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ICC Labs Inc.

Exclusive Interview with Alejandro Antalich, CEO of ICC Labs Inc.

12.03.2018 - 13:17 by Profiteer

For us, the latest news were very valuable reasons to conduct an exclusive interview with Alejandro Antalich, CEO of ICC Labs Inc..

Profiteer: Mr. Antalich, just recently; ICC Labs received the total of the medicinal cannabis licenses allowed in Colombia. You can now cultivate non-psychoactive as well as psychoactive cannabis plants with high THC content. How important is this for you?

Alejandro Antalich: This is a huge milestone for us. ICC Labs has now become the first public Canadian company fully licensed for the production and distribution of cannabis in both Latin American countries (Uruguay, Colombia) that allow it. We think that the cannabis sector will take no more than three years to show the markets which companies will survive in a competitive space. ICC Labs low-cost production environment is one of our big competitive advantages.

Profiteer: The International Board for the Control of Narcotics assigned Colombia a quota equal to 44 percent of global medicinal cannabis production authorized by the board. Why has Colombia been given such a high quota?

Alejandro Antalich: There is no export and production quota when we talk about CBD because it has no psychoactive effect. The global quota you refer to is related to THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid of the plant. Like other drugs such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl, etc., the quota assigned to each country is regulated by the International Board for the Control of Narcotics. Related to cannabis the total global quota is 91.9 tonnes, of which 40.5 tonnes were assigned to Colombia for the second consecutive time.

We think that the decision to assign such a big quota to Colombia refers directly to the favourable geographic and environmental conditions, as well as the commitment shown by the Colombian government authorities.

Profiteer: How is the black market affecting you in Colombia?

Alejandro Antalich: We don’t expect that the black market in Colombia is affecting our operations since we are a licensed company only for medicinal purposes which requires creating a pharmaceutical channel to distribute our products.

Colombia by itself offers great opportunities in the retail business, a country with fifty million people, a Government that is leading serious social and economic changes that will allow the country to become one of the first healthy economies in the continent, a serious commitment by the regulatory authorities related to the new industry that is developing in the cannabis space and the most important thing, we will be part of a project that will bring health solutions to the society, but not only to the ones that can have access, our commitment is to create medicine that meet the highest quality international standards at affordable prices.

Besides this, we expect to become a large producer in Colombia, always having in mind the exports to the most demanding markets around the world, which will translate to great benefits to the Colombian authorities.

Profiteer: What is your short-term plan for your operations in Colombia?

Alejandro Antalich: We expect to commence licensed outdoor planting of non-psychoactive cannabis strains with at least 15 percent CBD on approx. 101 hectares of land the Company has secured for this purpose. There is no shortage of land that is suited for cultivating cannabis. The weather conditions in Colombia are optimal for year-round outdoor production which means we could have three harvests per year. Consolidating all these favourable variables, we expect to get 140,000 kilograms of non-psychoactive dried cannabis flowers in the first year, while the production is stabilized.

Moreover, we want to start the construction of a 124,000 sq. ft. greenhouse within the next 30 days, where we will grow psychoactive cannabis plants with 20 percent THC content for medicinal purposes. Upon completion of its greenhouse, production should reach between 8,000 kg and 12,000 kg of dried psychoactive cannabis flowers during its initial year of production, with quantities increasing upon the establishment of its full production cycle.

Profiteer: Will you apply for more cultivation licenses in other South American countries?

Alejandro Antalich: In every jurisdiction that regulates the production by granting licenses, we will be applying for one. Our strategic plan is to diversify the production in different regulated latitudes. We have an advantage in applying for licenses because we have the know-how to do it, and do it well. Regarding this matter, South America is not our limit, the entire world is.

Profiteer: What are your production costs per gram cannabis in Uruguay and Columbia?

Alejandro Antalich: If we talk about indoor crop, our production cost is USD 0.50/gram and we are reaching lower costs since we are improving our cultivation methods. Regarding our first outdoor harvest in Uruguay we are expecting a production cost of USD 0.08/gram, even lower in Colombia.

Profiteer: I was reading something about USD 1.30/gram as a fixed selling price in Uruguay. With production costs of USD 0.50/gram you still have a very healthy margin but is there room for improvement?

Alejandro Antalich: This is not quite correct. In fact after the first six months of sales, the Uruguay Government made an increase on the sale price of 6.5 percent and with the new varieties with higher levels of THC, the selling price could be 2.5x or even 3x more.

Profiteer: You already pre-sold approx. 25 percent of your CBD oil production for this year. Are you planning further pre-sales? When do you expect to deliver the first products? Will you focus on wholesale deals or are you also thinking about direct online sales?

Alejandro Antalich: The income inquiries about our Company are increasing every day, international companies are starting to see our potential, we expect to close many new pre-sales agreements and relevant strategic partnerships in the coming weeks which will allow us to include an added value to our products to be commercialized globally. The first samples are expected to be shipped to the different regulatory authorities in the second quarter, expecting to start the exports in the third quarter. Our business will develop according to the international demand, giving priority to the direct sales on end own branding products.

Profiteer: What are your plans regarding the German market?

Alejandro Antalich: We see Germany as the main point of entrance in Europe to start building the distribution channel in the whole continent. For us, the potential that the German market has is unlimited; we expect the strategy that we are developing will rapidly solidify our presence with a pharmaceutical line of cannabis derivative products that will make the difference on the prices and ways of administration.

Profiteer: Where do you see ICC Labs in 3-5 years from now?

Alejandro Antalich: We will be at the maturity stage of the Company leading a pharmaceutical and R&D Company in the cannabis space, having enough scientific evidence, training a large number of doctors all around the globe, managing the largest global network for people who need get informed about the benefits of the medicinal cannabis, "the medicine of the future" (as I like to call it) and doctors that want to share their experiences in order to find new diseases that can be treated with cannabis, reducing the secondary effects of traditional medicine. Our only focus will be "make things happen for a better quality of life".

Profiteer: Thanks for the interview and a lot of success for the future!


The translated interview in German can be found here:
Exklusiv-Interview mit Alejandro Antalich, CEO von ICC Labs Inc..





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