NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2022 – PRESS RELEASE – Azucarera El Viejo announced that it has entered into an agreement with Merida Capital Holdings LLC, a leading cannabis private equity firm with more than 75 companies in its portfolio, to build a world-class medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and finished goods production facility on its land in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

With the passage of Expediente No. 21.388, Costa Rica has legalized the use of cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes and is in the process of creating regulations around medical cannabis as well as hemp as a food additive. Expediente No. 21.388 is designed specifically to offer Costa Rica’s population an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals by allowing patients access to medical cannabis as a treatment for a variety of ailments and conditions, as well as therapeutic use for those suffering from chronic conditions. 

By partnering with an established leader in medical cannabis investments, El Viejo will bolster its leadership position in the agricultural production industry by adding medical cannabis to its diverse portfolio that includes both sugar and other finished goods. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Merida and to bring premier industry knowledge and experience to our production in Costa Rica,” said Alfonso Gomez, vice president of Azucarera El Viejo.

Tapping El Viejo’s leading cogeneration and carbon-friendly methods as well as Merida’s vast experience in building medical cannabis facilities, El Viejo and Merida intend to create a sustainable cultivation and production campus that aims to help smaller operators bring products to market for the benefit of Costa Rican patients. 

“El Viejo’s presence as a well-respected and established operator in both the agricultural and finished goods industries is a perfect complement to Merida’s medical cannabis focus,” said Mitch Baruchowitz, managing partner of Merida Capital Holdings. 

The project is expected to begin in 2023 and will be located on El Viejo’s agricultural production site in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.  The project, which seeks to eventually include manufacturing facilities to assist smaller growers, as well as an innovation lab testing facility, may employ up to 200 people in its first phase, growing to more than 500 employees by the end of its third year.