Ottawa-area cannabis grower apollogreen cleared to produce ‘starter plants’


A local company has been given the green light from Health Canada to grow cannabis “starter plants” that it plans to sell to licensed pot producers in a bid to help them save space and increase yields and profit margins.

Vars-based apollogreen announced Thursday it will use “industrial-scale tissue culture technology” to produce millions of plants and “fuel the entire Canadian cannabis industry.” It says it will begin production immediately at its 5,000-square-foot plant located 20 minutes east of Ottawa and is now seeking financing to build an additional 70,000-square-foot facility next door.

“What makes us different is that we are combining horticultural expertise with unique technology that will enable us to help cannabis companies reduce risks, save time, rapidly scale and protect brand quality,” CEO Tyler LeBlanc said in a news release.

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The firm says its technology will help Canada’s nearly 200 licensed cannabis producers save time and boost revenues by producing higher-yielding plants using apollogreen’s “unique, genetic starting material” in more than 350 varieties. 

The company says it uses a tiny part of the plant to produce “millions of disease-free, identical plants,” adding it can grow 200 plantlets in the same-sized space it takes to grow a single large mother plant.

The firm has enlisted a veteran cannabis executive in its drive to get its technology to market. Seann Poli, the former CEO of Ottawa CBD research firm LiveWell Canada (now known as Eureka 93), has joined apollogreen as its chief strategic officer.

In a statement, Poli called apollogreen’s technology a “game-changer” for the industry. He said the price of raw cannabis is likely to drop as overall pot production continues to ramp up, adding apollogreen “is providing an immediate solution to helping producers increase revenue in their existing facilities to compensate for the pending decline” in prices.

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