Cannabis manufacturer and distributor Flora Growth has announced the acquisition of the Masaya brand, which is currently owned by leading cell biologist Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan, Ph.D. Flora will also obtain Manalo-Morgan’s patent-pending CBD formulations. Created by Manalo-Morgan and backed by her research, Masaya’s formulations of pure, potent CBD oil are 100% THC-free and have a long track record of positive testimonials collected over years of use. Flora intends to distribute the brand and its formulations worldwide.
Masaya will become an owned Flora brand sold in the U.S. and will be the first offering from Flora Life Sciences. In addition, it is expected that the original patent-pending formulation, Masaya Pure, will be used in Flora’s current clinical trials with the University of Manchester in the U.K. The formulation is also in the process of being registered with the Colombian regulatory agency — INVIMA — as one of the first distribution steps beyond the U.S.
“We are excited to announce the acquisition of Masaya. The brand’s formulation was developed by Dr. Annabelle for her son and has since been used by thousands of consumers. Amplifying Dr. Annabelle and her son’s beautiful story and improving the well-being of people around the world is our aim,” Flora Chairman and CEO Luis Merchan said. “This acquisition allows us to deliver on our promise to invest in safe, thorough, cutting-edge scientific research that can bring meaningful change via an efficacious and accessible product offering for people worldwide.”
As a member of Flora’s board of directors and as the company’s scientific advisor, Manalo-Morgan is responsible for leading Flora’s global research initiatives, including Flora’s ongoing clinical trial on the use of cannabinoids with patients who have fibromyalgia in partnership with the University of Manchester in the U.K. Those clinical trials are expected to expand into research on the use of cannabinoids for other medical indications in the U.K., at Flora’s research facilities in Colombia and in the U.S. It is anticipated that proceeds from the sale of Masaya products will contribute to the funding of this vital research.
After the birth of her son Macario in 2016, Manalo-Morgan endured watching him suffer from as many as 200 seizures per day which led doctors to remove 38% of his brain. Relentlessly, Manalo-Morgan searched for alternative solutions for Macario and eventually discovered CBD, which has helped Macario — now six — become a happy and thriving child.
“After my experience with my son Macario, I am very excited to bring Masaya to more consumers worldwide, to do my very best to help as many people as I can,” said Manalo-Morgan. “Both consumers and the global scientific community deserve more research and data on the science behind CBD, and I feel truly grateful to be working with the Flora team to help develop some of the highest-quality, scientifically vetted products in the world.”
Manalo-Morgan is a scientist, educator, author, mother of five and a respected key opinion leader. She is a cell and developmental biologist with a doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., with a background in neuroscience from Georgetown University. She earned her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology with a focus in cardio-oncology and has since become a philanthropist and entrepreneur focused on pharmaceutical innovation and clinical trial research in medical cannabis.
Flora is building a connected, design-led collective of plant-based wellness and lifestyle brands delivering compelling customer experiences. As the operator of one of the most extensive outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities, Flora leverages natural, cost-effective cultivation practices to supply cannabis derivatives to its commercial, house of brands and life sciences divisions.