True Leaf Brands (MJ) Launches In Korea

A company that makes cannabis and hemp-based products for pets is expanding into Asia after signing a deal with international distributor Eagle Vet.

True Leaf Brands Inc. produces a range of chews, oils, gels, sprays, shampoos, ear drops, and toothpaste under the True Hemp and Orega Pet brands. They fall into a range of categories: oral care, hip and join, first aid, calming, immune and heart, and “Smelly Dog”.

It claims to have listings at more than 3,500 retailers across the globe, with a presence in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, while its products are also available on Amazon. Now it is launching in Asia via Eagle Vet, which distributes pet healthcare products to more than 20 countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The first Asian market for the products will be Korea, where Eagle Farm distributes to 5,000 retail stores and veterinary clinics and also supplies to Coupang and Interpark, two of the country’s largest e-commerce sites.

Two of the Hottest Global Industries

Founder and chief executive Darcy Bomford said the deal “speaks to the level of trust True Leaf has built in the global marketplace and the international recognition we’ve achieved as a leading hemp-for-pets brand”.

Bomford set up pet care firm Darford International Inc. in 1987 and built three plants in the U.S. and Canada, while managing a global sales team and turning Zero/G into a global brand. The firm went public in 2010.

He now lends his 32 years of pet industry expertise to True Leaf, where he is joined by executive vice president Tenzin Khangsar and chief financial officer Kerry Biggs.

The firm, based in Vernon, British Columbia, said it is targeting “two of the hottest industries worldwide”, citing data from Grandview Market Research and BMO Capital Markets, which estimates that the global pet and cannabis industries will be worth $184 billion and $194 billion respectively by 2023.

Helping the Dogs of Korea

In Korea, the pet industry will be worth US$4.8 billion next year, according to Statista, so it sees strong potential for the market.

Last week it announced a significant expansion into Europe by tying up supply deals with Oscar Pet Foods in the UK and with Pocurull, which serves the Spanish and Portuguese markets. Oscar runs a home delivery service for 30,000 pet owners across Britain, and it highlighted a growing demand for hemp-based pet products in that market, while Pocurull distributes to a network of 1,000 retail stores.

It follows on from listings with UK stalwart Pets Corner, Italian pet retail chain Arcaplanet and Das Futterhaus in Germany. It has also partnered with distributors in Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Greece this year.

The firm recently reported revenue of $652,000 for Q4 2019 and a comprehensive loss of $1.3 million. As of Dec. 31, 2018, it had $2.4 million in cash, down from $10.8 million on Mar. 31, 2018.

Last month it received $914,000 from a warrant exercise, and Bomford said the capital would allow it to execute its growth plans, which include entering Australia and the Pacific region.

Shares in True Leaf opened at $0.48 today, which is in line with its value at the start of the year.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Capital 10X hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.

Martin Green
Martin Green is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on the cannabis, alcohol, and gambling industries. He is particularly interested in the political issues affecting the global marijuana trade, and he has a keen focus on regulation changes and legal topics. He holds a BA English Literature, MA Creative Writing and a National Qualification in Journalism diploma. He has worked in journalism since 2009 and written for a broad range of newspapers, business titles and magazines, including The Sun, The Metro, The Journal, Livestrong, Drinks Retailing News, Harpers, Sportsbook Review, Vital Football, Essex Live and Surrey Live.

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