Last Updated on Monday, 29 July, 2019 at 11:51 am by Christian Keszthelyi
Canadian medical cannabis firm Mera, formerly known as Avana, has high hopes for Malta as the company considers the Mediterranean island nation a key player in its European expansion strategy. Emily Ondercin-Bourne, Marketing Manager at Mera Cannabis Corp, speaks to Business Malta about Mera’s Maltese facility in the pipeline.
“As part of our larger strategy to enter European medical cannabis markets, our upcoming Maltese facility will act as our cannabis processing and manufacturing hub. We will be importing crude oil into Malta to process into medical products such as tinctures (oils), gel capsules, sublingual strips and topicals (creams),” Ms Ondercin-Bourne says.
“Our product strategy is driven by our experience operating a network of medical clinics in Canada — CannaWay Clinic — where we have had the opportunity to learn about what is working for patients who are incorporating medical cannabis into their more traditional treatment plans (is one of the most mature medical markets),” the marketing manager adds.
Mera’s upcoming Maltese facility expects to leverage the design, standard operating procedures, process flows and equipment selection and validation from the company’s domestic processing and manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. Currently, the firm is working on securing the property in Malta that will nurture their facility.
“We are actively exploring all capital raising opportunities in Malta to support this project, including an initial public offering Prospects listing,” the marketing manager said, referring to Malta’s Prospects market, which is operated by the Malta Stock Exchange and is regulated as a multilateral trading facility.
Avana rebrands as Mera
As part of a larger rebranding initiative to better represent its products and services, formerly-known Avana Canada Inc has rebranded as Mera Cannabis Corp.
“Our rebrand to Mera symbolises a significant step forward for our business. The Avana name was originally established with the intent of representing a premium line of cannabis products. With the growth of our business, we needed an identity that could represent much more than just a product,” said Zubin Jasavala, Chief Executive Officer of Mera. “Mera, which is suggestive of “mother” in many languages, is more than just a memorable name; it represents the heart of our cannabis businesses,” the CEO added.
The Avana mark and brand is being used in connection with the company’s premium line of dried cannabis flowers, intended to launch in the Canadian market later this year, according to the press statement.
Avana Canada Inc signed a letter of intent (LOI) with economic development agency Malta Enterprise, marking the firm’s first step toward developing a medical cannabis production facility in Malta, according to a press statement by the company. Avana at the time of signing expects to use this facility as a medical cannabis processing hub, where it will import cannabis flower into Malta and process the flower into medical products for distribution to other European markets.
Mera is a family of cannabis brands and businesses positioned for growth in Canada and abroad. As a licensed producer under the Cannabis Act (Canada), the company focuses on medical cannabis product innovation, leveraging an exclusive partnership with Covar Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mera has an EU GMP-built cultivation and processing facility in St. Thomas, Ontario and it has submitted applications with Health Canada for additional licensed facilities in St. Thomas (processing) and Kingsville, Ontario (cultivation), which would give the Company the ability to expand its cultivation and processing footprints by up to 1.2 million square feet and 88,000 square feet, respectively.