London listed natural resources giant Highlands has made the business decision to get into cannabis after making a very significant discovery. Highlands recently announced that in the 3rd quarter of 2018 the company discovered a large naturally occurring source of nitrogen and also hydrogen. The combination of these two gasses created a naturally occurring fully organic fertilizer. Highlands began selling this gas to an un-named organic cannabis cultivator in Colorado. It was discovered after being used, that the naturally occurring fertilizer essentially turbo charged the growth rate of cannabis plants. "Pleasingly, the gas mixture increased plant size, height, root diameter, and flower count by up to 30%, surpassing expectations," Highlands said in an interview.
With this huge discovery, Highlands has made the decision to move into the cannabis sector by themselves, after raiding more than $1.5 million USD to establish an organic, CBD production facility in Colorado through their most recently established subsidiary Zoetic Organics. The new operation will enable Highlands to cultivate, process and turn the cannabis into high end products that Zoetic will sell. Currently the company are looking at producing Hemp oil, CBD infused chew pouches, and pre rolled smokable products. Not only looking at retail sales, Highlands are also looking at making their products available for wholesale also, which will be advantageous for them.
Executive chairman and CEO of Highlands Robert Price said "Zoetic Organics provides us with a compelling opportunity to enter the rapidly growing CBD market at low cost and to secure the value that our large, rare, and valuable gas discovery creates for organic agricultural operations for shareholders." He continued to say that "Our immediate priority is to advance the discussions currently underway with potential retail and wholesale partners, purchase manufacturing equipment, and expand our outdoor growing, ahead of our intended harvest of our first 10,000 hemp plants by mid-2019. Beyond this we will expand our harvest and expand our product range."
Highlands has estimated that they will initially start producing 40,000 hemp plants per year in their 33,000 square foot greenhouse. They have estimated that given the speed of growth and amount of plants, they will be able to harvest their crops 3 times a year to begin with. In addition to their greenhouse project, Highlands have also acquired rights to grow 20 acres of hemp in the surrounding area which equates to around 50,000 hemp plants. This is just the beginning for highlands, as they have said they plan on expanding by 2020 to almost double their productivity. The company added that when operating at full capacity in 2020, the current facilities they have to work with will generate almost 300,000 hemp plants per annum.
Highlands have said that this investment opportunity is a low cost entry into the cannabis market which is still in its infancy and growing rapidly. The benefits of growing hemp in Colorado is that it is legal with no limitations, and the CBD products they ar3e producing are legal in both the US and the UK subject to regulatory compliance. This is going to be a huge move for the company and they will be looking at a very positive outlook by both investors and their sales figures.