus Latin America with a final flourish back home in Canada by the end of the month. And while this may not seem significant at home, globally, it is just another sign that 2018 is likely to be at least as exciting as last year, with long term impact on industry development for at least the next decade to come.
First, there was the news that the company was now a finalist in the much awaited German cultivation bid. Then there was the announcement that, along with Aurora, the company had made a stealthy entry into the Italian market, which has been, so far at least, a medical country where the Italian military was the only cultivator allowed so far. By late January, the company had announced its intent to purchase a fully GMP-licensed operating lab in Alicante, Spain plus a local CBD cultivation company – CAFINA – and inked a deal with Tersum S.A., a Uruguayan licensed producer. By the end of the month, the company had announced an $826 million merger with Aphria and is currently in the middle of a CA$51 million private offering that is not being advertised in the United States.
So who is this new hybrid cannabis company and why are their Euro moves, in particular, so incredibly noteworthy?
Who Is Aphria-Nuuvera?
Both companies have been moving in leaps and bounds over the last 18 months to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded and well-funded not to mention competitive field. In the case of Nuuvera, the start up moved quickly since its founding (with an impressive team on board) to establish presence in Germany, Spain, the UK, Uruguay and Israel. Aphria, in turn, has established joint venture agreements in Australia while establishing itself in the Canadian market at the same time as a low-cost producer with an entrepreneurial bent.
The merger, in other words, now establishes a Canadian company on the cutting edge of all that is going on in the world of cannabis, and in one of the most international and dynamic centers of business development in the world right now.
The continent is rapidly developing into a patchwork of deals and companies, hopscotching import and cultivation opportunities as they begin to pop up, and integrating this now with a global network of experts, venture capital and of course, distribution.
And all of this with firms with corporate headquarters outside the United States, as much as all of them are eyeing the still tenuous market.
What This Portends For The Year Ahead
The increasingly intriguing interconnected sovereign country licensing and distribution plus cultivation expansion plans globally mean a couple of things for the year 2018. This includes:
The globalization of the cannabis industry: It is here. No doubt. And what is going on outside the U.S. and even Canada at this point, is going to now set the tone of legalization for the next four to five years.
The globalization of specialized products over strains: If what is going on in Europe is any portent for the future, look for specialized medical products over raw cannabis to make inroads into the mainstreaming markets. That said it is inevitable that strain culture will not make it to the continent but look for it to be stronger in certain jurisdictions than others.
A concerted global focus on medical: No matter how exciting recreational bud cannabis distribution is in Canada and even California, the rest of the world is looking at this through the lens of medical at this point, and that will drive market development even in Canada.
Impact within the United States: There will be an additional wave of progress, even if stymied for now. With medical knowledge now being mandated by national reform in other places than Israel, look for a wealth of canna-knowledge to flood the conversation. With the rest of the world now moving towards this discussion with a fairly steady drumbeat, rescheduling or descheduling in the United States is clearly going to move forward this year, even if it does not cross the final threshold in Congress yet.
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