Power Leaves CEO Pat McCutcheon said he never had plans to build a company rooted in coca leaves, but one day a pitch deck came across his desk that intrigued him. Fast forward to today, McCutcheon is spearheading an open-source distribution model for their proprietary ingredient to be used in wellness and consumer products.
“So now I've learned so much about this plant. It's so interesting, it has a very similar number actually to cannabis. It has 140+ different elements, minerals, and nutrients that are in the coca leaf and the plant itself lives between 70 to 100 years old. It's a perennial, it's not an annual. So it makes it so much more unique of a plant and also, obviously the stigma behind it makes it really exciting to come in and really make change for the indigenous communities that we’re working with,” McCutcheon said.
Power Leaves has lined up a 15-year exclusive deal with its indigenous partners, the Nasa (also known as Paéz), who are one of Colombia’s largest indigenous peoples.
“Indigenous communities of Columbia have a decree where they are legally allowed to cultivate, touch and transform into products the coca plants and coca leaf. And so this was really the first of its kind–a groundbreaking opportunity for an international company to come in and work with these wonderful people. And they've really given us now as a team, a new opportunity to bring sustainable revenue and opportunities to these communities that have otherwise been through a very difficult and challenging life in Colombia.”
To hear more on the legal hurdles behind the movement, formulation plans, and what happens to the psychoactive alkaloid once it's removed, listen to the NutraCast.