Vancouver, BC, Canada, January 16, 2019 – Organto Foods Inc. (TSX-V: OGO, OTC: OGOFF) (‘Organto”). Organto today announced that the Organto Global Cannabis Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Medicannabis S.A.S., has been granted a license from Colombia’s Ministry of Justice to cultivate non-psychoactive cannabis (CBD) at its cultivation and breeding facility in Guasca, Cundinamarca, Colombia. The license authorizes the cultivation of non-psychoactive cannabis in Colombia for medicinal use and further processing into cannabis products, including but not limited to, oils, tinctures, beverages, topicals and other products. It also allows for grain and seed production and for scientific purposes.
“We are thrilled to receive this license as was anticipated, and as a result we now have the ability to advance the breeding and seed production of high-CBD cannabis cultivars adapted for equatorial climates.” commented Todd Dalotto, President of the Organto Global Cannabis Group. “The granting of this license is a key first step as we establish our low-cost, ecologically designed growing and processing facilities and build out our commercial operations using cultivars developed from our diverse seed library.”
Organto acquired 100% of Medicannabis, a late stage applicant for licenses to enable it to cultivate and process medicinal cannabis in Colombia, in November 2018. The acquisition was part of Organto’s strategy to build out a global cannabis group using cost-effective M&A strategies. The acquisition of a late stage applicant came with certain uncertainties and risks, many of which have now been mitigated with the grant of this license, supporting Organto’s cost-effective approach to the transaction.
PLANS FOR 2019
The Organto Global Cannabis Group has applied for three other license types and cultivar registrations in Colombia, and these are expected to follow this grant. Once received, these will permit the company to manufacture and export derivatives (of both psychoactive (THC) and non-psychoactive (CBD) cannabis), cultivate psychoactive cannabis, and grow cultivars for commercial use.
The Group plans to have its ecologically-designed cultivation facility operational in Q3-2019 for planting of non-psychoactive (CBD) cannabis seeds and breeding trials late in the summer of 2019. Under the proposed timeline, the first harvest would be expected to occur in late 2019, early 2020, for initial commercial sales in Q1 2020.
Organto intends to provide further operational and organizational updates as expected expansion plans are finalized and the Global Cannabis leadership and advisory team is expanded.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Chair and Interim Chief Executive Officer
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Organto’s business model is rooted in its commitment to sustainable business practices focused on environmental responsibility and a commitment to the communities where it operates, its people and its shareholders. Organto is comprised of two independent business units, i) the Organto Foods Group, and ii) the Organto Global Cannabis Group. The Organto Foods Group is an integrated provider of year-round value-added branded organic vegetables and seasonal organic and non-GMO fruit and vegetable products using an asset-light business model to serve a growing socially responsible and health conscious consumer around the globe. The Organto Global Cannabis Group is focused on the growing market for medicinal cannabis around the world, with initial efforts focussed on key regions of Latin America, utilizing low-cost natural growing operations and a diverse and exclusive IP seed library to deliver the medicinal properties consumers expect.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release may include certain forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the “safe harbor” provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“forward-looking statements”). In particular, and without limitation, this news release contains forward-looking statements respecting Organto’s current business model and related expertise; Organto’s belief that the granting of the license to cultivate non-psychoactive cannabis is a key first step as the company establishes low-cost, ecologically designed growing and processing facilities; Organto’s belief that this license will allow the company to advance the breeding and seed production of high-CBD cultivars adapted for equatorial climates; belief that this addresses certain risks and uncertainties associated with an early stage applicant; management’s beliefs, assumptions and expectations; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about the following: the continued growth in global demand for cannabis products and the continued increase in jurisdictions legalizing cannabis, and the timely processing of regulatory approval for the acquisition of Medicannabis and the license applications. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and Organto undertakes no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.