Cannabis Professional’s daily roundup of industry news. View archive here.
TerrAscend said today it has received approval from Health Canada for a major expansion of its production facility in Mississauga; Aleafia said it is about to move into its expanded facility in southwestern Ontario; Australia announced it will fund medical research into cannabis; and Hexo announced the departure of its CFO.
– Rob Gilroy
TerrAscend triples licensed cultivation and processing capacity
TerrAscend Corp. said Monday it has received approval from Health Canada for significant expansion at its facility in Mississauga. This approval increases licensed space at the Mississauga facility nearly threefold, from 17,800 sq. ft. to 51,800 sq. ft., and includes additional cultivation capacity, a commercial kitchen, formulation rooms and increased primary and secondary packaging capacity to allow for new product formats and extracts for the Canadian Cannabis 2.0 market. “Achieving this approval milestone is a crucial step in our plan to cultivate premium grade cannabis at scale for distribution to the EU and other international markets,” said Michael Nashat, CEO of Toronto-based TerrAscend. First licensed for cultivation in July 2017, TerrAscend’s 67,300 sq. ft. GMP certified indoor cannabis facility in Mississauga is focused on serving the Canadian medical and adult-use markets, conducting research and development for plant sciences and formulations, and serving as a platform for export of cannabis products to Europe and other international jurisdictions.
Aleafia completes buildout at Ontario facility
Aleafia Health Inc. said Monday it has completed the construction of its Paris Processing facility’s Phase II expansion and secured full site occupancy on Oct.4, 2019, following the successful completion of inspections by the County of Brant in southwestern Ontario. The Paris Phase II expansion is a 30,000 sq. ft. facility entirely dedicated to the extraction, production, packaging and distribution of high-margin, value-added cannabis health and wellness products. The expansion builds upon the current, licensed and operational Paris facility, which features cultivation rooms and handles all extraction, packaging and order fulfillment for Aleafia Health’s medical, adult-use and international sales. Aleafia says the facility is purpose-built to meet European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP certification requirements. EU-GMP certified facilities demonstrate the highest level of pharmaceutical-grade quality, and securing the certification will allow Aleafia Health to begin exporting finished goods, including cannabis oils and capsules to the EU.2
Australia to fund research on medicinal cannabis
Australia will provide AUS$3 million ($2.7-million) for research on the use of cannabis to help cancer patients, its health minister said on Sunday, as the demand for medicinal cannabis products grows rapidly. While legal in most of Australia, such products are allowed only to patients on the prescription of a doctor, and a licence is required to grow and make medicinal cannabis. On Sunday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said access had been permitted to more than 11,000 patients, with most approvals this year. Health ministry data shows 78 companies now licensed to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis, up from one in March 2017.
The government, however, looks unlikely to change its stance on the recreational use of cannabis, however. Federal law prohibits such use, although late in September, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) became the first of the country’s six states and two main territories to legalise cannabis for personal use. Attorney-General Christian Porter is awaiting a copy of the final version of the ACT bill before deciding whether the federal government should override the territory legislation, the Weekend Australian newspaper said on Saturday. The ACT law, due to take effect from Jan. 31, conflicts with national drug laws that ban possession of marijuana.
Hexo CFO resigns
Cannabis company Hexo Corp. announced late Friday that its chief financial officer has resigned just five months after taking on the role in May. Hexo CFO Michael Monahan says in a release that he has decided to resign because the job requires him to spend the majority of his time in Gatineau, Que., and in Ottawa, which is not possible “given my family’s needs.” He adds in a statement that he has had a “very rewarding time” at Hexo and will assist the company as a consultant to ensure a smooth transition. Hexo’s CEO announced that its vice-president of strategic finance, Stephen Burwash, has accepted the role of CFO. In late May, Hexo announced Mr. Monahan’s appointment as CFO, as well as the establishment of Hexo USA Inc. in Delaware as part of its formalization of its presence south of the border.
- Canadian Press