AusCann (ASX: AC8) has announced the planting of a second medicinal cannabis crop in Chile, with harvest expected in the first half of next year.
The Australia-based company said its 50%-owned joint venture DayaCann planted the crop at its 30-hectare facility south of Santiago following the grant of a second cultivation licence in late November.
The Chilean government only awards one-year licences for medical cannabis cultivation and DayaCann, owned in a 50/50 partnership between AusCann and Fundacion Daya, currently holds the sole licence in the country. Under the licence, up to 435 plants are permitted to be planted at the facility.
“The harvest of our first crop in Chile in April this year saw AusCann yield over 400kg of dried cannabis product,” AusCann managing director Elaine Darby said.
“We have since selected the highest yielding strains from that crop and are now cultivating our second crop using these strains.”
According to AusCann, harvest of the crop is expected to begin in the first half of 2018. The extracted cannabis strains will then be processed into trial cannabinoid formulations for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain.
The company plans to put the medication through clinical trials and register it with the Chilean National Institute of Public Health, which would allow the product to be exported.
The DayaCann joint venture is working on establishing a supply chain to provide the medication to several nearby countries where medical cannabis is now legal including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Panama, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
AusCann is licenced for research and cultivation within Australia and has a strategic partnership with Tasmanian Alkaloids, which produces around 40% of the world’s opiates. While awaiting the approval of a manufacturing licence from the Office of Drug Control, the partners are currently preparing cultivation and manufacturing facilities in Tasmania to be ready for planting in 2018.
In addition, AusCann is partnered with Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Canopy Growth Corporations, the largest producer of medicinal cannabis in North America.