AusCann grows its medical cannabis footprint in Canada and Australia

AusCann ASX AC8 medical cannabis footprint Canada Australia

Not long after completing its second harvest in Chile, pharmaceutical company AusCann Group (ASX: AC8) has made plans to accelerate its cultivation in both Canada and Australia.

AusCann has entered into a research and development agreement with Jade Cannabis to undertake research and development work at its Canadian facility for the next 3 years.

Under the agreement, AusCann’s medical cannabis production will be supported by cannabis cultivation systems piloted and implemented by Jade Cannabis. The aim is to obtain greater yield per square metre of growing room in a given period, resulting in more cost-effective cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for patients.

AusCann has said that it is also working with Jade Cannabis on the design and construction of prototype scale cultivation equipment. Pilot scale experiments have demonstrated substantial increases in yield when compared with current indoor cultivation approaches.

To direct its ongoing development in partnership with Jade, AusCann has decided to appoint Luke Pigeau as its new Master Grower.

Mr Pigeau was appointed following an extensive global search and is expected to oversee AusCann’s cultivation activities including bearing responsibility for accelerating AusCann’s medical cannabis manufacturing operation in Australia.

Mr Pigeau has more than 10 years’ cannabis cultivation experience including the development of Canada’s current commercial licensed producer regime for companies like Agripharm and Mettrum Health Corp. AusCann hopes to harness his expertise across its entire suite of medical cannabis development projects in Australia and Canada; via Jade Cannabis and Tasmanian Alkaloids as the local partners.

“The research being done by Jade Cannabis will ensure that AusCann and Tasmanian Alkaloids can maximise the yields from our joint operation. We have elected to find an innovative growing partner and then provide them with some of the best technical expertise we can to support the development of a great system,” said Elaine Darby, managing director of AusCann.

Tasmanian operations

One of AusCann’s major development projects is occurring concurrently in Tasmania.

The company said that state-of-the-art, Conviron cannabis grow rooms and Argus Controls systems have been ordered for its Tasmanian facility.

AusCann and Tasmanian Alkaloids entered into an exclusive strategic partnership in May of last year to jointly establish the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution operations for cannabinoid pharmaceuticals in Australia and overseas.

The partnership received research, cultivation and manufacturing licences from the Office of Drug Control (ODC) in 2017, associated with Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) certified manufacturing facilities in Tasmania, enabling the manufacture of final dose form cannabinoid medicines.

AusCann intends to link its Canadian operations via Jade Cannabis with its Tasmanian activity in partnership with Tasmanian Alkaloids, with Conviron and Argus providing crucial logistical assistance.

“Over the last 30 years, we have developed an extensive installation base of controlled environment chambers and rooms throughout Australia in the plant science research sector. We are excited to work with AusCann, a company we see as a pioneer in the Australian medicinal cannabis market” said David Napier, Australian Manager for Conviron.

Conviron’s grow rooms deliver highly uniform and precisely controlled conditions that ensure consistent and repeatable yields, which AusCann requires to produce a pharmaceutical product. With rooms fully integrated and controlled by an Argus Controls system, AusCann’s cultivation team will be able to control, monitor and report all inputs and aspects of the environment including lighting, airflow, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and nutrient management.

With strong progress being made in Canada, Australia and Chile, AusCann is quickly establishing itself as one of Australia’s leading pharmaceutical companies that has wholeheartedly adopted cannabinoid medicines as its primary development path.

In addition to its work with Jade and Tasmanian Alkaloids, the company also works with Canada’s largest medicinal cannabis group, Canopy Growth Corporation, and Europe’s leading cannabis breeding company Phytoplant. The formulations supplied by Canopy Growth Corporation are already being used among an existing patient base of 24,000, according to AusCann.

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