Epsilon Healthcare appoints cannabis industry expert to leadership team

Epsilon Healthcare ASX EPN Edward Jones cannabis industry expert leadership team
In his new role, Edward Jones will focus on the THC Pharma cannabis extraction facility where the company plans to “significantly” scale up operations.

Diversified global pharmaceuticals company Epsilon Healthcare (ASX: EPN) has appointed cannabis industry professional Edward Jones to the role of divisional manager (cannabis operations) responsible for the performance of its subsidiaries THC Pharma and Canndeo.

Mr Jones has a leadership background spanning many senior roles within global pharmaceutical manufacturing and multi-national project environments.

He has previously led significant industry developments including the Valens Australia project with medicinal cannabis provider Cannvalate, where he assisted in the development of Valens’ presence in Australia.

He was also general manager responsible for the domestic operations of Canopy Farms (Australia) – a subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, one of the world’s largest medicinal cannabis companies.

His past experience includes quality and project management at GMP (good manufacturing practice) consultancy PharmOut and senior quality systems roles at biotechnology business CSL Limited (ASX: CSL).

Southport performance

In his new appointment with Epsilon, Mr Jones will focus on the performance of THC Pharma’s cannabis extraction facility in Southport, Queensland which is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Epsilon is looking to significantly scale up its level of operations at Southport and eventually pivot towards toll and contract manufacturing.

Chief executive officer Jarrod White welcomed Mr Jones to the Epsilon team.

“We are excited to have Edward [onboard] given his past experience in managing high profile cannabis operations and his technical background in quality and project management,” he said.

“Edward will support [our] existing management team in pursuing corporate and strategic initiatives aimed at the expansion of our cannabis production capabilities.”

Tax incentives

Epsilon last week confirmed it had received $1.02 million in research and development tax incentives from the Australian government.

The payment covers the 2019/20 financial year and relates to the research of new cannabinoid extraction processes for the development of oral medicinal cannabis oils, and cannabis agronomy activities.

“The receipt of these funds, combined with run rate improvements already implemented, ensures [we] are well funded to continue pursuing corporate and strategic initiatives,” Mr White said.

“The primary focus of these initiatives is revenue-generating activities including the onboarding of local and international partners seeking access to Southport’s production capacity.”

The government’s tax incentive scheme offers companies a refundable tax offset of up to 43.5% of eligible research and development activities.

Mr White confirmed approximately $480,000 of Epsilon’s payment would be used to draw down a $4 million secured debt facility with Mitchell Asset Management.

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