April 24, 2019

James E Wagner Cultivation Corp (CVE:JWCA) CEO on Advantages of GrowthSTORM Dual Droplet System

Midas Letter
Midas Letter
James E Wagner Cultivation Corp (CVE:JWCA) CEO on Advantages of GrowthSTORM Dual Droplet System

James E Wagner Cultivation Corp (CVE:JWCA) (OTCMKTS:JWCAF) CEO Nathan Woodworth provides an overview of the company’s proprietary GrowthSTORM system. Woodworth explains that the core technology is aeroponic-based and the company uses several additional steps to maximize the value of aeroponic growing. In November, JWC filed patent applications for its GrowthSTORM Dual Droplet technology. According to Woodworth, the Dual Droplet system solves the problem of droplet size as it relates to nutrient uptake and growing cannabis. JWC has experienced less than one percent crop loss while using the GrowthSTORM Dual Droplet system and Woodworth credits the control provided by the company’s technology for such impressive results. Woodworth explains how JWC ensures consistency and reliability, which is vital for the company’s medical customers and as JWC makes strides into the recreational space.  Through its GrowthSTORM licensing program, James E Wagner Cultivation plans to leverage its technology to gain a foothold globally.


Narrator: James E. Wagner Cultivation is a licensed producer of cannabis in Canada, with operations based in Kitchener, Ontario. The company uses an advanced and proprietary aeroponic platform named GrowthSTORM. GrowthSTORM is designed to achieve a balance of air and water at the root zone, and a more controlled delivery of nutrients to improve plant health.

This proprietary system is designed to eliminate all contaminants from the cultivation facility, allowing for a controlled growth environment to provide clean and consistent cannabis every life cycle.

James E. Wagner Cultivation has 88 million issued and outstanding shares and their management and insider ownership sits at slightly over 50 percent of issued shares.

James E. Wagner Cultivation trades on the TSX Venture under the ticker symbol JWCA.

[stock_chart symbol=”JWCA:TSV” align=”left” range=”5D”]

James West:   Nathan Woodworth joins me now. He’s the CEO of James E. Wagner Cultivation, trading on the TSX Venture under the symbol JWCA. Nathan, welcome back.

Nathan Woodworth:  Thanks very much for having me.

James West:   Nathan, I spent the day at your facility yesterday. I was appropriately impressed; I’ll leave it at that. I don’t want to wax too, you know, promotional on it, but you’ve rolled out this GrowthSTORM aeroponic system that is an entire system, and all of the features and the metrics you told me about yesterday were really impressive and stunning, in many cases. So tell me about the GrowthSTORM system: how is it different from a regular aeroponic system?

Nathan Woodworth:  Well, GrowthSTORM dual-droplet system, as we call it, like you said, it’s based in aeroponics. So in aeroponics, the roots of the plant hang freely inside an enclosure, and they’re misted with a special nutrient solution. Now, we use aeroponic technology, but in many ways, we’re an opportunistic hydroponic cultivator. We want to use the best suite of technological solutions to get us to the best finished product in the most efficient route possible.

So the core technology, that’s aeroponic, and we use a number of different steps in order to maximize the effectiveness of that solution as we use it. But the recent advance, and the patent that we filed in November of last year, is for what we’re calling the dual-droplet system. Now, this is the next generation of aeroponics; it’s the most advanced aeroponic system around. And it solves an issue which has lingered in the science of aeroponics for decades. The original studies showed that a small droplet size promoted root growth best, but cannabis is an aggressive plant, and it uses a broad spectrum of nutrients, and that small droplet size doesn’t work.

So what we do is, we deliver two different droplet sizes. Two different nutrient chemistries, creating the perfect environment from both perspectives: the dual-droplet system.

James West:   Fascinating. And you have a very low rate of crop failure – it’s practically non-existent.

Nathan Woodworth:  Yes. You know, we measure crop failure as the loss of any plant that has entered the flowering cycle; as those who grow cannabis know, once a plant enters the flowering cycle, it’s locked on a track, you know? It’s going to reach the end of that cycle, and then you’re going to have your product – unless it dies first.

Now, in many cases, those crop loss numbers vary wildly. In the GrowthSTORM system and inside our facilities, we keep that crop loss number down below 1 percent, which is a fantastic achievement by my team, and I’m very proud of them for managing it. But it’s also as a result of the tight control that our technology gives us. So it’s inherent in the technology that we have that ability to control the total conditions of growth.

James West:   James E. Wagner at this point is primarily a provider of medicinal cannabis to the Canadian audience, is that accurate?

Nathan Woodworth:  That’s right, yep! We do supply material through the Craft Grow program that Canopy Growth Corp. runs, and you know, right now I believe that’s entirely medicinal as well, and we have a growing patient base able to access our products right now.

James West:   Sure. As a medical product producer, it is imperative that you are able to deliver the same dose at the same quality with the same purity, every time, year after year. And to me, the greatest takeaway from your aeroponics system relative to even the most advanced hydroponic system is that the level of consistency across crops is continuous and wavers the least among all the methodologies for growing cannabis.

Nathan Woodworth:  I think that’s correct. You know, we remove all of these extra variables, and what happens when you remove all those variables is, you suddenly have the ability to maintain stability within the plant system. So we’re cloning these plants, they’re genetically identical, and every time we put them through the exact same process. So when we grow a strain that has 23 percent THC the first time, a year later, it’s going to have 23 percent THC. People are going to come back and they’re going to get the same product again and again.

Now, you mentioned this in reference to medical products, and I think there it is very important, but I think this is going to be tremendously important as we move to enter the recreational market, as well. You know, people want to have something reliable, you know. They want to have something that they can come back to for the same experience, whether that’s medically or recreationally.

James West:   Now your system is under patent application, correct?

Nathan Woodworth:  That’s right, and we filed patent applications in a wide variety of jurisdictions, all around the world.

James West:   So is it possible for other companies to license your system if they wanted to grow to such a high standard and with such consistency?

Nathan Woodworth:  Possible, encouraged and definitely underway. You know, we’re in conversations with a wide variety of companies from around the world. You know, there’s a lot of interest in aeroponics right now, and when it comes to aeroponics, we’re there to support people, to help them understand that process, to give them a technology that is useable, and that has a proven track record in growing the top quality cannabis products. And we have a licensing program that we call the GrowthSTORM Family Company Program, that allows, you know, any company in the world to approach us and enter into discussions about licensing that technology to produce cannabis wherever they are.

James West:   Fantastic. So it’s actually a business line?

Nathan Woodworth:  It is, you know, in a lot of ways. We are approaching this as sort of an adjunct model to what we’re already doing. You know, we’ve been growing cannabis since the MMAR days, you know, and we’re a grower-led organization; I’m a grower myself. So that’s not something we’re going to stop anytime soon, but we’re also a technology company, and the long-term vision is for us to leverage that technology to have a presence on the world stage. You know, you’re going to see GrowthSTORM in a variety of different venues, and I think as it spreads, we’re going to prove that the efficacy is there and that the value is there. These companies are going to succeed because of the technology, because of the control that we’re able to give them over that process, and I think that’s going to become recognized.

James West:   So you’ve just moved into a much larger facility than your first one; it’s 350,000 square feet?

Nathan Woodworth:  Yeah, approximately. I think I’d put it at 345,000 square feet, yeah.

James West:   Now, how much cannabis is that going to enable you to produce in any given year?

Nathan Woodworth:  Well, a bottom line estimate, which of course is an aggregate based on sort of the strains that our customers want to buy right now, is about 30,000 kilograms per year, and you know, that’s a good ability to produce cannabis. It’s going to give us a presence in a variety of markets across Canada, so that, you know, a variety of different people can try those products and get to know GrowthSTORM and get to know JWC.

James West:   Sure. Now, help me with the math, here: 30,000 kilograms in a year, what’s the average price you expect to realize per gram?

Nathan Woodworth:  Well, that’s an interesting question, because of course, this is an ever-evolving market. I think, you know, we’re looking at somewhere in terms of, now, if we’re talking – are you asking gross revenue or net revenue?

James West:   Gross.

Nathan Woodworth:  Okay, gross, I think you’re looking at somewhere around $6.50 to $7.50, because of course, the recreational marketplaces vary across the country.

James West:   So that’s $210 million worth of marijuana in a year.

Nathan Woodworth:  Sure, that sounds like a great number to me!

James West:   [laughter] Okay, well, I’m just trying to get a sense of the scale that you’re now able to achieve. You currently only sell premium dried flower?

Nathan Woodworth:  That’s right.

James West:   But you’ve got any plans to start creating vape cartridges or edibles or other extracted-related products when those rules apply?

Nathan Woodworth:  Absolutely. You know, I think that’s a tremendously important market segment. We’re working with MediPharm Labs, a terrific company, and they’re doing, you know, our extraction for us using their CO2 process, and that produces a great product for those vape cartridges and for your edibles. We’re also going to look at a variety of other methods to achieve specialized concentrates. You know, we’ve been in this industry for a long time, and so we recognize the value of some of those other concentrate categories. You know, we want to produce a type of hash called a bubble hash which, you know, is a very valuable product that a lot of people really enjoy that.

But there’s also high-end concentrates: your butters and shatters. And we have processes in the works to achieve all of those. My goal is to see each of our unique strains matched in dried flower with all of those other types of concentrate category alongside them.

James West:   You bet. I was surprised to learn that you are actually a supplier of wholesale cannabis to other big brands across the Canadian landscape. Are there any of those companies that you can talk about?

Nathan Woodworth:  Well, you know, primarily right now, of course, we’re working through the Craft Grow program. They have a huge following, and they need a lot of product, and you know, we sell some wholesale lots to them. But –

James West:   To whom?

Nathan Woodworth:  To the Canopy Growth Corp. through the Craft Grow program. They sell it under the JWC brand on their craft grow store. So there’s going to be more products to come, there; we’re going to be selling a larger volume of product there in the future, and of course, we’re always looking to expand those types of relationships; that’s really all I can say right now.

James West:   Okay. What’s your number one selling product?

Nathan Woodworth:  These days, it’s kush. You know, it’s a very high THC product, at about 23 percent THC. It’s got a very robust flavour; people really like it. Holy Grail Kush, coming up quick; you know, I think it’s going to overtake it in the end in terms of popularity. But we’ve got some new strains that are coming out soon, that I think are really going to blow them all out of the water. We’ve managed to source some unique genetics; the lineage is sort of clouded. We don’t know, really, what we’re working with here, but we’ve gone through a long selection process and we’ve pulled out some really terrific phenotypes.

My two favourite, and the two I’ll mention: one is a Northern Kush GE – the GE stands for GrowthSTORM Exclusive. It’ll only ever be grown in the GrowthSTORM equipment. That one tests at about 25 percent THC, so it’s a very high-end THC strain, and there’s a lot of people out there who are looking for that sort of thing. I think the Northern Kush is definitely going to hit the spot there.

But the one I’m really excited about is a strain we’re calling Wagner GE. This one is a 2:1 ratio; it’s got 13 and a bit percent CBD, and 6.5 percent THC.

James West:   Ooh, that’s for me.

Nathan Woodworth:  It’s for me too, to be completely honest with you! It’s a mellow, relaxing sort of mix.

James West:   Sure, okay.

Nathan Woodworth:  It’s something that I think is going to have, actually, a lot of popularity in the recreational market as well. Entry-level people who are, you know, not these who are looking for the very high-end THC, are really going to gravitate toward that type of product. It has a great, you know, beautiful flowers, in actual fact, and you know, it has a terrific aroma as well. So a product that I really believe in, and I think people are really going to come to appreciate in the months to come.

James West:   Yeah. Entry level and exit level.

Nathan Woodworth:  There you go! [laughter]

James West:   Not that we’re exiting anytime soon! All right, Nate, fantastic update. We’ll leave it there for now. Full disclosure, I am a shareholder of the company. And, thank you for joining me today.

Nathan Woodworth:  Thank you very much.

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