MMJ secures licence to grow medical cannabis in Canada

Published at Jun 30, 2016, in ASX Biotechs

In an Australian first, Health Canada has stamped the approval for cultivation and production of medical cannabis at MMJ Phytotech’s (ASX:MMJ) state-of-the-art Duncan Facility.

The wholly owned subsidiary of MMJ, United Greeneries, is now approved as an authorized Licensed Producer under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).

MMJ is now one of a select few companies globally with the capacity to commercially cultivate medicinal grade cannabis in a federally regulated system.

Out of 1,200 MMPR applications made to Health Canada by various companies, 1,000 have been rejected or withdrawn, with only 32 licenses granted in total since the establishment of the MMPR system in July 2013, highlighting the stringency of the process.

The Canadian MMPR is the most sophisticated medical cannabis regulatory environment worldwide, allowing for wide and easy consumer access and for the large scale commercial production of medical cannabis and cannabis extracts, including the plant’s narcotic compound THC.

Further significance drawn from today’s approval is the fact that regulations under federal Canadian law permit the import and export of medical cannabis across national borders, increasing supply potential to the world where legally permitted.

Duncan Facility

Located in Duncan, British Colombia, MMJ has invested approximately CAD$8 million on the construction and establishment of the Duncan Facility, which contains high compliance items such as a Level 8 Narcotics Vault and a full service in-house biochemical and analytical laboratory.

MMJ Duncan Facility

Total area at the Duncan Facility is 10,000ft2.

MMJ is awaiting identical MMPR approval for its much larger Lucky Lake facility, which if approved could provide a 1100% increase in production capacity.

Allowing MMJ to rapidly upscale production and progress its planned ‘farm to pharma’ strategy, seeking to generate revenue form the entire Medical Cannabis value chain.

MMJ’s Managing Director, Andreas Gedeon, commented:

“The granting of the Duncan MMPR license is a significant milestone for MMJ, as it underpins the evolution of our “Farm to Pharma” strategy. As the first Australian-based company to receive a Canadian production license, we are very encouraged by Health Canada’s endorsement of our facilities.

The Duncan license positions MMJ not only as a supplier to the existing Canadian MMPR patients, but also to the potential future regulated recreational market. The federal nature of the Canadian licensing system will also provide a potential gateway for the exporting of our products and will establish credibility with regulators for the Group when entering new markets.

While the team at UG in Canada is now firmly focused on the ramping up of production at our Duncan Facility, MMJ’s management will continue to implement and expand the Company’s global vertical pharmaceutical R&D and delivery technology platform to unlock maximum value for our shareholders.”

MMJ has two other wholly owned subsidiaries separate to United Greeneries, with Swiss based Satipharm which is already generating revenues from its CBD based medical products and Israeli based subsidiary PhytoTech Therapeutics involved in medical cannabis research.

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