Organigram, WeedMD invest large in the cannabis industry

Organigram Holdings (TSXV:OGI) (OTCQB:OGRMF) recently updated their investors regarding their previous investment in Eviana Health Corporation (CSE:EHC). Organigram is participating in half of the private placement debenture offering with Eviana in exchange for a share of their commercial CBD production. The offering will be completed on September 27.

Eviana started production this month at their Serbian facility. The facility, in particular, specializes in Vitalis Supercritical CO2 extraction. Instead of using CO2 as a gas, this method turns the carbon into a near-liquid, making it easier to extract cannabinoids with more flavonoids, fewer terpenes, or whatever the producer may need.

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In this case, Eviana is using the process to extract a more pure form of CBD. For Organigram and other cannabis investors, this means new products, including CBD-based topical creams and cosmetics.

Organigram puts $10 million into Hyasynth Bioceuticals

Organigram invested in more THC-based genetics as well. They announced a $10 million strategic investment in Hyasynth Bioceuticals Inc. on Thursday, partnering with the biotech company to create a new selection of cannabinoids that can be used in a variety of medical and recreational products. The new partnership marks the largest investment in cellular agriculture research to date in Canada.

“Hyasynth's technology offers us access to the future of cannabinoid production today...We can throw out old assumptions about the scale, speed, and precision with which we can produce both extract-based medical products and a comprehensive and diverse range of recreational use products like edibles and beverages,” CEO Greg Engels said in a statement regarding the partnership.

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Hyasynth recently received a dealer’s license from Health Canada after a successful presentation of their research. The cellular agriculture research they specialize in is a process for growing cannabis in genetically modified strains of yeast.

Using yeast in this way is nothing new — bootleggers have been using yeasts since the turn of the century, even homebrewers use them now to brew their own IPAs. But at the commercial level, genetically modified yeasts and enzymes provide numerous economic benefits.

Increased efficiency, higher-quality product, and extending product life are just a few ways corporations have been using yeasts for decades. And in the 21st century, licensed producers will be using it to breed higher-quality cannabis and develop a more diverse line of products. By attaching hemp DNA to modified yeast strains, Hyasynth will be able to create cannabinoids of varying strengths and potency. The yeast also makes it easier to add cannabis to beverages, opening up a whole new realm of products for Organigram.

WeedMD paves the way to Australia with cannabis seeds

WeedMD Inc. (TSXV:WMD) (OTC:WDDMF) signed an exclusive supply agreement this week with Australia’s Medifarm. Medifarm is Australia’s first licensed producer of medical cannabis, and they will be using WeedMD’s exclusive cannabis genetics to supply the continent’s growing medical marijuana market. It marks the first time cannabis seeds have been imported into the country.

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WeedMD is one of the first (and few) licensed Canadian producers to have an agreement with Australia, something CEO Keith Merker considers to be an “honor.” It puts the company in a position to build a brand with new consumers based on trusted cannabis strains.

“WeedMD has differentiated itself by proudly supplying more than 20 percent of the Canadian cannabis industry with its highly-regarded cannabis strains. Today, we are honored to be one of the first Canadian LPs to welcome an international partner with the sale and export to Australia’s Medifarm,” said Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD in a statement. “As trusted and proven cultivators in our respective markets, we’re thrilled to see selected WeedMD genetics enter Australia and provide Medifarm’s patients with our trusted cannabis strains.”

Experts agree that consumers will demand more diverse cannabis products as the market grows. Genetics could be the key to this diversity if the science plays out properly. Not only will evolving strains offer more therapeutic benefits, but they will also give the market new ways to explore cannabis.

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