By being the first company to establish a legal route to import medical cannabis from Colombia to Mexico, Pideka SAS says it’s set the stage for both countries to become strong participants in the rapidly expanding global industry.
In February, Pideka — a Colombian subsidiary of California-based Ikänik Farms, International — exported the first batch of commercial THC oil from their medical marijuana cultivation facility in Tocancipá to one of their pharmaceutical clients in Mexico.
And on Thursday, Ikänik said it received conditional approval to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol IKNK*, after it completes a reverse takeover deal of Canadian Imperial Venture Corp. (TSXV: CQV.H).
*update: Ikänik is now trading on the CSE under the symbol “IKNK.U”
This isn’t just a regular export — this is history, Ikänik president Borja Sanz de Madrid tells Mugglehead in a phone interview, as his company has worked with authorities to create a sanctioned process to bring the psychoactive substance into Mexico.
“This is the legal opening of the first commercial export of psychoactive products with THC between the two countries,” he says.
Pideka worked with several regulators in both countries including health authorities, embassies and ProColombia, the agency that facilitates non-traditional exports out of Colombia. The arrangements took around six months to complete.
“We wanted to create a process not only for us but for the whole industry,” Sanz de Madrid says. “By having all the government entities agree and legalizing the export, we opened the door to a future multi-billion dollar market.”
Pideka had to create a unique tariff code for the export because one didn’t exist before. This will reduce the time to process future exports, and help facilitate other companies wanting to export medical-grade cannabis.
Ikänik Farms announced it acquired Pideka back in Oct. 2019 and released a statement last week saying that in the next two-to-three years it will export up to US$100 million of medical marijuana at an THC oil price of approximately US$45,000 per litre.
“We have the know-how of getting it done as well as the tariff code, so now it’s a matter of repeating the process in a shorter timeline,” Sanz de Madrid explains.
Ikänik looks to lead Colombia’s cannabis export sector
Pideka owns Colombia’s first-and-only licensed indoor cannabis growing facility and solvent extraction laboratory.
Colombia is considered an ideal location to produce high quality, cost-effective weed given its equatorial climate and low-cost, skilled labour force. Sanz de Madrid says these advantages will drive the cost of cannabis down, and potentially position Mexico and Colombia as industry leaders.
In 2015, Colombia legalized medical marijuana, allowing the possession of seeds and cultivation but recreational weed remains illegal.
However, Colombia’s Lower House released an official statement in November, announcing the passing and discussion of the Senate commission on recreational use in Colombia.
“The latest world figures indicate that the world production of cannabis will be around US$600 billion, about 60 per cent of Colombian GDP,” the statement reads, adding that the pharmaceutical industry has revenues of about US$2 billion from medicinal cannabis.
Mexico is now just a few steps from legalizing recreational cannabis, with the bill on the Senate’s table and expecting a decision by April 30.
Another Colombian company Clever Leaves said Wednesday it made a deal with Europe-based Ethypharm. It aims to export high per cent THC and CBD to the German market in the upcoming months.
Looking ahead, Ikänik says it will provide cannabinoid solutions via compounding in Latin America to treat epilepsy, cancer, pain, nausea, anxiety and insomnia, as well as support growing demand in the E.U.
Top image via Ikänik