Toronto’s Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI) has made its first American investment through a partnership with a seed genetics company that will help it market products infused with a rare cannabinoid.
On Thursday, Organigram announced that it would be investing up to $8 million in Portland Oregon’s Phylos Bioscience.
Organigram says Phylos is a leader in seed genetics that offers the highest potency tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) cultivars available. The company expects to launch whole plant-derived THCV gummies and vapes as early as this summer.
THCV is a psychoactive cannabinoid that can potentially help consumers with weight loss, anxiety and even Alzheimer’s — according to the cannabis education platform Leafly.
“THCV is often referenced for its apparent appetite-suppressing effect and provides an energizing, focusing and uplifting consumer experience, one that is clearly differentiated from the real or perceived appetite-stimulating effects of THC,” said Oranigram’s CEO Beena Goldenberg.
Organigram says it will become the first licensed Canadian producer to release high-potency whole plant-derived THCV merchandise in the country based on the genetic platform developed by Phylos. The partnership will also provide Organigram with access to genetic identification tools that will enable the development of unique new cultivars.
Organigram plans to market its THCV products globally following their introduction into the Canadian market.
“We intend to explore opportunities to expand our reach with THCV and robust, stabilized cannabis genetics into emerging and profitable international markets,” said Goldenberg.
“We mapped the cannabis genome in 2016 and have developed a suite of proprietary and patent pending processes, technologies and products. This will enable Organigram to efficiently accelerate its product development efforts as well and become a more cost-effective producer,” said Ralph Risch, CEO of Phylos.
Organigram recently expanded its international footprint by securing a supply agreement with the medical cannabis division of Berlin’s Sanity Group.
In February last year, Phylos completed a $7.6 million funding round led by Merida Capital Holdings which was used to help expand the company’s sales and marketing efforts.
Organigram’s shares dropped by 5.83 per cent Tuesday to $0.56 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.