Université de Moncton partners with the Government of Canada, Genome Atlantic, Genome Canada, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, and Organigram to advance cannabis research and increase productivity

MONCTON, NB , Nov. 13, 2018 /CNW/ – The Université de Moncton , in partnership with the Government of Canada , Genome Atlantic, Genome Canada, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX VENTURE:OGI) (OGRMF), today announced the creation of an institutional research project focused on cannabis at the Université de Moncton .

Dr. David Joly, Dr. Martin Filion, and Jeff Purcell (CNW Group/OrganiGram)

 

Supplying cannabis and cannabis products to a legalized adult use recreational market represents a major economic opportunity in New Brunswick and across the country. Indeed, the retail market value for recreational cannabis in Canada is expected to reach $8.7 billion annually. However, current production capacity will not meet the anticipated demand.

To date, cannabis has not benefitted from the application of biotechnologies (particularly genomics) that have led to massive increases in yields and the sustainability of other agricultural production systems. The innovative, research-driven approach supported by this partnership will explore how these novel approaches can help improve the productivity and quality of cannabis products.

Genome Atlantic was the catalyst for the project, to which the project partners will contribute more than $1.1 million over three years. The research will be led by Dr. David Joly and Dr. Martin Filion , both professors from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Université de Moncton . Organigram will provide working space, raw material and expert resources in collaboration with the Université de Moncton research team. Genome Atlantic’s contribution is made through Genome Canada’s new Regional Priorities Partnership Program (RP3) , which allocates funding for projects that reflect regional priorities.

Specifically, the research will seek to:

  • Improve the quality of the product by identifying specific traits through genetic mapping, which will result in healthier, more resistant plants and improved growing techniques
  • Improve productivity and lower costs by introducing beneficial microbial inoculants and developing strains with improved traits
  • Conduct genetic research to identify specific markers which will allow specific strains to be protected if necessary
  • Utilize genomics to determine the impact of different growing practices on improving key cannabis attributes such as THC/CBD and terpene levels

 

The expected results from this project are closely aligned with New Brunswick’s Economic Growth Plan and will contribute to an economically-viable cannabis industry by increasing production and potential revenue.

This project also builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. This Strategy supports strategic investments in initiatives that build on Atlantic Canada’s competitive advantages, such as its growing innovation ecosystem and skilled workforce, and position the region to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Other benefits include training of highly qualified personnel required to support the growth of this industry; developing proprietary technologies that can be marketed to other jurisdictions; and enhancing New Brunswick’s and Atlantic Canada’s role as a world leader in cannabis science.