Clever Leaves believes that its control of the process from planting, product development through to marketing will help it stand out in the burgeoning cannabis and hemp-derived products space.
The Colombian group’s co-founder and chief executive Andrés Farjado told Proactive its operations allow it to know exactly from which seed shelf a product comes, enabling it to impose strict quality controls.
“We control the whole process. We control the whole chain and we focus on our quality and innovation.”
“We are offering a great standard of product.
“And that uniqueness of being able to control the value chain is going to be very appealing both to consumers and to physicians and patients on the pharmaceutical side.”
Clever Leaves has an area of 15 hectares under active cultivation in Colombia, which will rise to 25ha by the end of this year.
That acreage will put it into the world’s top three for installed growing capability.
Set up in 2016, staff numbers now total around 500 and Fajades has his sights firmly set on expanding into Europe.
“We have three business lines,” he says.
A B2B business supplies ingredients such as cannabis extracts, distillates or isolates under licence to other product makers.
Clever Leaves also makes a range of white-labelled products.
Second, is the pharmaceutical arm where products need to be recommended by a doctor.
The company is working with doctors in Germany to refine its products for specific indications and also to get EU certification for the production of pharmaceutical grades.
Finally, Fajades sees huge potential in a range of wellness offerings containing CBD oils.
A range of cannabis and hemp-derived products launched this week in the UK, which Fajades believes leads the world market currently for CBD products as a lifestyle choice.
Here again, Fajades believes control of the supply chain gives it an advantage.
“To guarantee high-quality reliable products, we have to deliver the CBD that we say we are putting in -which blend of plant it came from when it was extracted and formulated.”
To control the smell as well so that it has the right appeal you also need the right terpene (scent essence) profile, says Fajades.
If all goes well, Clever Leaves will have sold a hundred thousand products in the UK by Christmas though Fajades says that is more of an indication than a hard target.
Clever Leaves will have a better idea once the first results following the launch are available.
The UK will be the testbed for future wellness product launches over the next 12-18 months and eventually be the launch-pad for a push into Europe.
Germany, meanwhile, will be the proving ground for pharmaceutical products development.
This will involve an education process about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and the benefits and types of products it will be able to launch once it receives EU certification.
“We are a cannabis company focused on adding value and generating revenues”.