Willow Biosciences Inc. says it has successfully developed a scalable process for producing cannabigerol (CBG) with greater than 99 percent purity, no detectable THC and demonstrated production at 500-litre scale.

The company previously announced, in collaboration with its development partner, Albany Molecular Research, Inc., it had commenced a 500-litre pilot scale campaign. In addition to optimizing the production process using its proprietary yeast strain, Willow has developed a high-yielding downstream purification process that provides CBG with greater than 99% purity. This productive strain and simplified downstream process should enable manufacturing in smaller, capital-light, GMP-compliant fermentation production facilities,  at a fraction of the cost and environmental footprint of plant cultivation and extraction.

"Achieving scalable production of pure CBG is a pivotal milestone for both Willow and our industry," said Willow CEO Trevor Peters. "The market opportunity for high-purity cannabinoids manufactured under GMP control is expected to be in the billions of dollars in the coming years, and as the first company to successfully produce product samples, Willow is poised to capture a sizable portion of that market. We anticipate being able to begin commercialization of CBG in the first half of 2021 and are currently selecting manufacturing partners to assist us in reaching both local and worldwide markets."

Willow expects to deliver samples of its produced CBG to prospective partners in the coming weeks and has seen initial demand for samples from Canada, United States, Brazil, Europe, Australia and South East Asia. Demand is evident from all segments of the consumer packaged goods industry including nutraceuticals, food and beverage, personal care and over-the-counter medicine. Providing Willow's prospective partners with high purity samples from its pilot production run is the most significant hurdle before entering into commercial agreements.

CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with early research suggesting it has a range of bioactive properties in the body. From early discussions with key stakeholders in the nutraceutical, personal care, food and beverage industries, Willow believes CBG has the potential to be as impactful to the recreational, health and wellness landscape as cannabidiol (CBD) has become, and this will pave the way for other cannabinoids to enter the marketplace.

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