CALGARY, AB, Sept. 7, 2022 /CNW/ – The Hempshire Group, Inc. (TSXV: HMPG) (“Hempshire” or the “Company“), a California-based non-tobacco and non-nicotine smokable alternatives company that formulates and sells its own proprietary brand of cannabidiol hemp smokes (“CBD Hemp Smokes“) under the MOUNTAIN® Smokes label, announces receipt of regulatory approval to import its products into the European Union (“EU“), and the designation of an exclusive European master distributor.
Hempshire is pleased to announce it has received notice from the Federal Public Health Food Safety and Environment Service of Belgium, an EU member nation, that MOUNTAIN® Smokes have been found to conform with European Union Common Entry Gate (EU-CEG) regulations, including regulations governing tobacco and smokable products and the pertinent regulations setting maximum THC levels at under 0.2%. The notice allows MOUNTAIN® Smokes to be legally imported into, and commercially sold in, the country.
Access to the European Union (EU)
As per EU member state reciprocity for the inter-member commercialization of goods, the Belgian authorization allows Hempshire to pursue commercialization and sales across the EU – the largest ‘single market‘ in the world1 – provided it complies with individual member nations‘ specific ‘local‘ regulations, such as packaging in the local language, and inclusion of any locally-required warning labels.
The Belgian authorization and resulting EU reciprocity is an important achievement for Hempshire and allows the Company to pursue the European market which has an average smoking rate of 28.7%2, 31%2 higher than the per capita smoking rate in the United States. In population terms, the latest available statistics show that 30.8 million American adults smoke tobacco cigarettes, compared with approximately 112 million adult smokers in the EU-28 countries3.
Exclusive European Master Distributor
To accelerate growth across Europe, Hempshire is also pleased to announce that it has designated Switzerland-based distributor, Montagnaria Group AG (“Montagnaria“), as its exclusive master distributor for Europe, including the 28 member states of the EU, all non-EU European countries, and including all countries in the Schengen Area.
Prior to the expanded mandate, Montagnaria was Hempshire’s exclusive distributor in Switzerland, and through initial test orders placed in 2021, Montagnaria has been successful in the placement of MOUNTAIN® Smokes into approximately 400 retail stores and smoke shops throughout Switzerland. In addition, Montagnaria was a key partner in assisting Hempshire obtain Belgian government approval to sell MOUNTAIN® Smokes in that country, opening the door to the entire EU.
Montagnaria will also be arranging European warehousing and fulfillment facilities to facilitate servicing of retailer accounts, convenience stores and smoke shops across Europe, and will be working closely with Hempshire to finalize a European-wide sales and distribution plan.
“We are very pleased to be awarded the exclusive distributor rights to the MOUNTAIN® Smokes line of CBD Hemp Smokes across Europe and the EU, and we look forward to offering retailers and consumers beyond Switzerland a very attractive and compelling smokable alternative. The feedback we have received over the last year of market testing has been very positive with regard to product quality, consumer and retailer interest, and a superior smoking experience,“ stated Montagnaria Founder and CEO, Patrick Glausser.
Hempshire President and CEO, Martin Marion, added, “Over the past year, Montagnaria has proven themselves to be an important strategic partner. They have worked with us to research and plan the most effective path to penetrating the US$261 billion4 tobacco products market in Europe and have helped navigate the evolving regulatory landscape for hemp products and smokable alternatives in Europe and the EU. We are confident that Montagnaria will be instrumental in helping MOUNTAIN® Smokes create significant brand awareness, on-shelf distribution, and sales demand in this high-volume market.“
Incorporated in 2019, The Hempshire Group, Inc. formulates and markets its own proprietary brands under the MOUNTAIN® Smokes label with <0.3% THC, and MOUNTAIN® Zeros label with non-detectible, <0.0001% THC. These labels are offered in Natural, Pineapple Squeeze™ and Mint Squeeze™ flavors. MOUNTAIN® Smokes look, feel, burn, and are packaged like tobacco cigarettes, but without the harmful effects and addictive properties of tobacco and nicotine, and without additives or chemical preservatives. Hempshire also offers private white-labeling services and contract manufacturing services, through its partners, for non-owned CBD Hemp Smoke brands in the United States and internationally.
Information about the Company’s MOUNTAIN® Smokes line of CBD Hemp Smokes can be found at the Company’s ecommerce website at https://mountainsmokes.com.