A multi-industry conglomerate based in British Columbia has now established a strong European presence in the cannabis industry.
On Tuesday, Village Farms International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) announced that Leli Holland B.V. had received the last required license to legally cultivate cannabis in the Netherlands under the so-called Dutch Closed Supply Chain Experiment Program (Dutch Program) which is anticipated to launch next year.
Village Farms has also completed an 85 per cent acquisition of Leli Holland (privately held) under its purchase option agreement previously announced in September, 2021.
The acquisition will enable Village Farms to directly engage itself as a Netherlands-based cultivator and cannabis supplier within the Dutch Program framework, under which the Netherlands will attempt to establish itself as the leading major country in Europe permitting industrial-scale cultivation and distribution of adult-use cannabis.
Village Farms is a Canadian organization known for its produce, clean energy initiatives and cannabis. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pure Sunfarms, is one of the single largest cannabis operations in the world — according to the company.
The Dutch Program has been scheduled to run for at least four years with the possibility of expanding nationally. Ten approved producers will be participating in the program, annually distributing approximately 65,000 kilograms of dried flower to 10 municipalities chosen by the Netherlands government.
The program is intended to assess whether and how regulated cannabis can be legally distributed to established retailers in the country (known as coffee shops). The program will also evaluate the distribution initiative considering public safety, order, health and crime. Village Farms explains that the current legislation applicable to cannabis regulations in the country will tolerate the recreational use and sale of cannabis but prohibits any kind of government regulated distribution to coffee shops.
“We are so proud to come home to the Netherlands as one of just ten companies that will be licensed to cultivate recreational cannabis and distribute high-quality cannabis products to coffee shops in the Netherlands,” said Michael DeGiglio, CEO of Village Farms.
“Village Farms has a long, rich history in the Netherlands and majority ownership of Leli will allow for direct and meaningful participation in the Dutch Program and contribute to reshaping the future of recreational cannabis in the Netherlands,” added DeGiglio.
“For decades, the Netherlands has been a global pioneer in the decriminalisation of cannabis and the Dutch Program is a historic, positive step in the evolution of the country’s cannabis regulation that will make it the first major European country to permit large-scale recreational cultivation,” said DeGiglio lastly.