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How A U.K. Oil And Gas Producer Diversified Into CBD Retail

Written by Peter McCusker

The discovery of a nitrogen well prompted a U.K oil and gas company to diversify into hemp and it is now committing all its spare cash to the fast-growing global CBD market.

Earlier this month Highlands Natural Resources – which owns eight shale oil and gas wells in East Denver, launched its first U.K. products through its offshoot Zoetic – after previously launching a CBD range in the U.S.

And executive chairman Robert Price said in a new market statement: “We will maintain our activities in natural resources but our spending commitments here have now been curtailed to essential maintenance of those assets only.”

In an earlier interview with Proactive London’s Andrew Scott, Nick Tulloch, Highlands’ Finance Director, said it moved into cannabis after successfully drilling a nitrogen well in Kansas. He said some of the balancing gas was hydrogen, with a combination of the two making for a powerful fertilizer.

Tests of the fertilizer gas on cannabis produced a 30% yield boost and as a result it established a hemp growing operation. With expectations that the CBD market will increasingly commodify, Highlands says it aims to position itself and the ‘start and end of the process’.

It says it will use its state-of-the-art, 33,000 sq ft growing facility in Colorado, to fine tune its seed genetics, while its outdoor growing facility will be used for wholesale and retail CBD production. He went on to say the oil and gas assets provides the company with a ‘secure long-term revenue stream to allow it to grow its hemp and CBD business’.

Zoetic’s initial U.K. offerings include CBD tinctures in flavours including natural, peppermint, melon and blood orange in two strengths – 500mg and 1,000mg. It plans to expand the UK product range in the coming months and sell into other European countries shortly.

In the U.S., the company sells CBD products on the LeafyQuick website and in 36 convenience stores. These products include Zoetic branded CBD tinctures and soft gels as well as the group’s Chilli brands of smokable and vapes. The Chill brand includes hemp flower and CBD infused herbal smokables, with Highlands saying they will be available to buy in 18 Schrader Oil petrol stations in the U.S. by September.

“Whilst our oil and gas revenues from our East Denver project remain our largest source of income at present, there is every reason to expect that this will change in the coming months as Zoetic continues to grow,” added Mr Price. Highlands Natural Resources is listed on the London Stock Market with a market value of £10m.

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About the author

Peter McCusker

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.