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AusCann Group Holdings to accelerate medical cannabis strategy through master grower appointment

The company has appointed Canadian Luke Pigeau and entered a research and development agreement with Jade Cannabis.
Cannabis growing facility
AusCann is seeking to maximise yields from its cultivation operations

AusCann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX:AC8) intends to accelerate its Australian medical cannabis manufacturing operation with the appointment of Canadian Luke Pigeau as master grower.

Pigeau, who was appointed following an extensive global search, will oversee AusCann’s Tasmanian Alkaloids cultivation operation in Tasmania.

The appointment is complemented by the company entering into a research and development agreement with Canadian group Jade Cannabis.

READ: AusCann Group harvests second crop in Chile

AusCann managing director Elaine Darby said: “We are delighted to have appointed Mr Pigeau as master grower with oversight of our Australian cultivation operations.

“Luke brings a wealth of experience to the role, and in conjunction with the research being done by Jade Cannabis, will ensure that AusCann and Tasmanian Alkaloids can maximise 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.”

READ: AusCann Group Holdings' receipt of cannabis oils from Canopy Growth is imminent

AusCann is bringing together leading expertise and operations across all aspects of the medical cannabis value chain, beginning with cultivation and production, through to manufacture and distribution of products.

AusCann's vertically integrated business model.

Pigeau has more than 10 years’ cannabis cultivation experience and initially worked under Canada’s first cannabis licensing program.

He honed his skills and worked diligently to become a valued asset in Canada’s commercial licensed producer regime for companies like Agripharm and Mettrum Health Corp.

Jade Cannabis engaged

To complement the appointment, AusCann has engaged Jade Cannabis to undertake research and development work at its Canadian facility for an initial three-year period.

Going forward, the agreement will see AusCann’s medical cannabis genetics supported by cannabis cultivation systems piloted and implemented by Jade Cannabis.

This research is aimed at obtaining greater yield per square metre of grow room in a given period, resulting in more cost-effective cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for patients.

Optimising cultivation system

The output of this research will include the development and optimisation of the AusCann cultivation system.

AusCann 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.

This grow system orientated research complements Australian-based research in genetics and plant breeding.

Extensive cultivation experience

The founders of Jade Cannabis have extensive experience in cannabis cultivation.

Co-founder Kenneth Langford also co-founded The Peace Naturals Project, now Peace Naturals, the first commercially licensed medical cannabis company in Canada in 2011.

As Peace Natural’s chief innovation officer, he developed a commercial schedule that was able to harvest a crop every two weeks from four flowering rooms.

Another Jade Cannabis co-founder Martin Beya has had almost two decades of experience in licensed medicinal cannabis production and is an expert fabricator of Jade Cannabis' ingenuity.

Incorporated in 2014, AusCann is the only ASX-listed company with the full set of necessary licences to grow and manufacture cannabinoid medicines in Australia.

The company is initially targeting medications for neuropathic and chronic pain in Australia and Chile while exploring global export opportunities.

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