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Canadian cannabis company expands in Australia and Portugal

Flowr, a Canadian Licensed Producer of cannabis products, has acquired a 19.8% interest in Holigen Limited (Holigen). Flowr will provide, among other things, its cultivation, facility design and construction IP for use by Holigen in the construction of its facilities in Portugal and Australia and for obtaining its final licenses in those territories.

Significant cultivation facilities, potential low-cost production
Holigen is a European-based cannabis company in the process of developing large-scale cannabis cultivation facilities and Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) compliant production facilities that are expected to provide finished medical cannabis products, pharmaceutical ingredients, and plants and seeds to medical cannabis markets globally. Holigen is in the final stages of obtaining one of the largest cultivation licenses in the developed world for outdoor and greenhouse facilities on 72 hectares (7.8 million square feet) in Portugal. This project has been designated a Project of National Interest by the Portuguese government, which ensures special handling and prioritization by government agencies and access to low cost financing.

Benefitting from Portugal’s climate, cost-effective land and labour, and the high crop yields it expects to generate by employing Flowr’s cultivation IP, Holigen could be among the lowest cost producers in the world.

“The combination of Holigen’s strong management team and incredible assets along with our cultivation, design and construction IP will create what we believe will be a worldwide leader in production” said Tom Flow, Co-CEO of Flowr.

Licensing near completion, GMP certification expected
Holigen expects to complete its licensing process for its first site in Portugal by mid-2019 and expects to be one of the few licensed producers in Europe that will produce products in GMP-compliant facilities.

Holigen has applied for licenses to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, import and export medical cannabis and derived products at two sites. These applications were considered compliant with local regulations by the health authorities in Portugal (INFARMED). Both sites are pending inspections to complete the licensing process. Holigen anticipates licenses to be granted for site 1 by Q2 2019 and site 2 by early 2020. Its Australian facilities have already achieved GMP certifications with respect to the relabeling and release of products. As the fit-out of the facility progresses, Holigen expects to arrange further GMP inspections.

In Australia, Holigen has strong ties to the country’s largest distributor of medical cannabis and holds the following medical cannabis licenses: Cultivation, R&D and Manufacturing from the Office of Drug Control and Drug Control Section Australia (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and GMP License from the TGA. Holigen is in the process of obtaining a New South Wales Schedule 8 pharmaceutical manufacturing license, which is the remaining license it requires.

Development details
Holigen currently is developing four cultivation facilities in Portugal and Australia along with production and R&D facilities. These sites include:

  • A 65 hectare (seven million square foot) outdoor cultivation site in Portugal that is expected to be partly operational in the second quarter of 2019 and fully operation in the first quarter of 2021 with potential production of more than 500,000 kg annually;
  • A 294,000 square foot greenhouse facility in Portugal that is expected to begin operating in the first quarter of 2020 with potential production of 110,000 kg annually;
  • An indoor facility in Portugal expected to begin production in mid-2019 with a potential capacity of approximately 3,500 kg annually and the potential capacity to extract up to 49 tons of dried product;
  • Approximately 90,000 square feet of planned GMP-compliant production facilities integrated into the Portuguese cultivation centers; and,
  • A 2.4 hectare site in Sydney suitable for cultivation and manufacturing, which includes a 3,500 square foot indoor cultivation facility with a potential capacity of over 1,000 kg annually.

“We are delighted to be working with Flowr to develop these valuable properties and licenses into one of the leading cannabis franchises in Europe and Australia,” said Pauric Duffy, Holigen’s Co-Founder. “In addition to developing the cultivation facilities, we are hard at work developing medical cannabis brands in our key markets, preparing to leverage the distribution partnerships we are forming, and evaluating alternative product lines like infused beverages.

“Flowr has the high quality, high yield growing technology and experience that we believe will quickly allow Holigen to execute on the very significant licenses we hold and are obtaining in both Portugal and Australia,” said Peter Comerford, Holigen’s Co-Founder. “With the partnerships we are developing, we believe we will be positioned perfectly within the Australian government’s ambitious strategy for significant export of medicinal cannabis announced in January. With the licenses we are obtaining, combined with Flowr’s proven cultivation technology, we believe this transaction places both companies in a unique position to act as a true medicinal cannabis multinational.”

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