MOCA Finalist in Tender to supply the Italian Ministry Of Defense.

July 7th 2019

Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA) is one of four finalists shortlisted to supply the Italian Ministry of Defense (MOD) with 400kgs of medicinal cannabis

In a classic case of David and Goliath, a privately held Australian medical cannabis company competes against the worlds largest cannabis companies and is now one of only 4 companies under review and consideration by the Italian government to take the prize.

On the 18th of June, 2019 Italy announced a new tender for the supply of medicinal cannabis to supplement what the country is currently cultivating. Italy has increased cultivation and notwithstanding the increase of medical cannabis, it is still necessary to import cannabis from abroad to ensure the continuity of treatment of Italian patients under therapy. The Pharmaceutical Chemical Plant of Florence is currently the only Italian plant authorized to produce cannabis-based products for medical use in Italy.

The international tender had a very tight time-frame and closed on the 3rd of July 2019, interested companies had just one week to request more information from the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and submit applications to Rome. The tender caught the attention of cannabis company giants from around the world and was subject to extremely stringent quality and GMP certification criteria. Furnishing the Italian military is seen as a prestigious and gives great authority to the winning submission, so participation in the tender was spirited and fierce. One application was submitted by Canopy Growth, the company that in August 2018, Constellation Brands (a beer, wine and spirits producer) announced it would invest an additional US$3.8 billion.

The MOD called for three lots in the tender of medical cannabis and defined the quality and amount of supply. Bidders were able to submit their offers for a single batch or all of the following batches:

  • dried cannabis flowers with high content of THC (320 kg);
  • dried cannabis flowers with similar content of THC and CBD (40 kg);
  • dried cannabis flowers with high content of CBD (40 kg).

The supply will occur on a four-monthly basis up to the amount of 400 kg and the successful company will have two years from September 2019 to deliver the product. Italy is one of the largest European markets for medical cannabis and, with a population of 60 million, holds enormous potential for businesses looking to expand. In recent years, the Italian medical cannabis system has been struggling to meet patient demand, reported at over 20,000 patients in 2018.

Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA) is the first and only Australasian company to proceed to the final round in the MOD's tender and is up against the industry giants. MOCA is the only non-Canadian owned company in the finalists of the tender, which was expected to be dominated by North American Companies. MOCA directors Alessandro Sorbello and Emanuela Ispani were present at the Italian Military Offices in Rome last week for the opening of the public tenders and to respond to questions from the MOD. Being shortlisted against the three largest cannabis companies in the world is a great achievement for MOCA, companies like Canopy Growth are valued at over US$18 billion and are expanding exponentially.

"MOCA has arrived onto the global market by being extremely innovative and agile in its business operations, as a fully licensed Australian medical cannabis company, we are able to work with cultivators and suppliers around the world. The MOD were impressed with our technical procedures in developing cultivars and stabling plant reproduction to maintain applicability in our medication. Our network is enhanced because of our digital media partnerships which include online powerhouse OrganicMarijuana.com" Said MOCA CEO Sorbello.

Four companies proceeded to the final round in the tender, with the disqualification of Wayland Italia during review due to serious non-essential irregularities.

The four companies now under review by the Italian Military are:

  • Tilray Portugal;
  • Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia;
  • Aurora Deutschland;
  • Canopy Growth Germany.

MOCA is developing its Italian business and will import raw and refined CBD products directly from cultivators. The company has operation in Australia and is establishing a cultivation facility in New Zealand.

The remaining companies in the tender are all subject to providing additional information to the MOD and MOCA is completing its requirement currently. The 4 finalists in the tender have until Friday the 12th of July to meet all outstanding matters as indicated by the the Commission President Col. Flavio PAOLI. You can read the MOD's announcement and shortlist of companies here (in Italian). https://www.difesa.it/AID/Bandi_di_gara/Documents/2019/gara_fornitura_cannabis/verbale_apertura_documentazione_amministrativa.pdf

A Google Translated version can be found on this link https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LQY6ljODAce81YJY-ciYdwT7H82wqrA5