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Coffee, Tea and CBD: SA retailer Zootly clinches Medspresso brand

International cannabis beverage brand Medspresso has entered the South African market through a strategic alliance and distribution deal with local cannabis retailer, Zootly. 

Medspresso’s holding company, the Nasdaq-listed Wuhan General Group, (WGG) released a statement on 9 February 2021, saying that it had struck up a formal collaboration with Zootly, a Cape Town-based online, retail and wholesale distributor of cannabis growing and smoking equipment.  

Zootly will have the SA license for Medspresso’s product range, which will initially focus on CBD-infused African coffee, but is likely to expand into a broader beverages and edibles range. 

 

Zootly prides itself on products for cannabis connoisseurs

 

Medspresso describes itself as an “eco-conscious brand that encompasses a range of high-quality premium CBD-infused functional beverages including two blends of coffee, Rooibos tea and a hot chocolate beverage that all come in Nespresso compatible pods”. 

The brand sources in-season coffee beans from exceptional producers around Africa.  It says its beverages undergo multiple rigorous cupping and tasting sessions against stringent standards. I

 

Nasdaq-listed WGG looking to create “premium African functional beverages’.

WGG, through its wholly-owned subsidiary MJ Medtech, is a bioceutical company focused on alternative plant-based cannabinoids and psilocybin medical research.  Its flagship products are  the Dr. AnnaRx and Medspresso brands. 

It has also launched a new, wholly-owned division, M2Bio to research and develop new psilocybin therapies to help patients who suffer from addiction, mental illness, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 

CEO Jeff Robinson has been eyeing the African market for some time with a view to creating “premium African functional beverages”. 

 

Last year he bumped up his international team with two South African appointments who were instrumental in putting together the Zootly deal:

  • Capetonian Johann McLoughlin as Director of Product Development and Visual Communications and Design. 
  • Rameez Adair of Johannesburg as Social Media Director 

 

WGG CEO Robinson and Zootly’s Hewlitt and Landman: Medspresso comes to SA

 

Robinson says he instantly hit it off with Zootly owners, Derek Hewlett and Chris Landman and their business goals were clearly in alignment: “I absolutely love what Derek and Chris are doing with Zootly and their plans for expansion. They’re really passionate guys with amazing energy and are on a great mission. We’re very excited to be working with them.” 

In an interview quoted on Global Newswire last year, Robinson said: “We are one of only a handful of companies in the world working with psilocybin and conducting clinical trials. On the CBD side, once the lockdown ends in South Africa, our products will be on store shelves. That would be the products in the Dr. AnnaRx and Medspresso brands. These are really exciting times for our company.”

 

Zootly says Medspresso a will take off in Cape Town

Zootly co-founder Hewlitt says: “Medspresso has very high-quality and cool products that align beautifully with the brands we sell on our online and offline shops. We completely loved how the Medspresso products tasted and are looking forward to seeing our customers sharing the same belief. Meeting Jeff Robinson and the Medspresso team was enlightening. We look forward to seeing what the future brings!

Zootly came to the fore as and upmarket retailer of cannabis-associated products in 2018 when the South African Constitutional Court ruled that the private consumption of cannabis was not against the law.  Canadians Hewlitt and Landman lost no time and quickly established several international relationships before launching their brand through a bricks and mortar outlet in Cape Town’s trendy Kloof Street. They named their operation after the Canadian expression for chilling: “to zoot”.  The company sells a wide range of growing mediums, vapes, CBD products and will now have Medspresso’s brand in their product range.

 

Read about CBD in Southern Africa

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