Canadore College has partnered with an American company to research and develop new strains of medicinal hemp.
Apothio is a southern California-based research company that looks at hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) as treatments for a variety of human diseases. Apothio will establish its Canadian head office at Canadore College as part of the school’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP).
The company also believes that this move could bring more pharmaceutical research to the area, which would generate between $10-15 million and 125 new jobs for the economy.
Dr. Trent Jones, President, and CEO of Apothio says that Canada will be a good fit to further his company’s research and development.
“Canada is years ahead of the United States in its legalization of hemp and cannabis. Working within Canada’s framework of legalization provides us with the confidence to move our research and development operations,” said Dr. Jones.
Apothio’s research includes growing 654 acres of hemp plants in the Mojave Desert over a five-year span, which yielded 203 grams worth of CBD. Dr. Jones says that the research could have many applications.
“These strains will be used for food development, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. This will include specific strains to be used in clinical trials to determine their efficacy in a wide range of medical conditions,” he said.
Jones also mentions that Frank Suraci, Canadore’s Director of Innovation, and The Village Services was instrumental in making the partnership happen.
“Without Frank’s vision, leadership, and trusted relationships, we would not have been able to assemble this wonderful venture,” said Dr. Jones. “Frank continues to build an incredible network of public and private joint ventures in and around North Bay and Canadore College.”
Dr. Pritesh Kumar, Canadore College’s Director of Cannabinoid Research, was brought to the school in late 2019 to head the new department. He says that he is looking forward to the partnership with Apothio.
“This project positions Canadore College at the forefront of cutting-edge research in this emerging sector provincially, nationally, and internationally. We will take a leadership position by partnering with a U.S. company that is focused on research and development of hemp cultivars,” said Dr. Kumar.
Dr. Kumar also says that the college’s equipment will allow researchers to pinpoint specific genes within a hemp plant which will allow for better breeding techniques, creating plants for more medical applications.
Canadore College President George Burton is excited about what the partnership will do for the community.
“This research will put Canadore College front and centre on the world’s stage,” said Burton. “We have always focused on market trends and the capacity that companies can draw on. The cannabis-hemp sector is now a growing industry of its own, and we are excited about the developing research agenda with Apothio, to participate in this trending industry here in North Bay.”
Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP, and Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming also commended Canadore and North Bay for the partnership with their own statements.
The college says that they are still in the process of applying for a research license through Health Canada.