Researchers found a strong correlation between reduced opioid use by heavy consumers and the adoption of medical cannabis in pain management regimes
Australis Capital Inc (CSE:AUSA) (OTC:AUSAF) issued a corporate update, highlighting a groundbreaking University of Alberta study medical cannabis study, a new chairman, Green Therapeutics' work in Nevada, among other news.
The objective of the study was to assess the effect of medical cannabis authorization on opioid use between 2013 and 2018 in Alberta, and researchers found a strong correlation between reduced opioid use by heavy consumers and the adoption of medical cannabis in pain management regimes.
"The findings of this study are profound in that they provide more information to physicians who are seeking to help patients reduce their dependency on opioids for pain management,” Chief Science Officer and study co-author Jason Dyck said in a statement. “This work may assist with helping clinicians combat the opioid crisis that is ongoing in our society."
The study was conducted on the largest global population of federally legal medical cannabis patients, whose medical cannabis and opioid use were tracked.
"AUSA is proud to have Dr Jason Dyck as our chief science officer,” CEO Terry Booth said. “This study supports what we have thought for many years, and in my opinion proves that cannabis is a safe alternative to opioids."
Australis also announced that independent director Hanoz Kapadia has been appointed chairman of the board.
"Further strengthening our governance through the appointment of one of our independent directors as chair was a straightforward decision,” said Dyck, who also chairs the company’s compensation and nominating committee. “We are pleased Hanoz has accepted this new role."
Kapadia has been the managing partner at Kapadia & Associates, a high net-worth accounting and advisory firm, since 2003. He has served as the chair of finance and governance at Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, chair of the by-law review committee and interim chair of its board.
He currently serves on the board at AI – LP, a firm focused on early-stage technology startups and is the chair of the advisory board at Huex Labs, an artificial intelligence company and is a former member of the board at Optimal Research Corporation, a medical research company.
"I am honored to take on this position with the company that in just the past few months has closed multiple excellent acquisitions, executed a successful corporate reset, and replaced senior management,” Kapadia said. “The company, without a doubt, has accelerated its entry into the US cannabis sector and is leading the way in terms of innovation and execution. I look forward to working with Terry, the board and the AUSA team as we take the company to the next level and continue building towards the company becoming a top tier MSO (multi-state operator)."
Australis' majority owned subsidiary ALPS has completed an agreement with the University of Alberta to provide a business case and feasibility study to establish a research and development greenhouse for the agricultural and ife environmental sciences faculty. The objective is to establish a leading agricultural infrastructure focused on innovation to help attract the best and brightest horticulture students who will lead the industry in the years to come.
"We are excited about this project and look forward to applying the findings from this study, contingent on the go-ahead from the UofA, to help create and envision the future of agriculture and strengthen Canada's leadership in this global sector,” ALPS vice president of innovation Joel Fuzal said.
ALPS also recently signed an APIS maintenance contract with an agricultural innovator in the Middle East for one of its facilities. APIS is an internet-of-things style solution that monitors equipment status across a number of mission critical facility operations, such as environment management, harvest time optimization and delivering quality outputs, essentially dialing in crops of any type.
"We continue to see good traction for our APIS offering,” ALPS president Thomas Larssen said. “The return on investment from deploying our APIS computer-managed maintenance system is unsurpassed in our sector, truly reflecting the future for industrial greenhouse management. We have a close relationship with our partners in the Middle East and anticipate being able to make further announcement of new and exciting projects in this region in the very near future."
Green Therapeutics has taken over the operations of a Nevada-based cultivator and producer of premium cannabis products after the companies announced a management agreement in April.
Under the terms of the deal, GT operates the cultivation facility and produces products sold under the GT and Mr Natural brands. Harvest has begun, which will result in an expansion of the volume of GT branded products available in Nevada dispensaries, the company said.
GT and AUSA are consulting on the engineering and expansion of its partner's indoor facility, further increasing capacity and expanding GT product availability.
Speaking of Nevada, Australis has also completed the sale of land held in North Las Vegas as part of the unwinding of the original asset purchase, which was replaced with the previously reported acquisition of all of GT. The sale of the land strengthened AUSA's working capital by approximately $2 million.
GT recently signed an agreement with Nevada retail brand Thrive Cannabis Marketplace for its products to be carried by the chain. Thrive currently operates four dispensaries in Nevada, and the company expects to expand to eight locations before the end of the year.
"Having been able to complete this agreement with Thrive is a reflection of the quality and popularity of our products,” Australis COO Duke Fu said. “With our expanded capacity, which we anticipate growing further as we complete additional production partnerships, we are now able to continue growing with the market and expand our position as a high-quality partner to leading retailers, such as Thrive."
CEO Terry Booth adds shares
As part of the ALPS transaction, Australis took on an outstanding $747,115 liability ALPS had with Booth, which the CEO opted to accept in the form of roughly 2.7 million shares.
"I strongly believe that AUSA is one of the best investment opportunities in the cannabis industry today,” Booth said. “I am very happy to settle this consideration for shares rather than cash. AUSA is incredibly well-positioned to play a major role in the US cannabis space as we continue to execute on our unique expansion strategy. With ALPS and GT firing on all cylinders, we continue to grow while lining up numerous opportunities to enter the eastern United States and other jurisdictions that suit our strategy and vision. The entire AUSA team are passionate, professional, persistent and poised to execute. I am proud to be a part of the go-forward with AUSA."
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