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Plandaí and Cannabis – What is Our Role?

When Plandaí first announced its intention to produce a Phytofare™ Cannabinoid Extract, we were inundated with phone calls and emails—the majority of which wanted to know when and where they could buy some.  Since that time, we’ve read different articles and blog posts speculating that Plandaí is growing marijuana on its South Africa plantation and importing its extract to Washington under the Diego Pellicer brand name. 

With all of this misinformation out there, we felt it appropriate to “set the record straight” with respect to Plandaí and its involvement in the marijuana industry.

First, Plandaí is NOT presently producing any type of cannabis extract nor are we farming cannabis in South Africa, Washington or anywhere else.  There are many reasons for this, but primarily we recognize that cannabis cultivation and extract production is illegal—everywhere—unless you have special permission from the government.  Notwithstanding recent legislation in Washington and Colorado, growing, processing, possessing and selling marijuana in any form is still illegal on the federal level.  Plandaí has no intention of crossing this line.  Internationally, growing marijuana is illegal, especially in South Africa and other countries where we operate.

Initially, our attorneys believed we could set up a lab and begin testing in Washington.  We set this process in motion by designing the equipment and reaching out to local scientists and researchers.  We then determined that, if followed through upon, our activities could potentially violate federal laws and we immediately halted any efforts to produce an extract in the US.

With that being said, Plandaí believes that cannabis shows great medical potential.  Unfortunately, very little testing has been done in a true, double-blind, controlled human clinical environment.  Much of what we know is either anecdotal or backed by small lab-scale studies.  We have developed the science that will allow us to produce a highly bioavailable cannabinoid complex.  This new product should enable us to deliver a clinical dose of cannabinoids directly to human tissue and, theoretically, even cross the blood-brain barrier, enabling us to treat neuron disorders.  Without testing, however, this is all theoretical.   

Plandaí is actively working with several government agencies in hopes of being granted permission to commence testing our cannabinoid product.  Once this permission is received, it will take us about ninety days to set up an extraction lab and produce the first extract.  This extract will then be tested for purity and undergo a full chemical profile.  Only then will be begin animal studies to determine what, if any, medicinal benefits are present.  Favorable lab studies will eventually lead to human clinical trials but, again, only with proper government sanctioning. 

We believe that favorable clinical trials will eventually pave the way for government acceptance.  Especially for products like Plandaí’s which will have no psychoactive effects.  Once we reach that point, we will have several decisions to make: Do we produce an extract locally? Do we license the technology to a third party? Do we farm our own product or purchase from a local grower?  We cannot begin to answer these questions until we first have clinical results and then take account of the legal landscape at such future date.

The takeaway for our investors is that Plandaí remains committed to conducting ongoing research with a variety of different plants including cannabis and that this research will go forward as fast as the legal climate permits.  Until such time, we remain committed to obeying the laws—federal, state, and international—while we continue to champion for changes to those laws and establish industry standards.  We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to ensure that our company is built on a solid foundation of science, ethics, frugality, and adherence to the laws of the land.

We will continue to keep our shareholders aware of any changes to legislation and any government-approved dispensations we obtain.

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