Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN) Director Vicente Fox Celebrates 10 Years of Cannabis Advocacy
Vicente Fox, Independent Director for Khiron Life Sciences (CVE:KHRN) (OTCMKTS:KHRNF) (FRA:4KH) and former Mexican President talks to James about the state of cannabis in Latin America and beyond. He dives into the legislation within Mexico and Colombia and the readiness of Khiron to adapt to changing legal environments. Vicente looks ahead to the future of the industry and where it’s headed, especially as it relates to more and more proven medical applications around the world.
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James West: Joining me now is former president of Mexico. Mr. Vicente Fox joins me in studio. Mr. Fox, welcome.
Vicente Fox: Pleasure James and thank you for inviting me. Beautiful city Toronto, unfortunate weather.
James West: Yes. Well…
Vicente Fox: A little bit wet and cold.
James West: Story of our city, story of our summer. Señor Fox you are now an active participant in the cannabis industry and Mexico is driving towards cannabis legalization. What exactly is the status of the laws in Mexico pertaining to cannabis presently?
Vicente Fox: Okay, being an activist for 10 years now. So, it’s been a long way to get to where we are in this magnificent booming industry. What is the situation in Mexico? It’s number one, medical use has been approved about a year ago and it’s legal. But, unfortunately we don’t yet have the regulation to operate that law.
We had a change of government in between. The new government is just taking hold of the situation and it’s a very liberal government so has not only announced to try to move fast with regulation and medical use but also to open recreational use which will make Mexico together with Canada, the two leading nations that have approved both uses and we’ll go for the whole enchilada.
James West:Okay. So how long do you think until regulations are in place so that patients can access medical cannabis?
Vicente Fox: Regulations, I think it should be no more than maybe four no longer than eight weeks, and recreational use within the year. It will happen within the year.
James West: Okay. Is there any concern that the medical or the rather the introduction of recreational rules will catalyze a reaction from the cartels who currently control that business?
Vicente Fox: What we have experienced behind would be Colombia that did have the same situation very similar to Mexico and things went fluidly. They are operating right now on the medical use, not yet recreational. But cartels, I think that they have diversified their income so much that yes, they would be losing some income out of the cannabis space but, yet they have other criminal activities.
On the other hand, I think that what has happened with the industry in other places like Canada, like United States, those that participated in the old illegal industry at the very end join in when it became legal and now are businessmen, are salesmen, are owners of small stores. So, that’s the process. It happens that the new industry, the legal industry dominates totally over the old criminal industry.
James West: Hmm interesting. You recently hosted a conference in Mexico, in your home state of Guanajuato and it was called CannaMexico appropriately. Tell me about that conference.
Vicente Fox: Well that conference is sponsored and promoted by both of us Khiron, this company in the space of cannabis, Colombian Canadian company, which is the leading company in Latin America.
James West: Khiron Life Sciences.
Vicente Fox: Khiron Life Sciences and Centro Fox, which is the first Presidential Library outside of United States. We run it now for the second time, 1500 top executives from all around the world, scientists, academics, governments. So, everybody participated. Our whole idea at Centro Fox together with Khiron is to promote the industry, to promote the benefits of the industry, especially the ones related to medical use and is permeating, is really people catching the whole idea that we have a nice, good booming industry. That we have already taken away this beautiful plant from the criminals, from the cartels and now, put it in hands of the business community, corporate world, government with taxes and I think everybody’s very motivated and enthusiastic about the future.
James West: Hmm. There are different things permitted for different indications in different countries. The cannabis space medically is very confusing worldwide. Specifically to Mexico, have they limited the use of medical cannabis to just a few human ailments or have they basically broadly opened up?
Vicente Fox: It’s according to the laws, broadly open up and we’re waiting for the regulation, but I don’t think it will limit what already has been approved. So, certainly would be for everybody. Khiron is already taking positions, looking for an acquisition of clinics, which we already did in Colombia. Ilan is the name of this clinic chain that has over a hundred thousand patients.
We’re looking in Mexico for at least a million and up to 3 million which already exists, which already are patients having to get attendance for pain in their heads, for different problems like Alzheimer’s. So, once we have those chains of patients, then you start introducing the product.
It’s not going to be sold on the shelf. Really Khiron is very professional in this, selling a package. So, we make a diagnosis of the patient, then we determine what his needs are, then we gave him a prescription and they will go hand-by-hand to guide him to the future so that he can really cure his problems.
James West: Hmm interesting. Will Mexico permit exports? I mean, the reason I ask this is for companies like Khiron, Mexico potentially could be one of the lowest cost producers in the world. So, if there’s an export market Khiron could very much profit by that. Is that on the menu?
Vicente Fox: That is correct. You’re right. It’s not for sure right now that Mexico will allow trading, exports and imports. But Mexico’s economy is the most open economy in the world. We trade with 42 different economies. We have Trade Agreements. The most important one of them is North America. The trade agreement with Canada, United States and Mexico, which has the largest trade balance in the world, approaching a trillion U.S Dollars a year. So, a million of a million dollars every year we trade between the three economy.
I think that this industry is the same today as the automobile industry or the pharma industry will integrate to NAFTA and be part of this trading world. But, we need to wait for United States to go open on national terms, on federal terms because right now it’s state by state. But, if we have Canada and Mexico already open national and federal then United States will join in and certainly would be an excellent, excellent industry creating jobs, creating wealth and creating trade.
James West: Sure. So, the population of Mexico now is about what?
Vicente Fox: We’re about a hundred and twenty-five million.
James West: So, that’s a pretty massive market.
Vicente Fox: It is and 80% of them are middle classes with purchasing power.
James West: Sure.
Vicente Fox: That’s why we’re excited. Certainly, we’ll be together with Brazil. The two largest markets in Latin America by far.
James West: Wow, so is Khiron in a position now to take advantage immediately when the regulations come into place.
Vicente Fox: Of course, of course. We already done our job. We have offices and executives in Brazil, in Chile, in Uruguay, in Argentina, in Peru, in Colombia of course, where we have a modern state-of-the-art production source, which is going to be the most competitive cost related processing and growing the plant.
I think the cost of producing and growing in Latin America will be 30%, 40% of the cost in Canada or United States. So, this is a very competitive advantage.
James West: Sure. Do you see a future where potentially Mexico, Colombia companies like Khiron could actually dominate the global supply of cannabis as ingredients for medical products?
Vicente Fox: No doubt and that’s about to happen. It’s moving pretty fast because Khiron with its very sophisticated strategy, with its trade name and its top executives running the company has already raised a hundred million U.S. Dollars in the market and it’s investing very wisely, as I said in producing in Colombia, in acquisitions; buying companies that are already in the market place like these clinics and pharmacy places, to retail and also we have already been participating in the wellness industry with a product by the name of Kuida.
Kuida, which is a great name is now being marketed in Colombia. We’re ready to start in Mexico as soon as the regulation comes in. So yes, the company is taking positions, is investing in the marketplace, is preparing and being ready for the moment it is approved Then you move faster head and you dominate the space.
James West: Sure. The rules in the rest of Latin America, are they more or less on pace with where Mexico and Colombia are at or is it mixed like the United States?
Vicente Fox: As you know we’re an industry and everything is new. So, you tend to take decisions by the day and you have plans but, you adapt them to whatever is happening. Now, I guess with Canada now, as the leading nation in the world on the whole spectrum of cannabis, is showing and giving us an example of how to move now in other places. Israel is the leading country technology-wise. They really have advanced technology in the medical use and the recreational use. So, everything is now getting experience. Everybody’s getting more knowledge.
And by the way, we have an agreement with Khiron and Centro Fox, which is the first Presidential Library outside of the United States, which is in the state of Guanajuatoin Mexico, which is the library I believe, we’re going to establish there a knowledge center, a research center with seminars, with a lot of information, a lot of training for the whole participants. Not only consumers, not only patients, but mostly those who are going to attend to those patients; doctors, hospitals, authorities, governments need a lot of information.
They are taking decision without understanding the industry. So we have to have a strong PR programs to approach government, sit down with them and discuss how this industry is going to be a very successful job creation industry, wealth creation industry and in enhancing economies throughout the world It’s a new world, is a new sector of the economy, and I think it’s going to be fantastic.
James West: Okay. Well, that’s great. I really appreciate you joining us today. Thank you very much for your input.
Vicente Fox: My pleasure, sir. Jim, we’ll see you soon.
James West: Definitely.
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