Monday, September 23, 2019

Cannabis-infused hot sauce launched in Puerto Rico

By on March 12, 2019

Has secured distribution ‘at over 80%’ of island’s dispensaries

(Courtesy)

SAN JUAN – TPZ Ventures, doing business as Tropizen, a cultivator and manufacturer of medical cannabis products in Puerto Rico, has launched a cannabis-infused “Puerto Rican-style” hot sauce, known locally as pique, for sale at dispensaries throughout the island.

The product joins a line of cannabis-infused edibles that includes fruit gummies offered in natural flavors such as passion fruit, mango, pineapple and quenepa (a local seasonal fruit also known as Spanish lime), Power Bites, a high-protein energy bar, and traditional pilones, an infused edible in sesame, passion fruit and coconut flavors.

“We are very excited about this product, how we are teaming with local farms to produce it, and the excitement we are seeing from patients as they discover a new way to add medical cannabis to their daily lifestyle,” stated Marni Meistrell, co-founder of Tropizen.

Tropizen Pique is manufactured at its 22,000 square foot facility, “using locally sourced ingredients, including salt from Cabo Rojo and three different kinds of peppers.” One of them is so rare, the company said, that it teamed up “with experienced farmers to grow the amount needed for large-scale production.”

Local growers Frutos del Guacabo in Manatí, Greens to Go Puerto Rico in Aibonito and other farms supply the peppers and herbs like cilantro, oregano and recao. Raw whole-plant cannabis oil is used in the formula “to retain the plant’s optimal health benefits as well as enhance the flavor,” the company said.

The development process for the sauce lasted almost two years. Each 2-ounce bottle contains 120 milligrams (mg) of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis, “with 5 milliliters (half teaspoon) delivering a dosage of 5mg with a spicy, but flavorful kick,” according to the makers.

The company said it secured distribution for the sauce “at over 80% of medical cannabis dispensaries” on the island within “just a few weeks.” Additional dispensaries are “set to be added once production capacity increases,” Tropizen assured.

In November, TPZ Ventures planned to issue up to $2 million of equity through Puerto Rico-based Security Token Offering (STO) provider InPortal. It said Tropizen’s expansion was being funded through the Series A offering and would be augmented through the issuance of a Tropizen Series A Token, an on-chain security issued through the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That month as well, the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus-Leader reported that Capstone Capital Trust said in a complaint that it invested $1 million into TPZ Ventures, Encanna Products, TPZ Manufacturing and Canna Retail. The lawsuit says Capstone and TPZ made a deal that provided the former with 12 percent ownership in the companies in exchange for the loan.

Terms were later negotiated to restructure the loan, but the complaint says TPZ backed out of the new agreement. Capstone sued but, on March 12, the U.S. District Court ruled the complaint  “dismissed on the merits, without prejudice, each party to bear his or its own costs and fees.”

In its product launch release March 8, Tropizen said it has made a “multi-million dollar contribution to Puerto Rico’s economy” through its investment in people and operations. It has 17 full-time direct employees, “a number that is expected to reach 50” by the end of this year.

“We are committed to promoting and developing top-level agriculture production in Puerto Rico through our own operations and through strategic partnerships,” Meistrell added.

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