The Cannabis Innovators Panel
In a rapidly changing industry with strong competition, Organigram is taking a leading role in consumer-driven innovation with the creation of one of the industry’s first consumer panels. Launched in 2021, the Cannabis Innovators Panel seeks to recruit up to 2,500 cannabis consumers from across Canada, inviting them to be not only heard but considered in the products and brands we bring to market. From product innovation to consumer insights and concept testing, this initiative will enable deep analytics and scale for more robust data. To sign up for the panel click here.
Product Development Collaboration with BAT
On March 11, 2021, the Company announced a $221 million strategic investment from a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAT, which subscribed for approximately 58.3 million Common Shares of the Company at $3.792 per common share, which represented a 19.9% equity interest in the Company on a post-transaction basis at the time of announcement. Concurrent with the investment, Organigram Inc. and BAT also entered into a Product Development Collaboration Agreement (the “PDC Agreement”) pursuant to which a “Center of Excellence” has been established to focus on developing the next generation of cannabis products.
Organigram is one of only two Canadian LPs to make a strategic investment in biosynthesis – a disruptive production technology.
What is Biosynthesis?
Biosynthesis is the production of molecules using living cells. By incorporating the instructions for producing a specific molecule into the genetic code of a simple host organism—e.g., bacteria, yeast, or algae—these organisms can produce nearly any molecule. The host cells are essentially ‘factories’.
The principal cannabinoids—THC and CBD—make up just ~two to five per cent of the cannabis plant, while minor cannabinoids and terpenes—hundreds of them—comprise less than 0.1 per cent. As such, 95 per cent of the plant generally ends up as waste through current methods for manufacturing, which rely on planting, growing, and harvesting large quantities of cannabis plants and then extracting and purifying their active compounds. The process often yields a complex chemical mixture of variable and inconsistent composition.
Biosynthesis has the potential to create cannabinoids at large scale at a fraction of the cost of traditional cultivation.
Organigram has invested in Hyasynth Biologicals Inc. a Montreal-based biotechnology company and leader in the field of cannabinoid science and biosynthesis. Hyasynth has developed a disruptive technology using proprietary yeast strains and patent-pending enzymes to naturally produce cannabinoids without growing the cannabis plant.
Biosynthesis vs Traditional Cultivation:
- Reduced operating and capital costs
- Scalable, consistent, superior purity and quality
- Production of minor cannabinoids just as feasible as major ones
- Able to meet even more rigorous standards of CPG and Pharma
- Smaller environmental footprint
While Organigram believes there will always be a sizeable market for the premium dried flower produced at its facility, working with Hyansynth changes assumptions about scale, speed and precision to produce the highest margin products such as extract-based medical products and a range of adult-use recreational products such as edibles and beverages.
In addition to the investment, Organigram has the right to purchase 25 per cent of the cannabinoid offtake from Hyasynth at a discount to market prices.
The Montreal-based biotech company utilizes unique enzymes and yeast strains to produce major cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which can be used for cannabis-based products like beverages, vaporizable products, topicals and pharmaceutical products.