Activity at Australian medical cannabis company AusCann Group Holding Ltd. (ASX:AC8) has been continuing to ramp up – and Canada again features heavily in recent developments.
Yesterday, the company reported it had appointed Canadian Luke Pigeau as Master Grower. Mr. Pigeau, who has more than a decade of cultivation experience at companies including Agripharm and Mettrum Health Corp., will be watching over AusCann’s Australian medical cannabis cultivation operation in Tasmania.
In other news from the company, AusCann also announced it had entered into an agreement with Canada’s Jade Cannabis, which will be undertaking research and development work at its Canadian facility for a three-year period initially, as well as working with AusCann on the design and construction of prototype scale cultivation equipment.
“The aim of the research is to obtain greater yield per square metre of grow room in a given period, resulting in more cost-effective cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for patients,” said AusCann in a statement.
Also announced was Canadian developed, Conviron cannabis grow rooms and Argus Controls systems have been ordered for AusCann’s Tasmanian facility, a venture it is carrying out in partnership with Tasmanian Alkaloids. The grow rooms and associated systems enable the control, monitoring and reporting of all inputs and aspects of the growing process including lighting, airflow, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and management of nutrients.
The Tasmanian cultivation partnership, established last year, may provide a much needed boost for Tasmanian Alkaloids. On the weekend, the ABC reported Tasmania’s poppy industry is in trouble, with farmers who have grown opium poppies for decades turning their backs on the crop. Demand for opioids is being suppressed somewhat by moves in the USA to address its opioid epidemic and other countries are ramping up production, beating Australia on pricing.
In an odd twist, medical cannabis may provide part of the solution to the havoc prescription opioid abuse has caused across the world. According to the US Department Of Health And Human Services, 115 died in the USA every day in 2016 from opioid overdoses.
Tasmanian Alkaloids’ operations previously covered around 40% of the world’s alkaloid raw material crop, but what its market share is now isn’t clear.