Blueberries Medical has provided an update on operational achievements and upcoming milestones:
Highlights of Operational Achievements
Expansion of Cultivation Facilities: Newly constructed open-air greenhouses completed and fully operational, increasing initial production capacity by approximately 40% to 150,000 sq.ft. Upgrade to facility infrastructure, including irrigation and electrical systems, water reservoirs and propagation facility also completed.
Extensive Cultivation Underway and Scaling Up: Cannabis crops are currently growing in over 50,000 sq.ft. of open-air greenhouses at the Guatavita property; harvesting now underway along with additional planting in newly constructed greenhouses. Yield performance to date has been in line with expectations.
Extraction: Customized extraction line with capacity to process up to 75,000 kg/year of dried flower currently undergoing specializations and customization to meet EU-GMP standards.
Strategic Partnerships: Announced several strategic partnerships including (i) an agreement with SLANG Worldwide (CSE: SLNG) (“Slang”) announced on July 11, 2019 to license their extensive portfolio of CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) products and leverage Slang’s industry leading know-how and intellectual property to process and formulate cannabis products in Colombia and Argentina, (ii) a distribution agreement announced on February 14, 2019 with El Manantial, a local medical center network and (iii) a European distribution agreement announced on June 5, 2019.
Approval of Cosmetic Products: Finalized formulation, branding and packaging for Blueberries approved CBD cosmetics line; pilot manufacturing currently underway at production laboratory.
Management Enhancement: Added significant cannabis, pharmaceutical and marketing expertise through key management hires including Dr. Patricio Stocker (Chief Executive Officer), Mr. Eduardo Molinari (Chief Marketing Officer) and Mr. Ian Atacan (Chief Financial Officer).
Upcoming 2019 Milestones
Continued Expansion of Cultivation Facilities: Additional open-air greenhouses currently under construction to bring the Company’s total cultivation area in Colombia to approximately 5 hectares (530,000 sq.ft.).
Extraction Facility: Continued enhancement and commissioning of extraction/processing equipment for commercial rollout of extracted oils and products.
Argentina: Commencement of the pilot project which includes the preparation and cultivation of cannabis on a 107,000 sq.ft. (1 hectare) area on public lands provided by state owned entity and JV partner Cannava.
Cosmetic Products: Commercial launch of Blueberries CBD cosmetics products in Colombia.
Further Expansion of Distribution Network: Formalizing additional international distribution relationships within Latin-America and globally to bring Blueberries’ extracts, oils and other products to market.
Innovative Products: Initial testing of cannabis-infused beer formulations and development of other unique products.
“The progress made by the Blueberries team in the short time since our public listing has been truly remarkable and a great source of pride for everyone involved. We are quickly and efficiently building out and scaling our facilities, putting infrastructure in place to move into high-margin extracts and products, and forging strategic relationships to leverage industry expertise and bring our products to international markets,” stated Dr. Patricio Stocker, Chief Executive Officer. “This is an exciting time for the industry and our company as the market and regulations to continue to evolve rapidly both in Latin America and globally. We will continue to drive towards our future milestones with the goal of generating significant value for our shareholders.”
Blueberries currently has 1.4 hectares (150,000 sq.ft.) of open-air greenhouses built and fully operational with construction of additional greenhouses underway to increase the Company’s cultivation footprint to approximately 5 hectares (~530,000 sq.ft.) in Colombia by the end of 2019. By 2022, the Company intends to further expand its cultivation footprint to approximately 48 hectares (~5.2 million sq.ft.) of cultivation capacity through Company owned operations in Colombia and its joint venture operations in Argentina. The company also intends to further increase its cultivation capacity through leveraging local contract growers in Colombia and additional available land in Argentina for which negotiations are currently underway.
EU-GMP Processing and Extraction Facility
Initial extraction line with capacity to process up to 75,000 kg/year of dried flower is currently undergoing specializations to meet EU-GMP standards. The company is also advancing the process of commissioning an EU-GMP compliant1 facility in an ideal industrial area, with capacity to scale up its extraction, processing and manufacturing capabilities.
Argentinian Pilot Project
Blueberries’ participation in the joint venture agreement with Cannava (Cannabis Avatara S.E), a state-owned Argentinian Company, was executed in July 2019. Under the agreement, Blueberries gains rights to cannabis licenses in Argentina; one of very few such agreements currently in place, to supply cannabis products to the Argentinian population exceeding 44 million people. It also expands the Company’s production footprint internationally and may provide additional export opportunities to other countries with evolving cannabis regulations. The first phase of the Joint Venture will be a Pilot Cultivation Program (the “Pilot Project”) consisting of the preparation and cultivation of cannabis on a 107,000 sq.ft. (1 hectare) area on public lands provided by Cannava with the goal of potentially producing 4 million grams (4,000 kg) of dry cannabis flower.
This Pilot Project will also evaluate and characterize the genetics that are ideal for the climate conditions of Jujuy province, and document the proposed operating procedures, technical processes, strains and products that the joint venture is seeking to produce. The Company is currently in the final stages of preparing the proposed pilot cultivation program for Cannava’s approval and processing of the applications for the permits with the goal of completing the pilot cultivation program by May 2020. Upon successful execution of the pilot cultivation program, the parties expect to commence the commercial production phase of the project.