By Daniel Casciato
Toronto-based Scythian Biosciences Corp. announced last month that it will purchase Ruskin, Florida-based grower 3 Boys Farms, a U.S.D.A-certified organic fruit and vegetable grower that received a medical marijuana license last year. Scythian has initiatives and outreach throughout South and Central America and Europe, and this is its first foray into the U.S. market.
“We’re purely medical-focused and cultivation, processing and dispensing of the highest quality medical cannabis products is truly in our DNA,” says Scythian director Brady Cobb.
The company hopes this recent acquisition will be the springboard to helping to get some key changes regarding medical cannabis on the federal level in the United States.
“3 Boys Farms is well known throughout Florida as an organic grower and one of the top organic greenhouse growers in the state,” says Cobb. “3 Boys has built an amazing medical team and built an amazing, sustainable organic farm.”
3 Boys Farms’ existing facilities include a two-acre odor mitigation space that is run 100% with harvested rainwater, solar pumps and repurposed high-volume chilled air from the cultivation greenhouses. Its innovations, including alternative energy use, greenhouse cooling designs and rainwater harvesting, were recognized and honored by the Governor’s Environmental Leadership Award.
According to Cobb, Scythian—to be renamed Sol Global Investments Corp.—will enhance and build out 3 Boys Farms’ processing facility to complement their greenhouse facility.
“We’re going to take a pure health and wellness approach,” says Cobb. “Scythian will be a true health and wellness company with a focus on medical cannabis and how our products can enhance the issues and conditions that Florida’s patients are feeling day to day. We love Florida and want to be able to provide high quality medicine to all those patients. It’s something really we’re excited about.”
3 Boys Farms is finalizing leases for locations in retail and medical corridors in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, North Miami Beach, Dania/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Port St. Lucie, Stuart and St. Petersburg, with additional locations slated for Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
“We’re different in the sense that we have a very keen focus on developing the highest level of medical products,” says Cobb. “We plan to build a bioscience medically-based company that will distribute medicine at the highest level of quality assurance and quality control so patients know they can get a consistent and reliable product that will help them address their symptoms or conditions.”
Cobb stressed that this is not a typical private equity play where they want to go in to buy a company and just pump out as many products as possible.
“This is truly a bioscience company with a biosciences background that is really looking for a way to enhance the lives of the patients in Florida,” he says. “We’re committed to research and committed to developing the best medicine possible. Additionally, our financial partners are also leaders in the yoga/wellness space with several yoga studios either operating or nearing completion in Florida. Most importantly, we are also in the process of acquiring (subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals) one of the largest and innovative primary care/MSO medical clinics in the state of Florida, which is proof positive that we are more than a dispensary chain, we are a full health and wellness company.”
One way that Cobb hopes the company will make an impact on the cannabis industry in the United States is through its dispensary concept, which he describes as a 360 health and wellness concept. A huge focus of its dispensaries will be on education.
“We want to encourage patients to strive for wellness whether it’s through our products or education,” he says. For example, using our products to treat pain as opposed to addictive opioids. We’re looking at ways of educating consumers as to the value and benefits of cannabis in the various delivery methods. Neither patients nor physicians in Florida are sure of what they can purchase, what is available and more importantly, what delivery method gets them to the place they want to be from a symptom control standpoint.”
Cobb is passionate about cannabis because he lost his father to cancer in 2010.
“I saw what he went through firsthand as I was with him most of the time through the end,” he recalls. “Cannabis was something that allowed him to have pain relief as well as to eat, and it offset some of the conditions and some of the stuff he was dealing with from chemotherapy and the pain.”
As a lobbyist, Cobb has been engaged in the fight in Washington, D.C., to make cannabis more available across the country for years.
“This is something that has been critically overlooked on the federal level,” he says. “Your opinion of cannabis will change when you see that it affects people’s lives in a positive way without some of these bad effects of approved medical therapies. Even some of the more conservative policymakers and legislators are starting to recognize the benefits of cannabis for medical use.”
For more information, visit www.scythianbio.com.