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Asterion Cannabis seeking to be the largest, ultra-low cost medicinal cannabis producer with geographical diversity in the world

Snapshot

The privately-owned firm is looking to construct the world's largest purpose-built greenhouse cannabis production facility in Queensland, Australia

Australian flag, cannabis plant
  • Privately-owned medicinal-cannabis producer with operations in Australia
  • Focused on producing the highest quality of genetically uniform cannabis strains
  • Constructing the world's largest purpose-built greenhouse cannabis production facility

What Asterion Cannabis does:

Asterion Cannabis Inc. is currently a privately-owned medicinal-cannabis producer with operations in Australia, specializing in medical cannabis and focused on producing the highest quality of genetically uniform cannabis strains, at an affordable price.

The Vancouver-based company is led by a team of highly experienced executives with over 120 years of combined experience in medical cannabis, renewable energy, capital markets, and other highly relevant sectors across North America, Oceania, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Chairman and CEO Stephen Van Deventer, for example, spearheaded the financing and reverse takeover of Aurora Cannabis, after helping to create its structure and provide strategic direction.

Asterion is in the process of rolling out an ambitious project in southeast Queensland, to construct the world's largest purpose-built greenhouse cannabis production facility.

The facility will cover a 4.3 million sq/ft site with an aim to ultimately have an annual capacity in excess of 500,000 kilograms.

The facility is expected to be developed in three stages: the first two stages each consist of a 10-hectare (25 acre) greenhouse facility and the final stage of two 10-hectare (25 acre) greenhouse facilities, with each stage including ancillary buildings.

Once the initial phase is completed the Queensland facility will start producing 125,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis a year.

The company will then focus on building the next phase of the facility, which will add another 125,000 kilograms to annual production. With the third and last phase being completed another 250,000 kilograms will be added bringing annual cannabis production capacity to 500,000 kilograms.

Away from Australia, Asterion and PreveCeutical Medical Inc. (CSE:PREV) (OTCMKTS:PRVCF) inked a deal in September 2018 to form a joint venture to develop a range of medicinal cannabinoid products, including sublingual tablets, transdermal patches, and other jointly evaluated products aimed at treating various ailments, such as chronic pain, inflammation, epilepsy and anxiety disorders.

Any cash requirements by the joint venture will be funded 100% by Asterion, at cost, while the company will also be contributing its management's industry knowledge and contacts, while PreveCeutical will be providing access to its research team and the resources at their disposal.

The agreement had an initial term of two years, renewable by the parties for an additional two year term, and PreveCeutical will receive 20% of the net revenue earned or proceeds received by the joint venture from the sale of the intellectual property and products developed.

How is it doing:

At the end of March, Asterion announced that its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary is now finalizing the development, construction, maintenance and financing of the first phase of a $400 million greenhouse project at Toowoomba in Queensland.

The company said, to that end, it has entered into an exclusive Definitive Association Agreement (DAA) with entities within the Watpac Limited group. 

Watpac is a large and well-known contractor in Australia and part of the BESIX Group, a global construction, property development and concessions company.

The DAA sets out a process for the parties to rapidly enter into design, construction and facilities maintenance agreements. As part of the DAA, Watpac will work with Asterion to finalize acceptable standard Australian commercial terms for these agreements and separately investigate opportunities for investment in the project.

The move forward in the project followed news in December 2019, that Asterion Australia had received its licences for the cultivation, manufacturing and research of medicinal cannabis from the Australian government's Office of Drug Control.

On the financing front, at the start of January, Asterion said it was looking to raise C$10 million to fund the construction of its state-of-the-art cultivation compound at Toowoomba.

Under the terms of the financing, the private company offered nearly 6.7 million units at C$1.50 per unit. Each unit consisted of one share and one-half of one warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable at C$2.00 for a 24-month period.

Asterion has also been beefing up its management team in 2020.

At the beginning of April, the firm named experienced industry executive Amy Stephenson as its chief investment officer.

Stephenson has over 20 years’ experience in capital markets and managing public companies. For 15 years, she was finance chief at public companies focusing on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and IPO/RTO activities in several industries including cannabis, hemp, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, logistics and healthcare.

She was most recently chief financial officer (CFO) of Cura Cannabis Solutions, and has worked for Aurora Cannabis, Lineage Growth, The Green Organic Dutchman and Bedrocan. She was also instrumental in the Tweed merger with Bedrocan to form Canopy Growth.

And at the end of January, Asterion also welcomed business executive Robert Coltura to its board of directors.

Coltura brings over 20 years of experience in the public sector as a director and officer, including his multiple current roles in corporate finance, resource companies and real estate.

He currently serves as president and principal shareholder of Matalia Investments, which provides management consulting and corporate finance services to public and private firms. He is also the CEO of Fiorentina Minerals Inc, a precious metals explorer in British Columbia, and president of Coltura Properties, which holds commercial real estate and hotels in North America.

Inflection points:

  • Further news on stock market listings
  • Progress on construction of Toowoomba Medicinal Cannabis Project
  • More news on products from PreveCeutical Medical joint venture

What the boss says:

In a statement with news of the Definitive Association Agreement with entities within the Watpac Limited, Asterion Cannabis chairman and CEO Stephen Van Deventer said: “This is a significant milestone achieved during the current global economic uncertainty and dynamic cannabis capital markets.”

Watpac and Asterion are aligned in the vision to bring our facility into successful and efficient production. Together we will work to finalize acceptable standard Australian commercial terms for funding and maintenance. Over the next few years, Asterion coupled with Watpac’s skillset will set benchmarks within this rapidly evolving medical cannabis industry in the pharmaceutical sector,” he added.

Contact the author at [email protected]

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