MONTREAL, June 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On May 29, 2014 Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a medical marijuana bill crafted by the House and Senate. Minnesota is now the 22nd U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana.
Canada's conservative federal government is already regulating and taxing medical marijuana. It is estimated that the legal marijuana business will generate more than $3.1 billion a year in taxable sales in Canada within the next 10 years.
Last week Affinor Growers (CNX:AFI) (Frankfurt:1AF) (RSSFF-OTCQB) acquired a 100% interest in a private British Columbia company which is in the final stages of obtaining their Medical Marijuana growers license.
The opportunity to enter a mature market with growing demand has already proved a gold rush for investors. Tweed Marijuana is now worth $121 million. Windfire Capital is planning to purchase medical marijuana producer, Rosebud Productions; its stock price has tripled in the last 12 months.
Affinor is now fully focused on the agriculture, medical marijuana and industrial hemp industries. AFI's differentiator is that its Chairman, Nick Brusatore, already has a 15 year track record in commercial crop innovation.
"We currently use vertical growing technology for strawberries, lettuce, herbs and spinach," stated Brusatore, in an exclusive interview with Financial Press, "This technology produces about 13 times more food per square foot, than a traditional greenhouse. We use solar power where possible and we create zero water waste."
Affinor has an R&D facility in Port Coquitlam, BC where it is currently Beta-testing a mechanical pollinator for strawberries with a team of pharmacologists, scientists and plant geneticists.
"The mechanical pollinator will be a game-changer in terms of reducing labour costs and increasing productivity," stated Brusatore, "This innovation is the culmination of 14 years' experience and experimentation growing strawberries."
Brusatore claims that becoming a successful marijuana producer involves more than just getting a license. It also requires the ability to create and scale high quality commercial crops.
Four major players are interested in buying all the strawberries AFI can produce. The contracts are in negotiation. Strawberries are in demand 12 months a year, but can only be grown a couple of months in northern climates.
Rick Easthom, recently retired Manager of Retail Development for Choices Market confirms that it is "unheard of to produce a vine ripened strawberry above the 49th Parallel in the dead of winter."
"I sampled a 53 gram fully vine-ripened strawberry produced by Affinor," stated Easthom in an exclusive interview with Financial Press. "It was better than any other strawberry I have ever tasted, including our local summer berries."
"We want to build large facilities near distribution centers to ensure that the berries get to the market very quickly," stated Brusatore, "We're going to buy a piece of land, build a facility with our existing design, and start producing berries. The distribution deals I have on the table would qualify us to move us onto the NASDAQ, and we plan to do that."
Affinor is currently producing about 25,000 grams of medical marijuana a month operating under an old license – through a company it purchased called D&G productions.
"The medical marijuana business is a natural fit for us because we already grow premium plants for a living and we can do it cheaper than anybody else," stated Brusatore.
Affinor is focused on crops such as romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries and high quality medical marijuana.
"If Health Canada grants us a new license, we can snap our fingers and scale up our production very, very quickly," states Brusatore, "This license would give us the opportunity to sell medical marijuana online to patients who could pay by VISA or PayPal and get it shipped directly to their door. The potential future market includes medical marijuana patients in the U.S."
Affinor's plan is to industrialize and automate a profitable system to mass-produce premium medicinal plants, free of disease and chemicals.
Following in Minnesota's footsteps, Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin also have medical marijuana reform bills on the table.
Affinor is currently trading at .85 with a market cap of $51 million.
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