ROXBORO — Open Book Extracts (OBX), a two-year old industrial hemp company that controls the entire supply chain from soil to oil, is expanding its footprint into South Africa.
The Roxboro-based startup confirmed today it will be the principal distribution partner of Peter Bodill Agencies (PTY) LTD of South Africa. The company represents manufacturers that specialize in supplying products such as vitamin mixes, probiotics and industrial ingredients throughout the entire country.
OBX said it estimates that South Africa represents a “$6.4 billion market opportunity” for cannabis.
“Quality, safety and reliability are essential in the burgeoning South Africa cannabis market,” stated Peter Bodill, director of Peter Bodill Agencies, in a statement. “The caliber of the team and products from Open Book Extracts has exceeded our expectations. We are excited to be able to provide its high-quality CBD products, innovative cannabinoid blends and pure rare cannabinoids to our clients.”
OBX now joins global commercial distribution partner, Prinova Nagase Group, in a short list of principals vetted and approved by PTY for South African distribution.
Separately, OBX recently branched out into Asia, appointing Laurie Goldberg as OBX Asia’s chief executive officer. Goldberg, who founded and recently sold AmeriCraft Imports Limited, a Hong Kong-based craft beer importer and distributor, will lead expansion efforts into the Asia market.
In June, OBX also acquired Chilmark Labs and its Israeli affiliate, Beetlebung Pharma. That will enable the manufacturing of high-purity rare and minor cannabinoids at commercial scale, the company said.
“We’re thrilled to expand our footprint to provide safe and efficacious cannabinoid products worldwide,” stated Dave Neundorfer, chief executive officer at OBX. “While we are glad to see countries roll out regulations to permit non-THC cannabinoids in food, beverages and personal care products, we’re also planning clinical trials for safety and efficacy to support dietary supplement and pharmaceutical registrations.”
Neundorfer and Oscar Hackett launched OBX in 2018.
Earlier this year, the pair’s holding company, Steady State, raised $6 million to fund additional refinement equipment for large-scale brand partnerships, finished goods manufacturing equipment, genetics for the 2020 season, product innovation and clinical research.
It also raised $8 million last March, the majority of which went towards buying genetics for the 2019 planting season, down payments on equipment, the commencement of facility build-out and OBX team building.
Last spring, the Ohio-based pair put down roots in Person County, buying a 76,000-square-foot warehouse in Roxboro and converting it into a cGMP food grade processing facility.