AU: Althea granted hemp cultivation license, enters agreement with Tissue Culture Australia

Global medicinal cannabis company Althea Group Holdings wholly owned subsidiary, Althea Company has been granted an Authority for Low-THC Cannabis for commercial purposes relating to non-therapeutic use, by Agriculture Victoria.

In parallel with obtaining the Licence, Althea has entered into an exclusive agreement with Australia’s leading tissue culture laboratory, Tissue Culture Australia (TCA), whereby TCA will assist Althea in developing proprietary tissue culture protocols for cannabis plants.

"Tissue culture has many advantages over traditional cannabis propagation in terms of yield size, disease resistance and superior control over genetics, and is rapidly becoming the preferred method for large-scale cannabis producers," the team with the company explains. 

Althea Director of Cultivation, Daniel Mansfield said: “Being granted the Hemp Cultivation Licence allows us to obtain hands-on production experience with cannabis plants in a tissue culture laboratory environment, immediately. We envisage our own cultivation capabilities being up to 10% more productive utilizing tissue culture techniques, as it will allow us to remove the traditional mother stock and propagation areas from our forthcoming production facility which increases our flowering capacity. Being able to familiarise ourselves with the tissue culture processes now puts us in a stronger position for when our Victorian facility is commissioned in 2020.”

According to the company, critical in the production of pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis, tissue culture is also in demand with isolated-CBD (hemp) growers seeking large quantities of high-quality ‘starting plants’ for outdoor cultivation.

Althea CEO, Joshua Fegan said: “We see using Low-THC cannabis strains as an early opportunity for our cultivation experts to increase their practical knowledge of tissue culture protocols for the cannabis plant. Tissue culture allows for rapid multiplication of starter plants, meaning we will be able to reach capacity much faster than we could using traditional propagation methods at our Victorian production facility. The intellectual property we intend to develop presents great commercial opportunities for Althea in hemp food and Isolated-CBD markets also, where large scale outdoor growers are beginning to use tissue culture starter plants as the source to plant out their crops. The uptake of non-therapeutic CBD products has been strong in Europe and the USA and consumers are beginning to ask questions about the source of the active ingredients going into these products. There is certainly a gap in the market for a supplier of high quality, pathogen-free hemp plants derived from tissue culture.”

For more information:
Althea Group Holdings
Josh Fegan, CEO & Managing Director

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