Cannabinoid fermentation specialist eyes Mexican market

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - Annuncha Cheechang
©Getty Images - Annuncha Cheechang

Related tags CBD and Hemp hemp extracts

The advent of a strategic patent has put formulation specialist Biomedican on course to fundamentally alter the cannabinoid supply picture, the company claims. In addition, a Mexican court ruling has opened up opportunities south of the border.

Biomedican is based on the manipulation of proprietary strains of Yarrowia lypolitica,​ an 'oily yeast' species that the company says is the most appropriate fermentation platform for the production of cannabinoids. 

The technology is the brainchild of founder and CEO Max Miheev, PhD, who spent years working on genomics projects in Russia. That work is culminating in a milestone patent that the company said is on the 

“We received a notice from the patent office that our biggest and most strategic patent will be issued in the next two to three months,” Biomedican president Dennis O’Neill told NutraIngredients-USA.

O’Neill said the validation of the impending patent means the company

“We can produce cannabinoids for less than $1 a gram, compared to $5 to $12 a gram for competing technologies,” 

Opportunity in Mexico

O’Neill said it has attracted the attention of one of the largest pharmacy chains in Mexico, Farmacias del Ahorra, with more than 1,500 outlets.

“They are going to be investing in our company and using our cannabinoids in a product for their customers,”​ he said.

O’Neill said the recent court ruling in Mexico​ to legalize cannabis will open up the market.  And he said his company’s freedom from relying on botanical raw material will be a differentiator.

“The major problem they have down there is that the major drug cartels own all the grow operations.  We don’t touch the plant and we can produce products with zero point zero percent THC.  And we can produce the exact same molecule every time,”​ he said.

O’Neill said the approach can yield commercial quantities of rare cannabinoids, such as CBN and CBG. The company said industry production experience shows that it can take as much as 10 kilos of industrial hemp flower material to yield 300 grams of pure cannabinoids. And of that 300 grams, only about 2% will be the minor cannabinoids. Finding a more cost effective way to produce these minor constituents will facilitate research and make it possible to bring products to market to benefit consumers, he said.

Related topics Suppliers LATAM Botanicals CBD / Hemp

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