Benchmark Botanics Inc. (OTCMKTS:BHHKF) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Professor Michael Deyholos for the establishment of a Flax and Hemp Genetics Research Development Centre. The research center will be established at the Department of Biology, University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Research center to create new hemp varieties
The centers will focus on developing new flax and hemp varieties for serving the markets for functional foods, fiber, and medicinal components. In collaboration with Benchmark Botanics, the center will employ applied genetics and genomic tools to develop proprietary germplasm to aid flax, and industrial hemp achieve its potential. Researchers will deploy high-throughput chemotyping and genotyping techniques in studying the current differences in germplasm collections.
They will use new biotechnology that includes the CRISPR/Cas9 system in the modification of metabolic pathways like CBD biosynthesis to come up with germplasm that they will transfer into the breeding programs. The outcome is expected to be a new variety of hemp that has enhanced traits and proprietary bioproducts for all Flax and hemp industry aspects.
Research to open Canadian hemp market internationally
William Ying, the CEO of Benchmark Botanics, stated that the company expects to play a vital role in the industry for flax and industrial hemp. Ying said that the goal and strategy of Benchmark Botanics are to position itself as a global leader that is utilizing industrial hemp and flax for whole product chains. The University of British Columbia Okanagan is strategically located in flax and hemp growing areas, which is advantageous as it will offer easy access to industry and academic communities.
Further, Ying asserted that collaboration with UBCO will enhance partnerships with other regions across the globe that includes China. Both sides stand to benefit via personnel exchange, and thus this will open Canadian hemp products to Chinese markets and thus help in bridging the gap to bring the products to global markets. For Canada and BC, the social-economic benefits are huge, with hemp technologies under development expected to be commercialized globally.