In this new Cannabis Exclusive podcast, TDR Founder Shadd Dales spoke with Xebra Brands Ltd. (CNSX: XBRA) CEO Jay Garnett approximately six weeks following a transformative ruling by COFEPRIS approval to allow the company to commercialize low-THC cannabis in Mexico. Mr. Garnett provides color on events since that time, including the significance of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vertosa Inc. to manufacture and distribute high-quality cannabis-infused products domestically.
Regarding its April 10 Memorandum of Understanding with Vertosa Inc., Xebra Brands is working with a familiar partner. Vertosa already works with the company to support its beverage manufacturing and emulsion brands in Canada.
Ultimately, the partnership can be considered the opening salvo in Xebra’s quest to build out comprehensive products categories from the ground up in Mexico, by allowing successful brands operate under the Xebra’s COFEPRIS authorization to build out the market. With the authorization allowing products under 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they most likely will feature drinks, certain edibles and wellness products including other active cannabinoids.
To that end, Mr. Garnett reports that there’s no shortage of interest from cannabis CPG companies looking to partner-up to enter the Mexican market. As Xebra Brands is the only company allowed to import and acquire cannabis seeds, cultivate and harvest cannabis, process and produce cannabis, and sell cannabis products, competitor options to go it alone are limited.
So, there’s a lot of interest. But I think a lot of it was—before, you know, we won the Supreme Court injunction, and then fourteen months later won the authorizations last month. And so, it was like ‘will they get it, will they get it’—’well now they got it, what are they going to do?’ And so, I think a lot of the conversations to be honest for me was—I’m enjoying the conversations because what we’re going to do has a lot to do with who we’re going to work with.
Mr. Garnett further points out that the interest Xebra Brands is receiving is directly commensurate with the total addressable market in Mexico, which Jay points out is the “second largest in the world.”
According to the United Nations, the estimated population of Mexico as of 2022 is approximately 130.2 million people. In terms of size, Mexico is the third most populous country in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States and Brazil.
To view our previous podcast featuring MariMed Inc. CEO John Levine, and CFO Susan Villare, click here.