TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Mettrum Health Corp. ("Mettrum" or the "Company") (TSXV:MT), parent company of Mettrum Ltd, a licensed producer of medical cannabis under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (Canada) issued pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) (the "MMPR") and a vertically integrated agri-pharmaceutical company focused on research, development, production and distribution of medical cannabis products, is pleased to announce that effective at the open of the market on October 2, 2014, the Company's common shares will commence trading under the ticker symbol MT on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Current Business & Registered Clients
Since October 1, 2013 when Health Canada implemented the MMPR altering the supply and distribution of dried marihuana, various news reports estimate that approximately 9,400 clients (as at August 1, 2014) have registered with MMPR Licensed Producers to obtain medical cannabis. Based on Health Canada's regulatory impact analysis statement for the MMPR, the market is forecasted to grow to approximately 310,000 clients by 2023.
Mettrum's current operational headquarters is located at Bennett Road North, in Bowmanville, Ontario, and currently has 51 employees. The 14,480-square foot premise has been licensed under the MMPR since November 1, 2013. It is currently licensed to produce and/or sell up to 2,500 kg of medical cannabis per year, with a current production capacity of approximately 500 kg per year. As of August 1, 2014 Mettrum had registered in excess of 2,100 clients. Mettrum has recently implemented measures to increase the production capacity at the facility and these measures are beginning to take effect. The facility includes independent climate control systems for each of its 20 self-contained production rooms, which enables Mettrum to maximize yield while minimizing the risks associated with production. All licensed production activities associated with the cultivation, testing, packaging, sale and delivery of medical cannabis are currently conducted from this facility with the exception of product release testing which is conducted by an independent lab.
Additional MMPR Licenses
The Company currently has two additional MMPR licenses under review by Health Canada.
There are six relevant stages under the MMPR application process:
Step 1: Preliminary Screening
Step 2: Enhanced Screening
Step 3: Security Clearance
Step 4: Review
Step 5: Pre-License Site Inspection
Step 6: Licensing
In June 2014, Mettrum Ltd. purchased Agripharm Corp., located in Clearview, Ontario. Agripharm's brand new, purpose built facility, utilizing modular construction techniques, allows for rapid expansion of capacity as required. While able to demonstrate vertical integration and seed to sale compliance, the Agripharm production facility will focus on the most energy and labor-intensive aspects of the supply chain. As a quickly scalable and adaptable facility, multiple strains can be produced under adjustable conditions. Digital sensors monitor, and automated systems adjust, all environmental variables inside the production rooms to meet the unique needs of Mettrum's products while generating proprietary data relevant to ongoing breeding programs.
Agripharm is located on 80 acres of appropriately-zoned owned land, providing abundant room for operational expansion, as well as greenhouses should they prove to be viable. The current facility has an estimated 4,000 kg/year production capacity.
Construction of the Agripharm facility is complete. In late August, Health Canada advised Mettrum that its application for the Agripharm facility, had successfully completed the Security Clearance stage and requested certain confirmations in respect of the application. In early September, Mettrum responded to the Health Canada information requests and once Health Canada has reviewed and considered all such information, if the application is deemed complete upon review, then Agripharm will be notified to schedule a Pre-License Site Inspection. Currently, Mettrum projects commercialization of the Agripharm facility in the last calendar quarter of 2014.
Additional Bowmanville Facility
In April 2014, Mettrum purchased a 60,000-square foot building, on seven acres of land at Bennett Road South in Bowmanville, Ontario, to serve as an additional facility for its business. The facility is within 500 metres of the current production facilities. Mettrum has submitted its application to Health Canada for this new facility, and is currently making compliance and production-focused modifications, which are in the final stages of completion. The estimated production capacity of this new facility is anticipated to be approximately 8,000 kg of medical cannabis per year. In light of the scale of the operation, Mettrum expects to materially reduce its production costs on a per gram basis once production begins at the facility. The facility includes a 6,000-square foot vault and, once licensed, will be Mettrum's primary production and delivery facility in Canada.
In late August, Mettrum received an update from Health Canada advising that its application for the Bennett Road South site was in the Enhanced Screening Stage. Mettrum believes that the majority of applications currently under review are held up by security clearance procedures and a lack of MMPR-specific Standard Operating Procedures and processes. Given that Mettrum's application for the site was submitted with individuals that already hold a MMPR security clearance for an existing license, and also that the second application was submitted using the same, or similar, Standard Operating Procedures, record keeping systems and other processes from its existing operating license, Mettrum anticipates the review time for this application to be relatively quick, as compared to a typical new license application, though there are no assurances as to the timeliness or positive review of Health Canada. In addition, Mettrum has recently completed the modifications at the facility and subject to Mettrum receiving its second license (for Bennett Road South) by the end of the 2014 calendar year, reaching commercialization at the facility in early 2015.
"We are very pleased with the Company's progress to date and the commencement of Mettrum trading as a publicly traded company is a milestone for all of us," said Michael Haines, Chief Executive Officer of Mettrum Health Corp. "With our first Health Canada licensed facility operating at full capacity, cultivating, producing and distributing a stable and growing strain of medical cannabis products, we are excited and confident in our ability to execute on our growth plan, and servicing the needs of our growing registered client base, all while keeping compliance and quality our ongoing top priority."
About Mettrum Health Corp.
Mettrum Health Corp. is Tier 1 Industry Issuer listed on TSX Venture Exchange. Mettrum Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, is a Toronto-based company incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario and a licensed producer under the MMPR, which came into effect on October 1, 2013. Mettrum received its license from Health Canada on November 1, 2013 and began production of medical cannabis on the same date. Mettrum was the third company in Canada to receive a license under the MMPR. From its fully integrated medical grade facility located in Bowmanville, Ontario, Mettrum commenced sales of medical cannabis under the MMPR in January 2014.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; delay or failure to receive board, shareholder or regulatory approvals; and the results of operations. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company and Mettrum disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Neither the Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Press release.
SOURCE: Mettrum Health Corp.