VANCOUVER, July 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Benchmark Botanics Inc. (CSE: BBT) (the “Company” or “Benchmark Botanics”), a holder of federal licenses to cultivate, process and sell cannabis under the Cannabis Act is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Professor Dr. Michael Deyholos to establish a Comprehensive Research and Development Centre for Flax and Hemp Genetics (CFHG) at the Department of Biology of the University of British Columbia, Okanagan (UBCO).
CFHG is being established for the development of new hemp and flax varieties to serve markets for fiber, functional food, and medicinal ingredients. In partnership with Benchmark Botanics, the center will be located at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, in Kelowna, BC. The focus of the center will be to use applied genomics and genetic tools to develop novel germplasm to help industrial hemp and flax to reach its full potential. High-throughput genotyping and chemotyping techniques will be deployed to survey existing variation in germplasm collections. New biotechnology including the CRISPR/Cas9 system will be used to modify metabolic pathways, such as cannabidiol (CBD) biosynthesis, to produce novel germplasm that will be transferred to pre-breeding and breeding programs. The results are expected to be new hemp varieties with improved traits and novel bioproducts for all aspects of the hemp and flax industry.
CFHG’s Objectives

CFHG will focus on flax and industrial hemp-associated business objectives which include:
• Flax and industrial hemp whole products chain
• Leadership on flax and industry hemp research and development
• Creation of an international community to collaborate and benefit the general public domestically and internationally

“Benchmark Botanics is expected to play an industry-leading role for industrial-hemp and flax. Its vision and strategy hope to position itself well at a global level for utilizing flax and industrial hemp for whole products chains. UBCO offers advantages as a leading international University, geographically located in hemp and flax growing regions with easy access to international academic and industry communities. CFHG is expected to be a global leader in basic research, applied research and commercialization of industrial hemp.” said William Ying, CEO, Benchmark Botanics. “CFHG will strengthen collaborations between Canada and other parts of the world including the greater China regions. The benefit to both sides will be appreciated through personnel exchange, opening the Canadian hemp products to the Chinese market and bridge business reaching the global market. The social and economic benefits to BC and Canada could be significant and the hemp technologies developed in Canada could be commercialized soon in Canada, China and internationally.”

About Benchmark Botanics Inc.
Benchmark is a diversified multi-licensed cannabis producer focused on a three-way vertical business model targeting the medical, pharmaceutical and recreational markets in Canada. The Company’s business plan also includes a strategy to become a Canadian licensed producer to pioneer selling medical cannabis and hemp throughout Asia, in countries where it is legal to do so.

Benchmark is focused on producing the highest-quality, indoor-grown cannabis for patients and adult recreational consumers, as well as developing international business partnerships to extend the Company’s global footprint.

Benchmark’s 100% owned subsidiary, Potanicals Green Growers Inc. (“Potanicals) is a Health Canada licensed producer under the Cannabis Act and its regulations. The Company is producing at its indoor Peachland, BC Cannabis Complex and is constructing a Phase II expansion of an additional 10,000 square foot extraction facility there. Along with cultivation and production, the company’s Peachland BC facility also provides propagation, cultivation, cloning, storage, research and development, genetic improvements and is progressing towards CBD oil extraction and an EU-GMP certification.

As part of its expansion strategy, the company and a joint venture partner completed a second facility, a 4-acre Greenhouse Operation in Pitt Meadows, BC. The Company, through Potanicals, has received its second cultivation license, effective November 29, 2019, from Health Canada for the Pitt Meadow greenhouse.

For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.benchmarkbotanics.com or the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com.

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ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF
BENCHMARK BOTANICS INC.
/s/ “William Ying”
William Ying
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 604-238-0005
www.benchmarkbotanics.com
The CSE has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this release.
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