As Cuba’s relations with the U.S. gradually move towards normalization, James believes that the lifting of embargo could help boost Cuban cigar exports greatly as most of the top Cuban cigars have never been exported in bulk in the past 60 years.
According to reports, the U.S. imported 300 million premium cigars, and roughly 20 to 30 million are estimated to be Cuban cigars that made into the market via various channels. This makes the U.S. the biggest consumer for Cuban cigars. “When the cigars are legal, and there’s distribution, probably in the first few years, there will be a capacity of sales up to 100 million cigars because everyone would wanna try a Cuban cigar, the forbidden fruit. Everyone is gonna take a bite,” says James.
He also commented on how new technologies such as the temperature-controlled curing barns are improving the quality of cigars. You can also read the interview in UK Cigar Scene magazine’s December issue below:
Click on the image below to read the original interview.