A St. John’s entrepreneur is working with two other companies to launch an operation in Newfoundland that will focus on developing different strains of cannabis and hemp.
Chris Snellen is the founder of CEPG Systems, which designs controlled-environment plant-growth systems and currently operates a hydroponic grow operation in the city’s east end that cultivates lettuce, mushrooms and other plants.
He’s now partnering with Future Farm Technologies of B.C. and Rahan Meristem, an Israeli company, to start a hemp breeding program in St. John’s.
The project will focus on growing new cannabis strains specifically tailored for specific medical and commercial uses.
The collaboration between the three companies will go ahead once they get a dealer license from Health Canada, which will allow them to start doing research and development on new cannabis strains.
The plan isn’t to start producing large quantities of smokeable pot, but to develop the strains themselves as small amounts of cannabis leaf tissue, which will ideally be sold as intellectual property to licensed producers around the world.
Snellen said the plan is to eventually produce new strains that can be used for both medical, industrial and recreational use. He hopes to have some ready by this time next year.