Roots scores first RZTO sale in buzzing medical cannabis market

By Zoe Gross. Published at Nov 1, 2018, in Technology

Ag-tech pot-stock, Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO), has secured the first sale of its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) heating and cooling technology in the blooming medicinal marijuana market.

The sale follows directly on from promising interim proof-of-concept cooling results on medicinal cannabis planted in greenhouses during July, where cooled plants achieved a substantial increase in size and stem diameter compared to control crops in just two months, thanks to ROO’s RZTO technology.

ROO is creating disruptive, modular, cutting-edge technologies to solve major problems in modern agriculture, including plant climate management and the shortage of water for irrigation. Its patented RZTO technology optimises plant physiology for increased growth, productivity and quality by stabilising the plant’s root zone temperature.

During its world-first proof-of-concept in northern Israel, ROO's RZTO cooling system was used to keep the root zone of cannabis plants at more than 7 degrees below the root zones of the control crops and kept a favourable temperature range.

This was a collaboration with Canndoc Limited, one of Israel’s leading medical cannabis growers. These encouraging interim results look to offer sizeable value to farmers in the medicinal cannabis space — one that’s expected to reach US$55.8 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, the initial order, which is valued at A$47,000, will see ROO installing its RZTO heating technology in four areas within the greenhouse: plant quarantine, mother plant, rooting greenhouse and growing-tables. This will be in central Israel, a fully legalised medical cannabis jurisdiction.

This latest development highlights the relevance and strength of the RZTO system on a variety of crops and conditions. It’s also in line with ROO’s marketing strategy that centres around initial pilots on select crops that lead to commercial orders.

“Roots’ first sale to the local cannabis sector so soon after the interim results were published highlights the sizeable opportunity this market presents for our heating and cooling technology,” Roots CEO and co-founder Dr. Sharon Devir said.

“We expect this order will be the first of many as we continue to demonstrate the benefits of root zone heating and cooling on cannabis crops in varying climates and growing conditions.

“This sale is a good example of the versatility and adaptability of Roots’ RZTO system on various crops, in protected agricultural as well as in open fields. It supports our step-by-step pilot-to-sales marketing approach of conducting pilots on select crops in various conditions to prove its efficiency.

“A hybrid system, it will comprise of ground source heat exchange coils and a heat pump to heat the roots during winter and cool them in summer, using very little energy at a fraction of the cost compared with traditional air heating and cooling systems.

“We believe this sale will support a growing body of evidence that our technology provides optimal growing conditions essential for achieving high yield and healthy plants,” she said.

This encouraging development comes on the heels of ample positive news flow from ROO. Last week, the company revealed it has sold its first RZTO system for use on basil crops in Israel — another situation in which an encouraging pilot has reinforced the efficacy of ROO’s razor-sharp tech in diverse conditions, thereby opening commercial doors and playing nicely into the aforementioned strategy.

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