Kaya expands in California
Bali Vaswani, chief executive officer of NUGL and Founder of Kaya (Photo: Forbes)

Kaya Group, the first medicinal ganja herb house in the Caribbean, has announced entry into a collaboration agreement with Rich & Ruthless to launch its brand, Jamaican roots herbs, in the California market in the United States. Kaya sells cannabis, also known as ganja or marijuana.

According to California’s Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the state has taken in nearly US$4 billion in marijuana tax revenue since the state’s adult-use market launched in 2018. For the first quarter of 2022, the state saw about US$294 million in cannabis revenue generated from the excise, cultivation and sales tax on marijuana.

In a company release, Kaya indicated that Rich & Ruthless services more than 100 dispensaries, delivery services, and CBD stores statewide.

Rich & Ruthless Cannabis was established in 2019 by Lil Eazy E and Arnold “Bigg A” White, along with the founders of Rich & Ruthless Records, as a collective for cannabis growers, products, and suppliers that blend hip hop culture with the cannabis community.

Kaya itself is a vertically-integrated, Jamaican medical cannabis company with diverse operations headquartered in Ocho Rios, St Ann. Its operation includes a licensed cultivation facility with over 40 genetics, a processing facility, three retail dispensaries, and conditional licences to transport and operate therapeutic wellness spas. The Kaya Group was the first to open a medical cannabis retail location in Jamaica in March 2018. It also operates a ganja franchise in Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

The company has an established partnership with NUGL which is a cannabis business directory and search app that offers an unbiased platform for both businesses and consumers. This app is a multimedia platform providing marketing opportunities.

Kaya Group indicates that to date it has produced 18 cannabis strains.

Company sources said that sales of Jamaican roots herbs in the California market will add to the growing sales numbers of Kaya Inc and NUGL.

For the month of May 2022, Kaya Group posted US$200,868 in sales and had positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$42,355, which marked the company’s second month of positive EBITDA this fiscal year.

For the first five months of fiscal 2022, which include January through May, Kaya Inc had unaudited revenues of US$941,871.00 and adjusted EBITDA of -US$61,920.00. For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021, Kaya posted unaudited gross revenues of $2.2 million, with gross margins of 61 per cent. Adjusted EBITDA for Fiscal 2021 showed what the company describes as a small loss of -US$71,000.00.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Kaya Group has granted Rich & Ruthless the exclusive right to promote, market, distribute and sell the Kaya brands to retailers for resale in California.

Bali Vaswani, chief executive officer of NUGL and founder of Kaya, said that the extensive distribution network developed by Rich & Ruthless will continue growing Kaya Group’s product portfolio in the largest adult-use market in the United States.

Vaswani commented, “The Kaya brand is much more than just a name on a box. Anyone who has been to one of our world-class facilities in Jamaica knows Kaya represents thousands of years of healing bodies and minds around the world.”

Rich & Ruthless President Lil Eazy E commented, “Our fully integrated distribution footprint throughout California allows us to commercialise brands through our retail and wholesale market with the consistency and quality our medical and adult use consumers have come to expect.”

California collected about $817 million in adult-use marijuana tax revenue during the last fiscal year. That represented 55 per cent more cannabis earnings for state coffers than was generated in the 2020-2021 period. More than half of the state’s cities and counties currently do not allow any type of cannabis licensees to operate in their area, which Kaya-NUGL says leaves tremendous potential for growth.

Vaswani stated, “Kaya has a role in Jamaican and cannabis history to build a brand that represents the values and duties synonymous with Jamaica. Each Kaya retail herb house can house over 1,000 patrons for events. Our non-medicinal divisions exclusively serve our famous Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee and signature thin crust pizzas, which everyone has grown to love.”

Cannabis from Kaya

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