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Signal Bay Swings Down East Coast, Licenses Cannabis Testing Lab in Florida
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 11:42 AM
SANTA MONICA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 1, 2017 / Signal Bay (OTCQB: SGBY) Chief Executive, William Waldrop wasn't kidding on July 20 when he said that the company's new mantra is "Coast to Coast," referring to an aggressive expansion strategy for the company's EVIO Labs cannabis testing unit. That announcement was part of a broader update that touched on a long-term lease in Costa Mesa, California for an accredited analytical testing services facility that will serve as a corporate hub for the Southern California market. Only days later, Signal Bay inked a definitive agreement to acquire Viridis Analytics MA, one of the few operating cannabis testing labs in Massachusetts, and now the company is making its presence in Florida, establishing a pattern of targeting the biggest markets in the U.S.
Florida, the most populous state in the South, was one of seven states to legalize marijuana for either medical or recreational use at the ballot box during the November 2016 elections. Florida, along with North Dakota and Arkansas, legalized medical marijuana. California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine, states where medical use of cannabis was already allowed, broadened their laws to decriminalize recreational use now too.
"We're putting a pin in the corners of the map of the country as cornerstones of our EVIO Labs business," Waldrop said in a phone call on the expansion. "We're targeting prime locations with established or evolving cannabis infrastructure and highways serving as corridors to large markets. With labs in California, Florida, Massachusetts and our home state of Oregon, we are covering nearly 71 million people, or about 22% of the total U.S. population."
To penetrate the Florida market, Signal Bay didn't make an acquisition or branch out on its own, instead deciding to partner with Kaycha Holdings, LLC, which will be rebranded as EVIO Labs.
"Each state has different dynamics. In this case, it was far more expeditious and efficient to work with a great partner in Kaycha, a company with deep community ties and that shares our core values of ensuring safe, clean cannabis to consumers," Waldrop explained during the call.
Currently, there are only seven licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) in Florida, with plans to increase that number to 17 per Senate Bill 8A, signed into law in June by Governor Rick Scott. Each MMTC can legally grow, process and dispense medical marijuana and, per the new law, open 25 dispensaries.
That means 425 dispensaries will initially be allowed in the state across the 17 MMTCs, dispensaries that will be held to high regulatory standards by the government in a market expected to be ground zero along with California for medical marijuana. Arcview Market Research estimates that the Florida legal cannabis market will soar by a stunning 140% compound annual growth rate to reach $1.6 billion by 2020.
The new EVIO lab will be run by a lab veteran with nearly two decades of experience in developing nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.
"We believe that we once again have a competitive edge over a limited number of peers that offer the advanced analytical testing services that we do. As the Florida market emerges, we anticipate that our labs will experience tremendous demand, so we're glad to be in as a forward-looking player in the space," Waldrop concluded.
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