BreedIT, Monsanto and GW Pharma Underscoring Advancements in Medical Marijuana Industry

September 9, 2014 12:27 pm

Whitefish, MT / September 4, 2014 / Accesswire

There is no shortage of philosophies coming from so-called pundits on how to play the legalized marijuana movement. The problem is that it’s a nascent industry full of nascent companies, making it difficult to discern which companies will prevail. Many jumping into the pot space are throwing a dart of momentum plays (mostly those in the competitive growing or retail businesses) with only a modicum of information. There are some sectors that are being somewhat overlooked that may offer a more fundamentally sound opportunity for growth. The biotech space is like stacking speculation (biotech) on top of risk (medical marijuana), but that usually adds up to a home run if a company can get it right. Most investors are aware of the potential regulatory hurdles, but that has not steered them away from GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH). Probably the best biotech working with cannibinoids, GW Pharma has caught the attention of Wall Street for many reasons, including an upcoming clinical trial for Dravet syndrome, a terrible, life-threatening disease where patients are plagued with seizures that many families argue cannabis provides relief (if not essentially a cure).

Another area for growth as a result of the surge in legal marijuana is growing business, but not the sense that struggling miners are becoming pot companies in a bid to develop into something other than a bankrupt exploration firm. There are other areas that are more further reaching, such as the offerings of industrial titans Monsanto (MON) and Aegion Corp. (AEGN) or those of upstart BreedIT Corp. (BRDT).

Aegion has a portfolio of diversified products in the energy, mining, wastewater pipeline and commercial infrastructure industries. This may not seem to be a fit in the marijuana business just yet, but the company has the means to be patient until industrial-sized farms are developed. As noted by Marketwatch contributor and major Scutify shareholder Cody Willard, Aegion items like “water and wastewater, Brinderson, corrosion engineering and cathodic protection” will be in direct demand. It’s notable that Willard is adamant about only investing in blue chip plays.

Monsanto and billionaire investor George Soros have gotten their hands dirty and pushed to get into the marijuana business. Now that Uraguay became the first country to legalize the production and sale of marijuana, Monsanto plans to launch production of genetically modified marijuana. Analysts are pondering if marijuana will become the next GMO (genetically modified organisms) crop, with patentable transgenic strains developed with increased active compounds for use in drugs.

In a similar fold is BreedIT, which through its Israeli subsidiary BreedIT Ltd. is the exclusive worldwide license holder and distributor of iBreedIT(r), a proprietary Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) for plant breeders and researchers. iBreedIT(r) was developed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has been instrumental in the development of many of crops, including the Daniela tomatoes-on-the-vine, which are known for their extreme adaptability for growing under different conditions.

BreeIT Scientific Advisor Dr. Alan Shackelford was featured in an interview with CEOLIVE.TV that was published today. Dr. Shackelford, a venerable physician that has been practicing medicine for 26 years, is known by millions for his relationship with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN and for being the doctor of Charlotte Figi. The two doctors met during CNN’s special called “Weed that aired on August 11, 2013 and featured Dr. Gupta interviewing Dr. Shackelford in Israel as well as discussing Charlotte Figi, the little girl with Dravet Syndrome that showed the world the power of the cannabis compound cannabidiol (which doesn’t have any of they psychotropic effects of marijuana) when Dr. Shackelford’s prescription immediately resulted in Charlotte’s seizure count dropping from 300 per week to one. Dr. Shackelford has been interviewed by leading programs and news sources across the world, including 60 Minutes, CTV Canada, the Washington Post and more. The CEOLIVE.TV interview, which covers the unique position of BreedIT by combining academia and practical experience to selectively produce targeted strains of cannabis with specific therapeutic implications, can be viewed below.

BreedIT Ltd. has some leading global players as customers, lending evidence to the efficiency of the technology, including Zeraim Gedara, a subsidiary of Syngenta Group (NYSE:SYT), and Hazera Genetics, a subsidiary of Vilmorin Group, the largest plant breeding and seed company in the European Union. Expanding its footprint in Israel, regarded by many experts as the world’s medical marijuana research capital, BreedIT has partnered with Israeli-based medical cannabis breeder Seach Ltd. to establish KanaboSeed Ltd. The 50/50 joint venture was formed to develop new breeds of medical cannabis at the behest of physicians and other medical practitioners, according to BreedIT. Shay Avraham Sarid, the head of R&D at Seach, said the results so far marrying Seach’s extensive knowledge of cannabis cultivation with the cutting-edge technology of BreedIT have been “remarkable.”

BreedIT has made significant strides in recent months to bring the iBreedIT(r) technology to the U.S. The company has completed the English interface, beta tested they system with growers in Denver and now plans a U.S. launch in the fourth quarter, making it the first to market for technology of its kind. GMO’s offer competition, but operate under a different methodology that can be far more time consuming and expensive to the tune of years and millions of dollars, which gives BreedIT an edge. iBreedIT(r) allows researchers to tag desired genes and then selectively develop the seeds for the specified characteristics, while facilitating R&D with software to manage and analyze data to improve product quality and reducing time to market and, subsequently, development expenses.

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