Canopy Growth’s (NYSE: CGC) investment arm, Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (CVE: RIV) has completed a $1.5 million investment in New Zealand-based Biolumic, the company that sustainably enhances crop growth using UV light. This investment also marks the first for Canopy Rivers in the AgTech sector. This means Canopy Rivers has joined a list of investors like Radicle Growth, Rabo Food & Agri Fund, and Finistere Ventures which have helped Biolumic raise $6.7 million in its Series A financing round.
Biolumic says its UV treatment has “long-term crop benefits such as improved crop consistency, increased yield, drought tolerance, and disease and pest resistance.” According to Biolumic, the fund will be used to speed up research and commercialization as well as accelerate the company’s global expansion.
Canopy Rivers’ Director of Business Development, Mary Dimou, said, “We see huge potential for plant physiology and UV photobiology in the medical cannabis sector. Technologies such as Biolumic’s precision UV treatments can help growers improve crop yields while providing an alternative to pesticides and chemicals, thus reducing the need for harmful pesticides and the risk of chemical contamination of cannabis supply.”
The UV light treatment given to seedlings functions just like “immunization”. By exposing them to this intense light they become more disease resistant throughout their lifespan. Additionally, Biolumic UV-B light triggers the expression of desirable agricultural traits. This happens through a process called photomorphogenesis. Although the treatment is short-term, it delivers a long-term benefit.
According to Dimou, “UV-B treatments put our growers at an advantage because they can develop crops with tolerance at seed and seedling stages. This can lead to downstream products and revenues for existing cultivators in our portfolio and upstream benefits for Canopy Growth. Biolumic’s unique light recipes will highly differentiate our companies from competitors with very little effect on their current operations.”
Warren Bebb, Biolumic CEO believes “Growers need more sustainable ways to meet global crop demands, and precision UV light treatments can safely activate important characteristics in seeds and seedlings that make them more productive as they mature. Given our results with other flowering crops, medicinal cannabis is a natural fit for our technology. Canopy Rivers’ extensive network in the medicinal cannabis ecosystem will open a new strategic market for Biolumic.”
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