Launch of Curaleaf International driven by the liberalisation of cannabis accelerating across Europe

London 1 November 2021 – Curaleaf International (the “Company”) (formerly EMMAC Life Sciences Group), part of Curaleaf Holdings (CNSX:CURA), Europe’s largest vertically integrated cannabis company, is pleased to announce its official rebrand to the European market. It has been three years to the day since the UK Government’s landmark decision to legalise cannabis-based products for medicinal use, paving the way for further significant developments to the cannabis sector. In this time Curaleaf International has experienced exponential growth in cannabis revenues, as the demand for premium medicinal cannabis continues to grow.   

Curaleaf International’s cannabis flower products and extracted cannabis-based products now supply five separate markets, including Germany, Europe’s largest market for medicinal cannabis which is expected to be worth over €840 million by 20251. In the UK, specifically over the last 12 months, the number of patients using the Company’s products have increased fivefold. 

Building on the momentum within the European medicinal cannabis market, Curaleaf International expects to see significant regulatory change across Europe for adult use (recreational) cannabis over the coming years with expectations that the total European cannabis market will be worth €3.2 billion by 20251. Curaleaf International expects the trends to follow that of Canada and the USA, which both started with the legalisation of medicinal cannabis before moving to legalise cannabis for adult use. With a population of approximately 740 million people, Europe presents a greater market size than that of North America. 

The potential commercial impact of cannabis legalisation in Europe is significant. One in 10 Europeans use cannabis every year, while a quarter of people admit to having used cannabis at least once in their lifetime. The annual sales in illicit market cannabis are estimated at around €11 billion1.  As highlighted in The European Cannabis Report: 6th Edition1, it is projected that sales of adult-use cannabis will reach €200 million by 2023, coming close to €800 million in 2025. Taking into account growth in the recreational sector due to decreasing stigma and ease of access, Prohibition Partners increased their total market estimate from €800 million to €3.2 billion by 20251.

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The Company expects that over the next three to four years significant regulatory changes will occur across the continent. Recent progress has notably occurred in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. Since May 2021, Switzerland allows the sale of adult use cannabis under a trial basis.  In Zurich, the country’s largest city, consumers will be allowed to buy cannabis products from pharmacies and social clubs.3 In the Netherlands, 10 licences have been issued for a recreational cannabis pilot project to supply 79 “coffee shops” in 10 municipalities. In Germany, the largest market in Europe for medical cannabis, the likely new coalition Government under the SPD, Greens and FDP parties are all in favour of legalising adult use cannabis.  Additionally, Italy could be the first European nation to make adult use cannabis legal. The country is due to have a referendum proposing the legalisation of adult use cannabis in 2022, with an expected result of 57% voting in favour of legalising4, the potentially €8 billion market presents a lucrative opportunity for first movers such as Curaleaf International. 

With the anticipated regulatory changes across Europe, Curaleaf International believes this is a pivotal moment for the European cannabis industry. The Company is uniquely positioned within Europe with a fully vertically integrated model, handling every aspect of the process from seed to shelf. The Company has two operating EU-GMP processing facilities and import and distribution capabilities in place in the UK and Germany.

Commenting on the European opportunity, Antonio Costanzo, CEO of Curaleaf International, said: “We have seen good growth in medicinal cannabis across Europe, and building on this momentum, the official launch of Curaleaf International has been designed to create a European cannabis platform to capitalise on the rapidly emerging opportunities that are accelerating in line with regulatory change and cultural acceptance. The landscape in Europe is changing and we can see similar clear patterns to the progress in North America for adult use cannabis. As the only established fully integrated cannabis company in Europe, our first mover advantage gives us complete control over the supply chain, and this, coupled with our science led approach leaves Curaleaf International best positioned to capitalise on this potentially enormous market.”

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