Industrial hemp player stays ahead of the curve with CBD import deal

Industrial hemp player stays ahead of the curve with CBD import deal

While Australian law does not yet permit the import of CBD products to the general market without the requisite licences, hemp group ECS Botanics (ASX: ECS) is getting ahead of its moment.

The Tasmania-based company has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Disruption Labs to distribute, sell and import the company's hemp-derived CBD dietary supplements.

Disruption Labs owns 100 per cent of subsidiary Reset Bioscience, a CBD company based in Texas which has developed the THC-free organic hemp-derived product.

ECS managing director Alex Keach says the deal positions the company well for the moment CBD products are available legally for general consumption in Australia, or for when ECS acquires the correct licences.

"This is an exciting initiative for ECS. With its nanotechnology formulation, we view Reset's hemp derived CBD product as unique in a marketplace that is rapidly growing and highly attractive," says Keach.

While the import of Reset's products into Australia is not permitted, given CBD is classified as a schedule 4 drug, if ECS is able to obtain the necessary licences under the Australian Special Access Scheme it may be possible for the company to import the dietary supplements.

"However, the legislative framework is uncertain and the parties would not conduct any such activities without obtaining the necessary authorisations and moving forward to a binding agreement," says ECS.

"Accordingly, the purpose of the MOU is for ECS and Disruption Labs to form a preliminary business relationship, to investigate and exchange information to ensure ECS is best placed to take part in the opportunity to sell, distribute and import CBD products in Australia and the Asia Pacific region in the future (should the legal landscape become more favourable and in the event that ECS can obtain all the necessary licences and permits to meet the relevant legal requirements)."

ECS traditionally works in the field of agribusiness and hemp food, and has the requisite growing and manufacturing licences for hemp. It also has licence applications pending with the Office of Drug Control to cultivate and manufacture medicinal cannabis.

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