Zoetic International plc (LON:ZOE) has provided the following hemp seed update.
· Expansion of the Company’s seed testing programme as partnership agreed with specialist firm GVB Biopharma.
· Termination of the lease for the Company’s Colorado production facility, reducing high ongoing costs.
· Joint Venture established with a European partner to establish a new base for cultivating the Company’s high quality hemp seeds.
Expansion of seed testing programme
Zoetic is pleased to announce a partnership with cannabinoid research experts GVB Biopharma. The Company is confident in the value and strong cultivation potential of its seeds, and with its ongoing commitment to ensuring the highest quality products is now taking the additional step of verifying the quality of its base CBD assets through measurable channels.
With a bank of 40,000 feminized hemp seeds already under the care of GVB, planted in USDA certified ground, this growing season presents an opportunity to gather extensive data relating to their cultivation viability, along with the production of high-calibre CBD isolate. With Zoetic’s seed stock due to be cultivated and tested in outdoor facilities, this represents the first large scale commercial hemp study and is a landmark achievement for the Company in its efforts to validate its genetic base.
Armed with the commercial intelligence generated both from GVB’s research and the continuation of the existing testing programme by US universities, Zoetic will be well placed to accelerate its ongoing global product rollout whilst avoiding the reported difficulties faced by certain Kentucky and North Carolina based competitors with what appears to be genetically deficient hemp seed stocks.
Antonio Russo, Co-CEO of Zoetic, commented, “We are thrilled to have contracted with GVB Biopharma to conduct large-scale testing of our hemp seed stock. With the CBD industry becoming increasingly litigious, now is not the time to make uninformed business decisions and we strongly believe that by entering into this partnership, Zoetic will be better positioned to take data-driven action to move the Company and its products forward.”
End of Colorado facility leasehold
Owing to the ongoing development and evolution of Zoetic’s business model, the Company will be terminating its leasehold agreement for its Colorado greenhouse facility. The acquisition of the Lease was finalised when the Company was trading as Highlands Natural Resources plc and the transition away from that facility is representative of Zoetic’s continued commitment to the transformation and advancement of its CBD operations.
As Chill, Zoetic’s tobacco alternative brand, continues to grow and evolve, the Board recognises the need for the Company to maintain its scalability in line with both development and demand. Movement away from the Company’s historical premises will help to facilitate its reformation towards more agile and versatile business practices through partnerships with third party cultivators.
Trevor Taylor, Co-CEO of Zoetic, commented, “As our Chill products enjoy sustained growth in their popularity, now is the right time to modernise the Company’s infrastructure and bring production into line with our vision. Although our facility in Colorado has served us well, we look forward to the new opportunities that other global cultivation sites offer whilst reducing one of the Company’s most significant overhead costs.”
Establishment of a European Joint Venture for genetics cultivation and distribution
As the Company winds down operations at its Colorado facility, Zoetic is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached for a new Joint Venture with a trusted European cultivation partner. Having already developed a firm presence within the UK CBD market and recently signed its first European distribution agreement, the Company is enthusiastic to continue its growth within the region whilst drawing on the agronomy expertise of its JV partner to establish a new base for cultivating its high-calibre hemp seeds.
Zoetic’s movement of growing operations to Europe is accompanied by a renewed commitment to strengthen the attraction of its offering within the European market, whilst utilising the UK’s position as an international distribution hub to continue with the formation of new distribution channels across Europe and beyond.
Through strong collaboration between Zoetic and the JV partner, the Board is confident that the genetics division is well placed to develop its presence within the European market whilst navigating any regulatory requirements in the emerging hemp growing industry. With correct market positioning and appropriate legal protections in place, there is scope for Zoetic to be a leading UK/EU provider of high calibre hemp seed genetics.
Trevor Taylor, Co-CEO of Zoetic International, commented, “This joint venture is the first step in the Company’s expansion into the global markets with its seed genetics. With the movement of seed cultivation operations to Europe, Zoetic is set to scale the growth of its seed offerings as field trials in the US are completed.”