Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (CNSX:OILS) (OTCMKTS:) has done it again. The innovative Canadian cannabis extraction company and owner of one of the largest portfolios of U.S. patents has added to its treasure trove of intellectual property. By focusing on building a patent portfolio war chest and avoiding capital-intensive acquisitions (for now), Nextleaf is positioned for success once international regulatory frameworks become institutionalized.
The latest release sees the United States Patent and Trademark Office grant Nextleaf Solutions a patent to a method for refining raw cannabis plant material. It covers a method for separating cannabinoid-rich trichomes from lower potency cannabis biomass—including most approved industrial hemp cultivars—which Nextleaf uses to increase the concentration of CBD in hemp biomass. Nextleaf’s patented technology significantly increases extraction efficiency and improves the economics of processing hemp into high-purity CBD extracts.
The company now owns 14 U.S. patents and has been issued over 70 patents globally for the extraction, purification, formulation, and delivery of cannabinoids.
While stacking an industry-leading patent Rolodex isn’t the most attention-grabbing activity around, on a long-term timeline, it should prove be an effective strategy. As Nextleaf CEO Paul Pedersen explains, the company’s IP build is grabbing the attention of multi-national conglomerates focused on cannabis companies with protected processes which can deliver unique consumer experiences.
We just recently got a patent issued for the derivatization of THC and CBD, so you know, taking THC or CBD distillate and actually turning it into a THC or CBD-based derivative through acetylation… And that opened up a lot of conversations with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world that, you know, quite frankly they are spending time to talk to a company of Nextleaf’s size because we are batting way above our weight when it comes to IP development. And, you know, pharmaceutcal companies—Big Pharma, Big Tobacco—these guys aren’t interested in farming. These guys are interested—just like the pharmaceutical, biotech, life sciences industries—it’s all about developing IP around drugs and products that are differentiated that you can have your 20-year patent on and you can have something that is unique in the marketplace.
And there is precedent to back up the company’s overarching game plan.
In March, multinational CPG conglomerate British American Tobacco (BAT) acquired a 19.9% interest ($221 million)in Canadian licensed producer Organigram Holdings. As part of their investment, the two partners agreed to establish a Centre of Excellence to collaborate on intellectual property to create CBD-based products. As part of the press released commentary, Organigram CEO Greg Engel stated, “But we’re really excited about this. We both feel where cannabinoid delivery and bringing new products to markets is going is culturally aligned between the two companies.”
Previously, another Big Tobacco goliath, Altria Group, invested $2.4 billion in Cronos Group to develop similar cannabinoid-based products for consumers..
Click on the embedded link for more of our new interview with Nextleaf Solutions CEO Paul Pedersen, as he explain the rationale behind the company’s IP stacking long game.