The patents pertain to the company's unique method of extracting and separating cannabinoids and terpenes, according to a statement.
The additional patents were awarded in the US, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Malta, Ireland, Denmark and Cambodia.
Nextleaf said the patents extend its current patent portfolio to protect methodologies relating to the removal of fats and waxes during the extraction and purification process, achieving more efficient throughput rates and a higher quality distillate. Less refined cannabis extracts contain chlorophyll, fats, and other impurities that result in undesirable flavours and aromas.
The company has advanced its intellectual property (IP) stack to over 35 issued patents, and 65 pending patents, for the industrial-scale extraction, and distillation of cannabinoids.
With a pending application-to-issued-patent-success rate of 100%, Nextleaf said it has developed defendable IP around the most efficient methods for producing distilled THC and CBD at scale within a regulated environment.
The company said it considers European IP protection to be particularly important due to the increasing demand for medical cannabis and CBD products. Prohibition Partners projects the legal European cannabinoid market will be worth more than US$39 billion by 2024, compared to US$37 billion for the more mature North American market by the same time.
Nextleaf said its patent portfolio includes protection around the methodologies and technology necessary to efficiently process dried cannabis and hemp biomass into high-purity THC and CBD oils that are used in the manufacturing of cannabinoid formulations and products.
"We expect these patents will have a major impact on the production and sale of standardized cannabinoid-based products in Europe over the twenty year life of the patents," said CEO Paul Pedersen. "These are jurisdictions that collectively manufacture and export over 70% of all drugs and medicines consumed globally, making European IP protection very important to our long-term global strategy."
Employee Equity Participation Plan
In other company news, Nextleaf also announced it has issued shares under its Employee Equity Participation Plan implemented April 1 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to align the efforts and compensation of non-executive employees with the company's long-term business strategy.
The plan is fully voluntary and permits non-executive employees to receive common shares of the company in lieu of a portion of an employee's cash compensation. It allows Nextleaf to reduce the cash component of employee compensation and further align incentives across the team.
Under the plan for the month of May, Nextleaf said it has issued 88,701 common shares at $0.315 each.
And in other news, due to logistical issues and delays caused by COVID-19 pandemic, Nextleaf said it is delaying the reporting of its financial statement for the three and six month periods ended March 31. The company said it expects to file the documents by July 16.
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