Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN) Strategy to Become a Leading Player in the Cannabis Market Worldwide

Alessandro Bruno
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Investors familiar with the emerging cannabis industry have come to recognize Khiron Life Sciences Corp (CVE:KHRN) (OTCMKTS:KHRNF) (FRA:4KH) with its fully licensed core operations in Colombia and acquisitions in Uruguay, as one of the emerging Latin-American-based THC and CBD medical cannabis plays. But, cannabis has no regional boundaries; it’s a global business and the market has global potential.

This may explain why analysts are taking notice: David Kideckel, from AltaCorp Capital, rated Khiron a Buy, attaching a $6.0/share price target, confirming the widespread expectation that the company will capture a sizeable share of the Latin American cannabis market – and the North American market as well, thanks to the partnership with Dixie Brands – which has recently secured a JV with Arizona Iced Tea to produce and distribute THC-infused tea beverages (Source: Cision) to begin sales of the Kuida Cosmeceutical Line in U.S. Market. Khiron has also found an open door to the massive southern Brazilian market thanks to its partnership with NettaGrowth International Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Uruguay based medical cannabis exporter Dormul.

As lucrative as they may be in themselves, the deals in Brazil and Uruguay are merely the sideshow; or, better, they represent the gateway to the huge 500-million plus European market (estimated to be worth some EUR 115.0/about $116.5 billion by 2028 according to Prohibition Partners). This can be achieved through MERCOSUR free trade deal. MERCOSUR (from the Spanish: Mercado Comun del Sur) is the South American free trade zone that includes Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay. Recently, MERCOSUR signed a free trade deal with the European Union (Source: European Commission) giving Khiron access to a potential 800 million consumers (some 600 million in Latin America alone) thanks to this agreement – and that’s excluding the U.S. and Canada, which have different dynamics – and where Khiron has a significant footing already.

Khiron has expanded with this goal embedded into its strategy, and the results are about to arrive. While others are targeting agreements in single countries where competition is dense (Canada, United States, Germany), Khiron has been establishing a much bigger net to catch many more consumers for both medical and recreational cannabis simultaneously within and beyond some of the largest global trade networks. Khiron also understands its business well thanks to tactical partnerships, which not only add scientific and technical advantages, but commercial opportunities as well. In other words, Khiron has built an ideal framework through which to become a dominant force in the cannabis sector. Certainly, it’s a company, which has acquired what might be described as diplomatically astute, understanding and exploiting geopolitics to its advantage. In many ways, one might describe Khiron as the ‘Alexander the Great’ – or as some South Americans might prefer, Simon Bolivar – of cannabis companies.

It may not be a coincidence that former Mexican President Vicente Fox was appointed to Khiron’s Board in 2018: the company simply has ambitious plans. Accordingly, on August 12, 2019, Khiron announced the addition of two key executives to support the company’s European expansion effort. They are cannabis industry expert Tejinder Virkis as President and cannabis legal expert Franziska Katterbach as Chief Legal Officer for Khiron Europe. Both appointments will become effective on October 1, 2019. Virkis will join Khiron after serving as Deputy Managing Director, Europe, for Canopy Growth Corporation, where he drove Canopy’s multinational expansion. Prior to that, he was  Managing Director of Global Equity Products for BMO Capital Markets, establishing client relationships across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ms. Katterbach, meanwhile, has gained considerable legal expertise in the cannabis sector, having worked on many related deals while employed at corporate law firm Dentons. More recently, she managed Canopy Growth’s legal affairs, acquiring a deep understanding of European regulatory matters concerning cannabis. Virkis and Katterbach’s appointments offer a glimpse at the ‘crystal ball’ and the direction Khiron will pursue in the next few years. The company wants more visibility among the European institutional investors set as it pursues more M&A opportunities around the world; indeed, the African cannabis market is about to flourish as well.

 

Alessandro Bruno

Alessandro Bruno

Alessandro Bruno, born in Naples, (BA and MA in International Relations, University of Toronto). Alessandro is a research analyst and writer in various business sectors and international politics. He was a Programme Officer for the UN in North Africa and a senior for one of the first international sustainable investment...
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