Three Canadian investors from Verdant Infusions Company are exploring Liberia for marijuana – cannabis investment. The three investors looking to tap into the burgeoning legal cannabis market which is accruing huge sum of money for farmers in many countries that have relaxed the antiquated draconian prohibition law on the use of the novel herb.
Canada recently legalized cannabis making it accessible to citizens and for medical practitioners to administer cannabis treatment to the sick. Cannabis has long been touted as a cure and relief herb for many illnesses but big pharmaceutical companies reportedly spent huge amount of copper fanning negative propaganda thereby suppressing the herb.
From a business perspective, said Michael Westcott, Liberia provides a number of advantages to our organization’s profitability: suitable climate, available land, an available workforce at advantageous rates and a favorable tax regime.
He said as important to the principles of Verdant Infusion company, they recognize that the economy of the Republic of Liberia faces substantial challenges. “In our discussions with a number of government representatives, Verdant Infusions has received strong agreement with our assessment that the agricultural sector of the economy is significantly underperforming and its potential unemployment is rampant, especially amongst the youth.
The balance of trade, he said is negative, and difficult to improve quickly and meaningfully. Westcott said the negative trade balance puts pressure on the local currency’s value vs. other currencies. “The devaluing Liberian dollar increases inflation and that higher inflation negatively impact all, but most especially the poorest in society as the price for basic and necessary goods and services increases more quickly than incomes” he said.
The Liberian economy has a very small middle class. Currently, the economy is segregated into the very wealthy and the poor. He said as successful business people, they now want to “pay it forward”. “We have an opportunity in Liberia to operate a profitable business that will assist in improving the county’s standard of living by providing 300 to 1,000 stable, well-paying jobs in the agricultural sector – hopefully providing an example of success that will induce other foreign investment in this, and other economic sectors.
These jobs, he said will not only support the direct employees and their families, but will create an environment of prosperity that will create other jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Westcott said although their business will import some goods and services, we will create large exports to world-wide markets that will improve Liberia’s balance of trade. He averred that improvements in the trade balance will support and potentially improve the international value of the Liberian dollar, reducing inflationary pressures and the impact on the populace.
“We are suggesting that the stable, economically viable jobs will assist in the creation of a middle class and new entrepreneurs instead of the widely-used cannabis being grown and distributed in the black market, the government will control quality and distribution, and generate tax revenues that they can invest in social and economic programs beneficial to the country’s population” said Westcott.
He disclosed medicinal use of cannabis helps alleviate and manage symptoms related to a significant number of medical conditions and continues to gain world-wide acceptance and popularity.
“We require a license that will allow us to legally import needed supplies; and grow, process and export cannabis and its derivative products. We are recommending that the government also explore the decriminalization/legalization of cannabis based products for the domestic market as there are recognized health benefits to some of the products. And since the government already allows the distribution and consumption of alcohol on a controlled and revenue generating basis, that they consider moving from an inefficient and sometimes ineffective prohibition to a more effective and economically beneficial model. This decision is the government’s to make, but the world seems to be moving to a more cannabis friendly stance recognizing a relatively low risk and potential benefits” opined Westcott.
There are several strains of cannabis but the two most prevalent are THC and CBD.
THC, also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the principal psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, which means it is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” or euphoria. While studies to confirm the scope of its medical effectiveness are ongoing, both anecdotal and clinical evidence have shown THC to be helpful for: Immune system regulation, anti-inflammation, pain relief, improved mood, euphoria stimulation, appetite stimulation, muscle relaxation, reducing some types of epileptic seizure, reducing nausea.Studies have found that THC reduces spasticity and spasms in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
CBD properly named as cannabidiol, CBD is the second well-studied cannabinoid. One primary difference is that CBD is non-psychoactive, lacking the “high” patients experience when using THC. Through both anecdotal and clinical evidence, CBD has gained in popularity as being used for: pain relief, reducing nausea, reducing anxiety, and controlling epilepsy, immunosuppressant
muscle relaxation, reducing inflammation, reducing insomnia, and as an antipsychotic and calming.
Westcott said as Liberia chooses to introduce cannabis as a legal, albeit controlled product, education will be paramount in maximizing benefit (both economic and societal), and minimizing harm. The newly established Liberia National Cannabis Association (LINCA) can provide an effective forum for educating, and framing the use and control of this product.
He disclosed that edibles will be one of the fastest growing markets for Verdant Infusions.
“A marijuana edible is a cannabis-infused food or beverage product containing cannabinoids (THC and/or CBD). Cannabis can be infused into almost any food ranging from cookies and brownies to chocolates, hard candies, processed foods and hot or cold drinks. Many chefs and food processors are now experimenting with recipes that infuse cannabis in both mass market and sophisticated, specialty dishes and cuisines” revealed Westcott.
He revealed that Verdant Infusions is proposing to build an oil extraction facility that will use the locally grown cannabis to produce food grade additives for food and beverage. Additionally, he said “we expect to package the product for export, creating more local employment”.
He enumerated that CBD Topicals are applied creams, balms, lotions, salves and other ointments for the skin.
“CBD Creams may be transdermal, targeted topicals or salves. These products contain active amounts of cannabidiol and cannabinoids that have shown a wide range of benefits both to the skin externally and the muscles, tendons and joints below the surface” noted Westcott.
He said CBD Oil and CBD Topicals are often created from Hemp and contain .03% THC or less. “When at this level, they are completely LEGAL in all 50 states (USA). The advantage of applying CBD’s topically is that specific area can be treated as opposed to the more whole-body wellness orientation achieved by oral ingestion” he opined.
Westcott concluded that Verdant Infusions will grow and process specific strains to meet this market, and in the medium term, build a production facility to manufacture these products for world-wide distribution.