PALM BEACH, Florida, March 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Marketnewsupdates.com News Commentary
It is expected that 2018 will be the milestone year that Canada legalizes recreational cannabis, signaling an end to a long period of cannabis prohibition in the country. In a historical parallel, the 20th century witnessed a 14-year period of alcohol prohibition in the United States, and today, alcohol is a multi-billion dollar mainstream market. Big brand names that now dominate the alcohol industry do so because they created brand loyalty over time through research and development that produced the most popular elixirs. In the cannabis market, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX: ACB) (OTC:ACBFF), Supreme Cannabis Company Inc (TSXV: FIRE) (OTC: SPRWF), Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX: WEED) (OTC: TWMJF), Maple Leaf Green World Inc. (TSXV: MGW) (OTCQB: MGWFF) and RavenQuest Biomed Inc. (CSE:RQB) (OTC:RVVQF) (Frankfurt:1IT) are companies that are using research and development strategies in a race to cultivate the 'Cognacs' of cannabis.
The Canadian cannabis industry has already evolved into what Deloitte estimates is an $8 billion market - and it is expected to keep growing. As the recreational use market evolves, new scientific knowledge is being developed. Great scientific minds are working to identify and sequence what will make a strain better - and ultimately more popular.
Like developing the bouquet of a fine scotch, cannabis needs to go through this research and development transformation as well. RavenQuest BioMed Inc., a relatively little-known Canadian cannabis company, is building on a knowledge base to increase scientific understanding of cannabis genetics, with an endgame in mind to gaining consumer trust through delivering a consistent product, a key step towards developing a brand.
Mapping the 'Pot Genome'
Scientific knowledge is somewhat limited since cannabis has been listed as a controlled substance for many decades. In this new age of cannabis consumption, cultivar (the scientific term for strain) recognition is going to be important. Consumers will want to know exactly what they are consuming, and they will likely develop loyalty towards the brands they like.
Loyal Cognac lovers don't order VSOP brandy - they order Cognac by name. Legendary liquor baron Joseph Seagram used research and development to master alcohol distillation, and out of that alchemy, the famed Seagram's Seven Crown Whiskey emerged. In the parallel world of cannabis, brand recognition will emerge as specific cultivars gain popularity. Scientists know this, and they are already studying the genetic structures of cannabis plants.
DNA became a household word when scientists famously mapped the pig genome years ago, and scientists are now mapping the 'pot genome'. RavenQuest BioMed Inc. is one contender that has taken a highly scientific approach towards developing strains that are unique enough for consumers to identify with and ideally develop a brand affinity for.
The company has hired experts in genetics, botany, and biochemistry, and has partnered with scientists at McGill University in Montreal who are doing cannabis research and development at the academic level. The research team is focused on key issues facing the cannabis industry surrounding cultivar recognition, identification, and stabilization. Dr. Donald Smith, who famously patented technologies for improvement of crop yields, has isolated, identified and mapped out plant genetics. Research and development in a laboratory environment moves the cannabis industry away from 'grassroots' and towards pharmaceutical grade production.
Building the Ultimate Bud Brand
All of this research is ultimately aimed at improving cannabis strains to create 'bud brands' that will appeal to sophisticated recreational cannabis users. "Original Gangsta (OG) Kush" is one of the most popular mainstream cultivars, and has been cited for making up "the genetic backbone" of west coast cannabis varieties. Avid cannabis consumers order OG Kush by name, and the cultivar has been completely DNA sequenced. RavenQuest BioMed Inc. purchased 1,200 DNA snippets of many cultivars, including OG Kush, to be grown - as well as to obtain plant breeder's rights for newly developed OG Kush cultivars.
The research team is creating numbered codes based on cultivar recognition, where digits represent either sativa, indica, or a hybrid. The company separated out the cannabinoids (CBD), which are known to provide pain relief for the medical market, and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis used for the recreational market. Then they measured the performance within each cultivar.
These processes are important because the future of the cannabis industry will be focused on cultivating healthy plants of the utmost potency and purity. In the medical market, this can protect patients from unwanted side effects and ensure pain relief, and in the recreational market, it can ensure the quality and consistency of the experience. Companies like RavenQuest BioMed Inc. are creating cultivars that could potentially dominate the cannabis market, such as high-end brands like Cognac and Grey Goose dominate in the liquor market.
Scientists are also working towards bringing drug identification numbers (DIN) to the cannabis industry, so consumers will be able to reference the DIN on a product prior to purchase. This happens in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical worlds - and it is coming to the cannabis world. There will be numbering, sequencing, and efficacy testing that will certify that the product is consistent. This will create the foundation for naming branded cultivars in the cannabis industry, similar to how the alcohol industry names a VSOP like Cognac.
Orbital Gardens: Producing Pure and Potent Plants
Consistency isn't the only ingredient needed to create a world-famous cannabis brand. Once the brand becomes popular, a challenge will be developing that brand at scale. This is an area where RavenQuest Biomed Inc. has an interesting edge. The company created what they call Orbital Gardens, which are architecturally unique to the industry. The Orbital Gardens optimize space with strategic placements. Most cannabis producers are focused on adding square footage, rather than using existing square footage more efficiently.
The architecture of the Orbital Gardens has mastered the efficient use of square footage and lighting by taking advantage of vertical space. Each Garden positions the plants so they are 'orbited' around a massive, bright light source - like planets orbiting around the sun. Imagine hundreds of plants rotating 360 degrees around the light and harnessing the power of photosynthesis. Orbital Gardens also recapture and recondition water and nutrients, feeding powerful, PH-balanced, nutrient-infused water back to the plants' root structures.
Orbital Gardens yield 300 grams per square foot. That is double the industry average of 130 grams per square foot - and it sets the stage for production potential that can satisfy even the highest levels of demand that will inevitably arise from creating a mainstream commercial cannabis brand.
Canopy Growth Corp, (TSX: WEED.TO) (OTC: TWMJF) formerly known as Tweed Marijuana Inc., was founded by Bruce Linton in 2014 and is based in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Canopy is the first federally regulated, publicly traded cannabis producer in North America and is Canada's largest producer. It operates numerous production facilities across Canada and around the world with over 700,000 square feet of products licensed under Canada's medical cannabis framework.
Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB.TO) (OTCQX:ACBFF) is a licensed producer of medical cannabis with a 55,200-square-foot facility in Mountain View County, Alberta. Recently, Aurora entered an agreement to buy CanniMed Therapeutics Inc., another Canadian-based medical cannabis company.
Maple Leaf Green World Inc. (TSXV: MGW.V) (OTCQB: MGWFF) Maple Leaf Green World is a British Columbia based company pursuing opportunities within the medical cannabis industry in the United States. If and when the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ACMPR license is obtained, Maple Leaf GreenWorld will become a Canadian licensed producer. It is currently at a stage-5 review of the ACMPR application and in the process of building a new growing facility in Telkwa, B.C.
Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSXV: FIRE.V) (OTC: SPRWF) established the 7ACRES property as the first licensed producer focused on growing high-quality cannabis in high quantities. Today 7ACRES is among Canada's leading cultivators of commercial cannabis. Based in Toronto, Supreme Cannabis Company recently completed a $3 million strategic equity investment in BlissCo Cannabis Corp., a Vancouver-based company that has applied to become a licensed producer under the ACMPR.
The Cannabis Industry of the Future
The already $8 billion cannabis industry is becoming increasingly more attractive to investors as recreational legalization looms on the horizon. The race is on for cannabis companies to become household names, and companies like RavenQuest Biomed Inc. (CSE:RQB) (OTC:RVVQF) (Frankfurt:1IT) are already figuring out how to differentiate themselves by creating and defining their own unique signature brands.
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