Canadian biotech firm forms JV with Australis Capital to expand capabilities in U.S.

An expanding tissue-culture laboratory with locations in Washington and Canada has entered into a joint venture with Australis Capital, a U.S. spinoff of Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis.

3 Rivers Biotech Inc., an agricultural technology company that specializes in commercial-scale micropropagation for marijuana, hemp and traditional crops including vegetables and fruit, will own 85% of the joint venture focused on marketing plant tissue culture offerings, to Australis Capital’s 15% ownership.

Under terms of the agreement, 3 Rivers will provide access to its “intellectual property and services, products and solutions” for Australis Capital clients, including future offerings such as tissue culture-based autoflower genetics and pest control, pathogen testing and genetic fingerprinting innovations.

In turn, Australis will contribute sales and marketing capabilities, and new opportunities through its industry network, according to a company statement.

Through its partnership with JRT Nurseries, a greenhouse operation and tissue culture lab in Mount Vernon, Washington, 3 Rivers can ship plants globally, and it is in the process of expanding its capacity in Washington, California and “other jurisdictions.”

“By teaming up with AUSA, we believe we will be able to access new sales and marketing channels and rapidly expand our global footprint for (plant tissue culture) of cannabis, hemp and traditional crops,” said Robert Allen, CEO of 3 Rivers.

With this joint venture and other U.S. investments, Australis Capital is building a foothold in the market.

The company is working to close a transaction to acquire 51% of ALPS, a horticultural crops consultancy, with the option to acquire the rest if completed, along with the acquisition of Green Therapeutics LLC, a multi-state marijuana producer with operations in Nevada, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Australis Capital trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange as AUSA and on the over the counter QB market as AUSAF.

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