SOURCE: Plandai Biotechnology, Inc.
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 28, 2014) - Last month Plandaí Biotechnology, Inc. (OTCQB: PLPL) closed a licensing agreement with Diego Pellicer, Inc. that will allow the company to use the Diego Pellicer name for its Phytofare™ cannabis extract in medical and pharmaceutical marijuana applications. Plandaí will produce the new Diego Pellicer Gold™ extracts in both capsules and cannabis oil (for vapor use) in Pheroid™ and non-Pheroid™ versions to appeal to the broadest range of medicinal consumers.
Stock Market Media Group (SMMG), a full service research and content development investor relations firm, asked Plandaí's management about the company's journey to introduce cannabis extracts to the market.
SMMG: Where is Plandai in the process of adding cannabis products?
Plandaí: "We are doing several things simultaneously. First, we're reviewing the various strains of cannabis and selecting one that we feel will have the best chemical profile for what we want to accomplish with the extract.
We're also working in Washington to ensure that we have live plant matter available for testing later in the year. Finally, we are engineering a CRS hydrodynamic processing and extraction system and constructing a laboratory in Washington that will make the initial extract for testing."
SMMG: What has been completed in the process and what is left to complete?
Plandaí: "The initial steps involved determining if we could even make a cannabis extract. This involved a review of the legal environment, the physical properties of the plant, and the chemical properties of the plant. We then needed to hire a small team that could 1) Select the correct strain, 2) Establish cultivation protocols, 3) Reach out to investigational institutions to begin lining up clinical trials, and 4) Adapt our current extraction system to be able to process cannabis. All of these things have happened.
We expect to finalize terms with a cultivation facility in the coming weeks so that we have suitable established plants in adequate quantities by this fall to begin making sample extract. Remember, we must use live plant material and we must use a specific and reproducible strain. We can't just go into a shop and buy dry leaf. Working with local growers, we need to document their cultivation techniques, fertilizer, etc. All of these things can impact the chemical profile. So, we need to manage the process to ensure that we have the correct chemical profile.
Concurrently, we will be building a small-scale lab so that we can produce our first cannabinoid extract. This will then need to be tested to get a chemical profile. We then need to test it for bioavailability and establish dosage parameters. Only then can we start testing for specific medical properties and benefits."
SMMG: What role will both the hydrodynamic sheering process and Pheroid® play in the production of extracts?
Plandaí: "The hydrodynamic sheering process is what breaks down and separates the plant structures, giving us increased bioavailability as well as allowing us to maximize the amount of phytonutrients we extract. All of our products will go through this process. The specific processing challenges we face with cannabis are releasing THC and CBD from the viscous cannabis oil and in the process reducing the articles to a high percentage of nano from the current ratio of 250-350mg. To achieve this, new formulated liquids will be used in the processing cycle.
The Pheroid® brings in certain additional properties which, depending on the individual may be considered advantageous or disadvantageous.
Essentially, the Pheroid® will entrap the cannabinoids until they reach the cells. This means that the THC will not metabolize in the blood stream, thus conceivably eliminating the psychoactive effects. We believe that we will be able to deliver a meaningful dosage of cannabinoids without the accompanying 'high.'
This will be ideal for patients with neural disorders and diseases. Some conditions require or prefer the metabolized THC and welcome the associated psychoactive effects. Thus, we expect to develop and test both a Pheroid® and non-Pheroid® version of the product."
SMMG: Where will these extracts be sold?
Plandaí: "We do not plan on having retail locations or selling directly to consumers. We are an ingredient manufacturer for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications. We will produce our extracts and then look to sell them to manufacturers of finished goods or into medicinal applications."
SMMG: What role, if any, will your South African plantation and manufacturing facility play in the future of your cannabis extract?
Plandaí: "Presently, South African law prohibits the cultivation of cannabis and furthermore it would be impossible to legally export or import any cannabis-based products or extracts. Our South Africa estate and factory is set up exclusively for processing our Phytofare™ Catechin Complex, which is made from green tea, though eventually we expect to also produce a citrus complex at this same facility. So, our South Africa operations will not be involved in any way for the foreseeable future. Until we are through with our research and animal trials, it is premature to speculate on when, if, or where we will produce a commercial cannabis extract, but we will only be involved if we can be assured that we are complying with all Federal and state laws.
As we recently announced, however, an appeal was made on our behalf to the South African legislature to grant Plandaí a special dispensation, or waiver, allowing us to produce and test a cannabinoid Phytofare™ extract for human clinical trials. In addition, legislation has recently been introduced in South Africa to permit medical marijuana research. Should this legislation pass, or should the government grant us special dispensation, it could open up the door to advancing medical research on an accelerated basis. We will know more in the coming months and will keep our shareholders apprised of any developments on this front."
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