Portugal-based Somai Pharmaceuticals has signalled its launch into the Australian market with plans to manufacture and distribute a range of vape and oil products in partnership with US-based Airo Brands.

Somai, which operates a 3,800 square metre facility near Lisbon, will exclusively make Airo’s vaporiser battery technologies and its AiroPod oil formulations with the first products expected to be available under the Special Access Scheme in the second quarter of the year.

Products will also be distributed in Germany, Poland and Switzerland.

Airo was founded in 2017 with products stocked in more than 1,700 licensed medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries across 23 US states, in addition to Puerto Rico.

For Somai, which operates in the fields of extraction, research, development, formulation and distribution of EU-GMP pharmaceutical cannabis products, the Airo products are expected to be the first of many it distributes in Australia.

Somai founder and chief executive, Michael Sassano, said the collaboration will put Airo “ahead of the crowd in global expansion”.

“Our Airo product offerings will have a global reach with EU-GMP quality standards, and as global markets expand, we will be positioning the full line of Airo products far into the future,” he said. “Europe and other continents are moving forward, and we are proud to bring the best vaporisers to the global markets.”

Airo chief executive Richard Yost described the partnership as a “milestone”.

“It was important to find a partner who shared our commitment to quality and focus on the consumer. We found that with Somai,” he said.

“We were not only impressed with their state-of-the-art Portugal facility, but also with the quality of their team. It’s a great match.”

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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