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Juicy Fields fraud controversy: company claims it will refund investors

The company has now claimed it will begin a formal process to refund capital investments to all affected eGrowers who have invested funds with Juicy Fields.

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Juicy Fields crypto-cannabis scheme embroiled in fraud controversy
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Juicy Fields crowdgrowing – scam?

Hailed as an “innovative” approach to crowdfunding for cannabis, Juicy Fields offered investors the opportunity to become a “potpreneur and benefit from the booming cannabis industry”. In its “green paper”, the company set out how its business model of “crowdgrowing” enables investors to become cannabis entrepreneurs with “less risk and greater income control.” 

Juicy fields claimed it would have partnerships with entities that have established “distribution networks, processing systems, licenses, employees and cultivation expertise which are or in progress” to become fully licensed to cultivate high-THC cannabis. 

Under the model, eGrowers buy a “plant category” from JuicyFields which would then buy a plant from one of its partners. The partner would sell the final THC product to a third party and the profit would be distributed among the partner, JuicyFields and the eGrower.

eGrowers were promised returns on the purchases of their plants in as little as 108 days after funds were received and clones were planted. Many eGrowers received profits from their investments early on, likely from funds invested by new eGrowers being passed on. However, many are now questioning whether any cannabis was ever planted at all.

Snapshot of Juicy Fields’ cannabis product offerings from its Green Paper.

Snapshot of Jiucy Fields’ Green Paper price comparison to major cannabis companies from its Green Paper.

Over the last two weeks, Juicy Fields seems to have moved millions of dollars of investments from its accounts, with some estimates counting up to $17m.

Early on in the developments, former-CEO Wille van der Merwe, who was at the company for just over 40 days, claimed in a letter that he was hired to make changes which were subsequently refused. 

The letter states: “I wrote quite a strongly worded memorandum to the board members and owners (the ones that I was told were the owners), advising them to urgently address issues such as securing cannabis plants, preparing and filing the requisite applications and paperwork with the authorities in various countries in Europe such as Germany, to become operationally compliant, and to change the product offering from an investment product to a commodity product offering, which it essentially should be.”

After his departure due to “poor management”, van der Merwe claimed some members of the Juicy Fields team began implementing the recommended technical changes which led to the site being closed down, and that an improved site would be back up and running with investors able to access their assets by August.

This has, of course, been questioned by investors, who are now being asked by Juicy Fields through its website to provide personal details in order to receive their money back. Given the developments, many investors believe this could be part of the scam.

Former CEO, Alan Glanse, has made remarks in a Telegram channel through video claiming bad actors are trying to discredit the company however, Glanse has not responded to requests for comment.

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Panaxia to expand its Malta production plant with $6m investment

Panaxia’s investment in the country is a “milestone” for Malta’s medical cannabis industry, says Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise.

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Panaxia to expand its Malta production plant with $6m investment

Israel-based Panaxia is set to expand its medical cannabis production facility in Malta and will export its first products to Germany in the coming weeks.

Panaxia is set to deepen its connection with Malta as it plans a further expansion to its local production plant now the company has obtained its EU-GMP licence. 

The company received an official license from the health authorities in Malta to manufacture finished medical cannabis products in May, 2022.

The news of Panaxia’s $6m (~£4.95m) investment was announced during a visit to Panaxia’s Ħal Far plant by Malta’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli. 

Read more: Panaxia to exit cannabis activities in Israel and focus on Europe

Panaxia aims to enrich the Maltese production portfolio with products aimed for both Europe and Latin American markets. To do this, its Malta facility will diversify into an array of products ranging from the production of tablets, oil and extracts, as well as carrying out clinical trials, stability experiments and research and development.

Minister Miriam Dalli described Panaxia as an early success story for one of Malta’s newest economic niches.

Read more: Panaxia to begin medical cannabis production in Malta

Minister Dalli commented: “Malta Enterprise has been in discussions with Panaxia since the early days after the enacted legislation in 2018. Today, Panaxia is only marking the start of its actual production, but it is already planning an expansion in its facilities. 

“This is another milestone reached for our medical cannabis industry – an industry which further enriches our wider pharmaceutical sector. Malta is the ideal location for such operations, whereby specialised products are developed for the global healthcare supply chain.”

CEO of Panaxia, Dadi Segal, commented: “I am impressed with the role of Malta Enterprise in their support to our Malta team at Panaxia on various levels, not just the financial assistance but also the constant communication and facilitation. 

“We had to build this facility from scratch and the process was long but soothed through Malta Enterprise’s constant guidance.”

Panaxia also operates from locations within the United States, Canada and South Africa, and is currently in the process of registering products in Portugal, Greece, Poland and Brazil amongst others. Its range of pharmaceutical products, over 60 in all, are mainly based on cannabis plant extracts and treat a variety of ailments including nausea, anxiety and depression.

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Cannabis extract registered in Poland by Curaleaf International

The landmark registration signifies Curaleaf’s continued expansion into Europe.

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Cannabis extract registered in Poland by Curaleaf International

Curaleaf International has registered its cannabis-based medical extract in Poland with local partner CanPoland SA.

Curaleaf International’s product registration in Poland will help to meet increasing demand for cannabis medicine in the country. According to Prohibition Partners, Poland is currently one of Europe’s largest medical cannabis markets by patient size. Its market is expected to reach €2bn (~£1.69bn) by 20282. 

Read more: Can4Med to wholesale medical cannabis products in Poland

The licensed product, which is 100 per cent European sourced from plant to manufacture, is part of Curaleaf International’s proprietary product range that has now launched in five key European markets, including the UK and Germany.

Curaleaf International president, Miles Worne, stated: “This licence in Poland is another sign of Curaleaf International’s strong momentum in Europe. The medical cannabis market in Europe continues to expand rapidly, as regulation opens up and access for patients improves. 

Read more: Curaleaf partnership to build platform for German recreational market

“Since the legalisation of medical cannabis in 2017, Poland has become one of the largest European importers of dried flower and is an excellent addition to Curaleaf International’s expansion, given its fast-growing patient numbers and significant addressable market.

“Curaleaf International is driving growth in existing key markets, with the UK in particular witnessing a huge increase in patient numbers, whilst continuing to drive expansion into new markets across Europe.”

Curaleaf International has also recently announced registrations of products in Malta, and was the first company to register a THC cannabis extract Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient in Italy. 

The company has stated that this news, along with the opening of the Swiss medical cannabis market and Curaleaf International’s renewing of its GDP licence in Switzerland, is an example of where the company is ideally positioned to capitalise on positive market movements across Europe.

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Medcolcanna signs European medical cannabis sales agreements

The company has entered into sales agreements with German company, Greenstein, and Cantourage.

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Medcolcanna signs European medical cannabis sales agreements

Canada-based globally integrated medicinal cannabis company with operations in Colombia, Medcolcanna, has signed two EU sales agreements for EU-GMP and CUMS-IMC certified dried flower.

Medcolcanna has signed agreements with German-based Greenstein, as well as Berlin-based Cantourage.

The sales agreement with German-based Greenstein has a three-year term, with the possibility of extension, and establishes a minimum purchase of 1200 kg during the first year, 2000 kg during the second year and 2,500 kgs during the third year.

Its sales agreement with Cantourage for Germany and the UK has a five-year term, with the possibility of extension. The initial forecast presented by Cantourage establishes approximately 800 – 1000 Kgs for the first year.

Read more: Ugandan-grown medical cannabis reaches UK market

Cantourage will distribute the flower through its proprietary clinics and distribution in the UK and through its network of pharmacies in Germany. Medcolcanna has developed a new brand for distribution with Cantourage in UK and Germany, followed by Poland within the next few months.

Six Medcolcanna proprietary strains have been already registered with the German Narcotics agency, and the production will be based on supply from the Medcolcanna farm located near Bogota. Additionally, THC quotas have been granted by the Colombian Government and are in place with the first exports expected by October to November 2022.

CEO Felipe de la Vega commented: “It has being a long and difficult journey since we created the company. A market that we were trying to understand and anticipate but that was being created. Therefore, making decisions was more complex. 

“CBD market for extracts and isolates became very competitive with the US hemp farm bill affecting projections. The market for THC extracts is highly regulated, requires multiple certifications and a lot of investment, and still is a very small market compared with flower. 

“Now the approval of flower export has allowed us to really gain traction in Colombia supply, as a high quality, low-cost producer, and the result of it is the multiple contracts we have now in place and we continue to negotiate. Starting November 2022, we expect recurrent revenue with high margins and good profitability.

“This combined with internal decisions that have helped us to reduce our G&A and cash burn makes our company a sustainable and profitable target for investors and we are pretty confident that before the end of the year we will be in a completely different situation.

“We continue supplying internally medical formulations currently approximately 300 per month and growing at 15 per cent per month. Now we are really getting to an interesting point for the company, with a very clear path forward and the possibility to generate profits for our investors.”

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