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Clever Leaves fires 63 people and leaves Portugal (heading to Colombia where production is cheaper)

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It’s all going pear shaped in Portugal

Via Cannareporter

Clever Leaves announced today that it will abandon its operations in Portugal, having proceeded with the collective dismissal of 63 workers. According to Press release, the company will concentrate all cannabinoid cultivation and production operations in Colombia to leverage existing operational efficiencies. Clever Leaves expects the operational transition to generate approximately $7 million in cost savings by the end of 2023.

Clever Leaves Holdings Inc. is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange (CLVR, CLVRW) and is a multinational production company licensed to operate in Portugal since 2020 and had received EU-GMP certification do Infarmed IP for the manufacture of dried cannabis flower as API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) and finished product last November 2022. The company now announces the closure of all operations in Portugal, as part of its ongoing restructuring initiatives. In line with this restructuring plan, Clever Leaves expects flower cultivation in Portugal, post-harvest processes and manufacturing activities to cease completely by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

“By exclusively growing and producing our cannabinoid products in Colombia, we intend to leverage our existing cost efficiencies in the country as we grow our dried flower supply,” said Andres Fajardo, CEO of Clever Leaves. “We believe this transition will allow us to optimize our production infrastructure and increase cost savings, positioning us to more effectively compete in the global medical cannabis market. While our decision was extremely difficult, we believe it is in the best interest of the company as it positions us more effectively to meet our customers’ needs. In addition, we plan to incorporate the substantial learnings from our work in Portugal to increase the success of our operations in Colombia”, said the CEO.

“This next phase of our restructuring work builds on the progress we have made with improving our cost structure and capital efficiency throughout 2022. We look forward to building on our sustainable competitive advantages in Colombia and making further progress in 2023 as a multinational leaner and more agile operator.”

More at

https://cannareporter.eu/en/2023/01/23/clever-leaves-despede-63-pessoas-e-sai-de-portugal/



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UK / EU Cannabis Compliance

ICBC Report – German Health Minister Says Don’t Worry We Know Brussels Will Let Us Get On With It

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Over the weekend a potentially significant report surfaced regarding cannabis legalization in Germany. To quickly recap how we got to where we are now, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented an adult-use legalization plan to the federal cabinet back in October. Since that time, Lauterbach has lobbied the European Union for its permission to proceed with formally introducing the plan for consideration by German lawmakers. According to the report, Lauterbach is ‘certain’ that the European Union will grant its approval and that a formal introduction of the legalization measure will occur ‘in the first quarter of this year.’ Minister Lauterbach added, according to the report, that he ‘has no reason to doubt this schedule.’

Given that the better part of January 2023 is already in the history books, that means that if Minster Lauterbach’s schedule indeed proves to be accurate then Germany’s lawmakers could be considering a national adult-use legalization measure by the end of March (or sooner). Looking at it from a perspective beyond Germany’s borders, if Lauterbach is going to proceed with a formal introduction of a legalization measure with the EU’s blessing, then that logically means that other nations will presumably be able to do the same. If so, we could see the opening of the European legalization floodgates with other nations copying Germany’s model.

WHAT WILL BE LEGALIZED IN GERMANY?

The plan that Minister Lauterbach presented to the federal cabinet in Germany back in October was not the first version of the plan. In the days leading up to the formal presentation a reported previous version was leaked, and due to various provisions contained in the leaked plan, public outcry was swift. The outcry was largely directed at the initial possession limit (20 grams), an age-tiered THC percentage cap (10-15% depending on age), and the initial cultivation limit (2 plants).

What was ultimately presented to the federal cabinet involved somewhat vague language, in that the possession limit was raised to ’20-30 grams’ and that there would be ‘further examination’ as to whether there would at least be THC percentage caps for consumers 18-20 years old. The home cultivation limit was raised in the federal cabinet presentation compared to the leaked version of the plan, from 2 plants up to 3 plants per adult household.

One of the most significant components of the plan presented to the federal cabinet was the intention to launch a legal national adult-use cannabis industry in Germany. Right now, the only country that permits sales of non-THC capped cannabis products nationwide to anyone of legal age, including nonresidents, is Canada. Uruguay allows sales to residents, and Malta is in the process of setting up regulated non-profit clubs. No other country permits legal sales of non-THC capped cannabis products nationwide, and given how much larger Germany’s population, economy, and level of tourism is compared to Canada’s, the launch of a regulated national adult-use market in Germany will be a very big deal.

LIMITATIONS OF GERMANY’S MODEL

Germany’s legalization model is not perfect for various reasons, not the least of which is that it is yet to be approved, codified, and implemented. After all, politics can be full of twists and turns, and until a legalization measure becomes the law of the land in Germany there’s always the possibility that provisions could be changed and/or that the process itself could stall. We have already witnessed Lauterbach’s legalization plan evolve, and technically he has yet to reveal what, if any, changes were made as part of gaining approval from the European Union.

Part of the report that surfaced over the weekend described Minister Lauterbach as planning to present a ‘very good solution’ for German lawmakers to consider. Obviously, that is not the same as saying outright that the European Union didn’t demand any changes to Germany’s previously presented approach. If the changes are seen as regressive to some lawmakers in Germany, it’s virtually guaranteed that there will be pushback.

One huge limitation that seems to already be agreed upon by Minister Lauterbach and the EU is that all cannabis for Germany’s eventual adult-use market has to be produced domestically in order for Germany to be in compliance with treaties. While we will all have to wait and see how it plays out, I am of the opinion that supply shortages are going to be common due to this limitation. I have no doubt that German cultivators will do their best to produce as much cannabis as legally possible, however, they won’t just be supplying Germany. People from all over the world are going to flock to Germany to partake in the new freedoms. How great the demand for legal cannabis will be in Germany once sales are permitted is tough to say, but I think it’s a safe bet that it’s going to be enormous, and that may create issues.



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UK / EU Cannabis Compliance

BusinessCann Article Suggests Germany Placating Brussels Over Cannabis Regulation Thus Kicking The Can To The Horizon

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Interesting report this morning

DELAYS in submitting its proposals to the European Commission and potential hold-ups once submitted could see Germany’s adult-use cannabis plans pushed back into 2025.

Originally scheduled for submission before the end of 2022, Germany’s draft cannabis law will not now be submitted for Europe’s approval until the end of March.

With the European Commission (EC) still coming to terms with the rapid global changes in the approach to cannabis there are some concerns that Germany will need to work on a Plan B, or abandon the initiative, if its initial submission is rejected.

And, this is leading to calls for the decision-making process to include Europe’s politicians in its Parliament and The Council of the European Union.

German Health Statement

In a statement to BusinessCann The German Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the draft law is currently ‘being formulated within the federal government’.

Read full article at https://businesscann.com/germany-looks-to-placate-brussels-as-its-cannabis-plans-teeter/



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Portuguese Meducal Cannabis Company VF1883 Pharmaceuticals Declared Insolvent

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VF1883 Pharmaceuticals, a medical cannabis producer based in Benavente, has been declared insolvent by the Santarém Court. The insolvency declaration judgment, requested by one of the company’s more than 80 creditors, was handed down on 23 November 2022 and has now become final, in January 2023. According to exclusive information that Cannareporter had access to, the VF1883 administration will have until March to present an insolvency plan. 

VF1883 Pharmaceuticals had already missing from listing from companies licensed by Infarmed to produce cannabis in 2022. The beginning of this insolvency process, together with the impossibility of carrying out the planned activities, show signs of some difficulties in the company, which is now under the close eye of creditors.

The judicial decision, which took place on 23 November 2022 and became final in January 2023, after the judicial vacation, was rendered by Judge Carla Santos Ribeiro. According to the data contained in the Citius platform queries, the judge upheld the applicant’s reasoning, the company Fluxoterm – Climatização, Lda., A air conditioning company based in the vicinity of Leiria. With the insolvency declaration sentence, a creditors’ meeting was set up and an insolvency practitioner was appointed.

VF1883 has more than 80 creditors

In November, when the court was decided, Manuel Reinaldo Mâncio da Costa was defined as Insolvency Administrator and the date for the meeting of creditors was also set, which took place on the 19th of January, and brought together companies that claimed missing payments from the company. The insolvency proceedings, then opened, bring together more than 80 creditors, according to data published on the same portal as the Ministry of Justice.

In the list consulted by CannaReporter, there are either individuals, companies or even entities such as Social Security and Tax Authority. These will be the ones who will compose the meeting of creditors, together with representatives of the company’s employees. CannaReporter is unaware of whether the Social Security Salary Guarantee Fund mechanism has been activated.

Creditors’ meeting took place on January 19

The VF1883 Creditors Assembly took place on January 19, with the aim of deciding the future of the company and analyzing the report made by the insolvency practitioner. According to exclusive information, the meeting of creditors did not require a liquidation of the company. This meeting allegedly resulted in a concession of creditors to the administration of VF1883, giving it the opportunity to present an insolvency plan.

The company will thus be able to continue to develop its activities, having to present to the creditors’ meeting a plan for the restructuring of its activities and respective costs. The plan, which will be decided by the creditors’ meeting, will have to be presented by the management within two months. In March, creditors will review the insolvency plan and decide on the future of VF1883.

The company’s project, announced in 2019, provided for the creation of 250 direct jobs and, at the end of the deployment, more than 600 jobs. However, in 2021, the Mayor of Benavente, who gave a favorable opinion beforehand for the installation of 10 drying pavilions, six greenhouses and several support buildings, stated in 2021 to Jornal O Mirante that the employment generated was, after all, “ very residual ”.

Source  & Documents Canna Reporter

Portugal: Tribunal de Santarém declara insolvência da VF1883



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