Vireo CEO Discusses IP And The Possible Future Of Flower Packaging
Vireo Health International Inc. (OTCQX:VREOF) has had a busy 2021 so far.
The company has had brand expansions, a rollout of its latest IP, and the closing of four medical licenses in Nevada, allowing both medical and adult-use production.
The additional expansion also includes February's nine-acre expansion to its cultivation facility in Arizona. Vireo also opened two additional Green Goods Cannabis centers for patients in Minnesota, bringing its total of opened locations to eight in the state.
Vireo CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley recently spoke to Benzinga about the excitement in Vireo's five core markets, which have either passed legislation or expect to soon.
So far, Arizona has passed legislation while New Mexico, New York, Minnesota, and Maryland all have legislation at some development stage.
"That's a pretty dramatic upside going from these restricted medical markets to full-on adult use," said Kingsley, calling the possible pivots "remarkable and unusual."
A Commitment To Tech And IP
The company often touts its dedication to bringing its intellectual property to the market.
Its most recent rollouts, Amplifi and TerpSafe, are points of excitement for the company. Kingsley said the latter could be the next frontier for the company and flower packaging throughout the market.
Amplifi, launched in January of this year, is a proprietary brand of cannabis flower the company augmented naturally to preserve and enhance the product. It is currently available in Maryland.
The standout component to Amplifi is its TerpSafe technology.
The patent-pending system aims to preserve the plant profile by inhibiting terpene loss that occurs as the flower ages.
The company conducted numerous studies, claiming that TerpSafe can increase terpene content over four weeks instead of the typical compound loss over the timeframe.
In one case, TerpSafe jars were used in a 2020 lab study focused on the preservation and augmentation of cannabis terpenes, with the results published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.
In addition to terpene preservation, Kingsley said, "You can basically impart almost any flavor on the flower naturally using this packaging concept."
In 2020, Vireo signed a limited licensing deal with a North American packaging supplier, eBottles420, to make and ship the packaging.
Vireo doesn't have a timeframe for when third-party traction will occur, noting various state regulatory hurdles and other issues could limit rollouts at times. That said, Kingsley believes TerpSafe has the potential to be the industry standard at some point.
He credits the development of the system to Vireo's subsidiary, Resurgent Biosciences. Formed in 2020, the endeavor represents the company's focus and commitment to IP.
He credits Vireo's team, including IP lawyers, engineers, and chemists, who help vet the products.
"It's just part of our DNA to fix our own problems and fix the consumers' problems," said Kingsley of the team's IP focus.
He added that Resurgent continues to explore innovation, which includes using its IP for adding cannabinoids to tobacco in a bid to reduce cancer, risk, and harm.
"My passion is replacing opioids, alcohol, and tobacco with cannabis products," stated Kingsley.
Next Public Steps
The company also took additional steps toward a debut on the U.S. exchange sometime down the line with its Form S-8 filing with the SEC back in early February.
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