VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PRESS RELEASE — Segra International Corp., an agriculture technology company, has announced that it will soon begin operations in the United States, providing plant tissue culture services to growers in the emerging federally legal U.S. hemp market. This new operation represents the company’s premiere entry into the U.S. hemp space, and will be developed concurrently with the company’s Canadian cannabis strategy.

Following passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, hemp was removed from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule I drug listing, and is now considered an “agricultural commodity.” Many new U.S. hemp operations are focused on the production of cannabidiol (CBD), a high-value compound found in cannabis plants. However, compliance with U.S. federal law requires that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in hemp crops remain below 0.3 percent. Segra, along with its genetics partners, intends to offer U.S. hemp growers access to premium and exclusive high-CBD, low-THC cultivars. 

“The legalization of hemp on a federal level in the United States has opened up an entirely new and highly lucrative market to our company,” said Ian Davidson, Segra’s chief business development officer. “Our primary focus in this emerging market is the production of high-CBD plantlets utilizing our proprietary plant tissue culture technology. The standardised nature of Segra’s tissue culture nursery stock will provide substantial increased value and risk mitigation for hemp growers; we look forward to supporting the propagation needs of hemp farmers across the U.S. in the near future.”

The company has leased a 1,900-square-foot laboratory facility in Portland, Ore., and has applied for the state’s industrial hemp license. It is anticipated that Segra’s U.S. hemp operations will commence later this year. In a recent analysis conducted by investment bank Cowen & Co., the potential U.S. market for CBD products is estimated to reach $16 billion by 2025.