– VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) (“VIVO” or the “Company“) today announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Canna Farms Limited (“Canna Farms“), has received all necessary Health Canada approvals to commence operations in its Phase 5 expansion, and that its wholly-owned subsidiary, ABcann Medicinals Inc. (“NCC“), has begun commercial production in its ethanol extraction suite.
Facility Expansion Approval in Hope, British Columbia
The Phase 5 expansion consists of 10,000 square feet of production space customized to incorporate Canna Farms’ two-tier growing systems, as well as vegetative rooms, mother rooms, storage vaults and processing rooms.
The two-tier growing system project was initiated in early 2019 and underwent extensive research and development to ensure that Canna Farms’ yield, potency and product quality standards are maintained.
“Health Canada’s approval of Phase 5 is a major milestone for the Canna Farms team because our two-tiered approach will allow us to grow twice as many plants in the same footprint as most conventional cultivators, allowing us to meet the growing demand for craft quality cannabis,” said Dan Laflamme, President of Canna Farms.
“In addition to our two-tiered production, Phase 5 is equipped with three processing rooms to provide space for our automated pre-rolled machine, expected to be commissioned this summer, and for expanded production of our solvent-less extracts including kief, bubble hash, and various forms of rosin,” explained Mr. Laflamme.
The new facility expansion is expected to start operating immediately as clones and processing equipment have already been sourced in preparation for licensing, accelerating VIVO’s use of the space by several weeks.
New Extraction Suite in Napanee, Ontario
The commissioning of NCC’s ethanol extraction suite has also been completed and commercial production is underway. The extraction system has the capacity to process up to 200 kilograms of dry biomass per day. Additionally, distillate is now being produced at NCC using a new distillation column. The resulting high quality, low production cost resins and distillates will be used as inputs for VIVO’s oil, vape cartridge, and other Cannabis 2.0 products and will complement Canna Farms’ solvent-less concentrates.
“We are excited to bring our ethanol extraction processes on-line, particularly given the strong demand for the concentrates that we are now producing,” said Gary McMullen, NCC President. “The team in Napanee is proud to now be able to process our home-grown strains into multiple premium quality product formats. Bringing the manufacturing of these extracts in-house rather than using third-party suppliers is expected to significantly reduce our product costs and allow us to tightly control our product quality.”
About VIVO Cannabis™
VIVO Cannabis™ is recognized for trusted, premium cannabis products and services. It holds production and sales licences from Health Canada and operates world-class indoor and seasonal airhouse cultivation facilities with proprietary plant-growing technology in Hope, British Columbia and Napanee, Ontario. VIVO has a collection of premium brands, each targeting different customer segments, including Canna Farms™, Beacon Medical™, Fireside™, Fireside-X™, Lumina™ and Canadian Bud Collection™. The Company is expanding its production capabilities and distribution network. Harvest Medicine, VIVO’s patient-centric, scalable network of medical cannabis clinics, has serviced over 100,000 patient visits. VIVO is pursuing several partnership and product development opportunities and is focusing its international efforts on Germany and Australia. The Company has a healthy balance sheet and is well-positioned to accelerate its path to profitability. For more information visit: www.vivocannabis.com
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements, which are statements that are not purely historical, including statements regarding the beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions of VIVO and its management regarding the future. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the expected products to be produced at the Phase 5 expansion; the increased yields to be generated from the two-tier growing system; the expected timing of commissioning of Canna Farms’ automated pre-rolled machine; the expected timing of commencement of operations at the Phase 5 expansion; and the expected capacity that can be processed via NCC’s extraction suite as well as expected reduced production costs and increased product quality. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including: that issues may occur that delay production at the Phase 5 expansion or commissioning of the automated pre-rolled machine; that the two-tiered growing system does not result in the expected increased production capacity; that the Company may not realize the expected production cost decreases and increased product quality from the NCC extraction suite; that the COVID-19 pandemic may last longer and have a more significant impact on the Company’s operations, financing abilities, the Canadian cannabis industry, or the global economy generally, than currently expected; that changes in regulations may adversely impact the Company’s business; and other factors beyond the Company’s control. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits the Company will obtain from them. Readers are urged to consider these factors, and the more extensive risk factors included in the Company’s management’s discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2020, which is available on SEDAR, carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.