Targeting Australia’s Pharmaceutical-Grade Cannabis Market
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Asterion Cannabis Inc. is a vertically-integrated Canadian cannabis company with operations in Southeast Queensland, Australia. The company aims to be a leader in precision agriculture and to produce high-quality, low-cost and genetically-uniformed cannabis strains and products. To achieve this aim, Asterion is developing the world’s largest and most sophisticated state-of-the-art medicinal cannabis cultivation, research and manufacturing facility.
Asterion’s Queensland purpose-built facility is expected to be built in three phases now that the company has received its development approval permit from the Toowoomba Regional Council. Pending the approval of the company’s cultivation and sales licenses, Asterion intends to plant its first crop after Phase 1 has been completed. Once the facility is fully built-out, it is expected to produce over 500,000 kilograms of cannabis annually, allowing Asterion to help meet the demands of the Australian medicinal cannabis market.
Asterion has also strategically aligned itself with PreveCeutical Medical Inc. (CSE:PREV,OTCQB:PRVCF,FWB:18H), a preventive health sciences company focused on developing preventive medicine, to develop new cannabis-based preventive and curative therapies. The partnership with PreveCeutical plays into Asterion’s future product offerings, which could include tinctures, oils, edibles, flower and gelatin capsules with a variety of THC and CBD concentrations.
After Asterion filed its cannabis research license application, the company has also partnered with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at the University of Queensland for an 18-month, proof-of-concept research program. The program is designed to expedite the clonal propagation of elite selections of cannabis plants to ensure high-volume, uniform plant cultivation.
Asterion’s management team has over 140 years of combined experience in medicinal cannabis, renewable energy, capital markets, among other sectors, across North America, Oceania, Europe, Africa and Asia. Recent additions to the Asterion management team include COO Hamish Sutherland, who has experience in developing successful cannabis companies and was responsible for the first legal transfer of live cannabis plant material from Holland to Canada.
Asterion’s Company Highlights
- Developing a state-of-the-art 4.3-million-square-foot greenhouse facility in Southeast Queensland, Australia.
- Asterion plans to plant the first cannabis crop after Phase 1 of construction is complete.
- Projected annual production of over 500,000 kilograms of cannabis upon completion.
- Future product lines may include tinctures, oils, edibles, flower and gelatin capsules.
- Awaiting approval for cultivation and sales licenses.
- Strategic partnerships in place with PreveCeutical and White Sheep Corp.
- Asterion is conducting a proof-of-concept research program with QAAFI for cannabis cultivation.
- Management has over 140 years of combined experience in medical cannabis, renewable energy, capital markets, among other sectors across the globe.
The Australian Cannabis Market
In early 2016, Australia passed the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act, which allowed the government to create a licensing and permitting framework to regulate the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis and cannabis products. The act also permitted the use of cannabis in research. Since then, the cannabis market in Australia has continued to grow and is forecasted to reach $1.2 billion in 2027. In part, the growth can be attributed to the government’s announcement that it will allow cannabis companies to export the plant.
Asterion is constructing one of the largest greenhouses in the developed world in Southeast Queensland, Australia. The company has partnered with Van Der Hoeven, Wiley (NYSE:JW.A) and RCP to complete the project. Each company brings a wealth of expertise and experience in creating, engineering and designing large-scale projects across the globe.
The 75-hectare site is expected to feature 40 hectares (4.3-million-square-feet) of state-of-the-art, good manufacturing practices (GMP) certified greenhouses purpose-built with a focus on producing high-quality medicinal cannabis with genetically uniform strains. The facility is expected to include a research center and onsite EU-GMP manufacturing for the company’s end product and will be powered by renewable energy.
See the Wiley Asterion Queensland Facility Concept Rendering below:
With the receipt of its development approval permit in hand, Asterion plans to commence construction on the cannabis facility. The greenhouses are expected to be built out in three phases. Phases 1 and 2 is expected to consist of 10 hectares each and Phase 3’s focus is on the final 20 hectares. Pending the approval of the company’s sales and cultivation licenses and the completion of Phase 1, Asterion intends to plant its first harvest and fast-track the facility into production.
Once the facility is complete, it is expected to annually produce over 500,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis and help meet the needs of the growing Australian and global cannabis market.
Asterion’s Partnerships and Agreements
In September 2018, Asterion entered into a joint venture and development agreement with PreveCeutical, a preventive health sciences company that develops innovative options for preventive and curative therapies that utilize organic and nature identical products. Asterion and PreveCeutical plan to develop a range of medicinal cannabinoid products with the aim of treating various ailments, such as chronic pain, inflammation, epilepsy and anxiety disorders. Some of the products that may be developed include sublingual tablets, transdermal patches, among other products.
In November 2018, Asterion entered into a consulting agreement with White Sheep, a commercial operator and investor in global cannabis assets with operational expertise in building state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation facilities that meet regulatory and compliance standards. White Sheep is expected to provide its input to Asterion as the company builds out its cultivation facility in Queensland, Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, White Sheep President and CEO Hamish Sutherland has been appointed as Asterion Cannabis’ COO and is expected to be responsible for overseeing the construction of the facility.
“Asterion is pleased to welcome Hamish Sutherland and White Sheep to lead our operations in Australia,” says Asterion Chairman and CEO Stephen Van Deventer. “Mr. Sutherland’s exceptional experience, including seven years working with Austrade (the Australian Trade and Investment Commission) and five years in legal Canadian cannabis operations, combined with the vision of the Asterion founders, has the potential to create real financial value for Asterion and its shareholders.”
University of Queensland
In March 2019, Asterion entered into a collaborative research agreement with QAAFI at the University of Queensland for an 18-month, proof-of-concept research program. The program is designed to expedite the clonal propagation of elite selections of cannabis plants to ensure high-volume, uniform plant cultivation to meet the growing demand for cannabis-based medicines.
The research program also aims to identify and establish a proprietary, genetically stable, repeatable and high yield tissue propagation procedure for a number of cannabis strains. The tissue culture is expected to provide a pathogen-free source of genetics, eliminating the need for mothers and manual cloning procedures. Any intellectual property generated in the project will be wholly-owned by Asterion.
Asterion’s Management Team
Stephen Van Deventer — Chairman and CEO
Stephen Van Deventer is an experienced business person and corporate director. Specializing in international corporate relations and business development over the last 25 years, he has focused on launching small to medium-sized companies into the public markets in Canada, the US and Europe. He spearheaded the financing and RTO of Aurora Cannabis, after helping to create its structure and provide strategic direction. In addition, he has raised financing for Hempco, one of the world’s largest industrial producers of hemp and hemp products, and coordinated Aurora’s strategic investment in Hempco.
Paget Hargreaves, MBA, GCM — President, Director and Secretary
Paget Hargreaves has over 30 years’ experience in business development, investment, financing and management across the property, infrastructure, energy and resource sectors in the UK, Asia and Australia. Over the past 10 years, he has focused in particular on the development of and investment in the natural resources and renewable energy sectors. Hargreaves is a founder and director for Industrial Energy Systems (Australia) Pty Ltd, a company that provides BOO/T leasing solutions to companies for solar thermal energy systems.
He was previously a director at Sundrop Farms, an innovative company operating in the food, energy and water space, where he helped develop and establish the world’s first greenhouse facility utilizing the sun’s solar thermal properties to desalinate seawater and produce food that is grown year-round with no pesticides or carbon footprint.
Hamish Sutherland, MBA — COO and Director
Hamish Sutherland is the CEO of White Sheep Corp. Over the past 30 years, he has overseen hundreds of millions of investor dollars and built start-ups on three continents. He is one of few that has hands-on experience in developing a successful cannabis company and has passed over 50 inspections by Health Canada. He also managed the first legal transfer of live cannabis plant material from Holland to Canada, as well as the “greenfield” construction and commissioning of Bedrocan’s 52,000 square foot. state-of-the-art automated facility.
As the former Investment Commissioner, for the Australian Trade Commission, Sutherland was responsible for establishing 17 offshore companies entering North America for the first time and guiding $100 million in direct investment and acquisitions between Australian and Canadian companies.
Shabira Rajan, MBA, CPA, CGA — CFO and Director
Shabira Rajan is a senior financial executive with over 20 years of experience, leading the financial discipline for successful businesses in both private and public sectors. Rajan has a track record of providing leadership for strategic value creation and continuous improvement, as well as, providing effective direction to organizations on issues relating to corporate governance, financial oversight and risk management. She was the Director of Finance at Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc., which planned and constructed a $2 billion rapid transit system in metro-Vancouver, on time and within budget.
Kimberly Van Deventer — Corporate Secretary and Director
Kimberly Van Deventer is an entrepreneur with a successful track record of accomplishment. Motivated and determined, she was ranked as the third highest-grossing female business owner in British Columbia in 2009. She is a driving force behind the business and is unwavering in her commitment to bringing awareness of health and disease prevention to people everywhere.
Van Deventer partnered with Stephen Van Deventer in the financing and RTO of Aurora Cannabis as well as the financing for Hempco, one of the world’s largest industrial producers of hemp and hemp products and coordinated Aurora’s strategic investment in Hempco.
Robert Hall – Director of Administration
Robert Hall has over 20 years of management experience in both the private and public sectors. As a seasoned executive, he has overseen operations and directed corporate finance in multiple industries spanning food and beverage, mining, construction and health and wellness packaging. Having developed an extensive business network, Hall has raised significant funding and provided working capital for the development and expansion of large-scale projects within the cannabis and hemp sector. With his experience in capital markets and entrepreneurial skills, he is a valuable addition to the Asterion team.
Stewart McGlashan, MBA (Exec), Ph.D. and BE (Hons), GAICD — Director of Project Development
Dr. McGlashan brings over 20 years of experience as a business manager, inventor and investor while operating in a global capacity within the agribusiness, food, energy, engineering, clean technology and environmental sectors. He brings a diverse portfolio of experiences and a unique skill set that applies to challenging projects requiring different approaches to build success and business resilience. Dr. McGlashan has previously taken companies from early-stage development to producing commercial outcomes in biodegradable plastics, waste-to-energy, renewable fertilizers, waste processing, biofuels and biosecurity technology industries.
Steven Looi, BEcon, MBA — Director of Origination
As a successful cannabis investor and Director of Origination at White Sheep Corp, Steven Looi brings an extensive industry network and product expertise to the Asterion team. His track record for creativity and innovation in disruptive industries is augmented with his experience in IT, urban agriculture and retail. Looi is also a serial entrepreneur and has created new companies in both Canada and China, ranging from soil-less food production to pharmacy patient management systems and video game art sourcing. He is also a recipient of a Parliamentary Award for his experimental urban farm and UpStream Aquaponics.
Peter Haukedal – Director
Peter Haukedal has been a director and CEO of Intigold Mines Ltd since February of 2017. He received his B. Comm degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1982 and after that went on to establish a distribution company for lubricants and motive fuels with a major oil and gas company, which later sold to Agrium Inc. in 2012. He has 33 years of private corporate experience and more than ten years of experience with different local charities holding a variety of positions.
Robert Coltura – Director
Mr. Coltura is a businessman and is the President and principal shareholder of Matalia Investments Ltd., a company that provides management consulting and corporate finance services to public and private companies. Mr. Coltura is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiorentina Minerals Inc., the President of Coltura Financial Corp and Coltura Properties, which has commercial properties and hotels in North America. With over 20 years of experience in the public sector, as a director and officer, and in successful business development, he works with companies to strengthen their positions within their industry.
This profile is sponsored by Asterion Cannabis Inc. This profile provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Asterion Cannabis Inc., in order to help investors learn more about the company. Asterion Cannabis Inc. is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile.
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The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Asterion Cannabis Inc. and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.