Former CanniMed CEO launches new pot company, but won’t be growing weed

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TORONTO — The former chief executive of licensed producer CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. has a budding new cannabis business largely made up of his former employees — but his newest venture won’t involve growing pot.

Brent Zettl says his biopharmaceutical company Zyus Life Sciences Inc. will instead buy cannabis from licensed producers and focus on extraction and development of plant-based medicinal products for the global medical market.

He says he started this venture days after he resigned from CanniMed, following the licensed producer’s agreement to be acquired by rival Aurora Cannabis Inc. after a terse, hostile takeover battle.

The Saskatoon-based company was initially called CB3 Life Sciences Inc. but has now been renamed Zyus.

Zettl says Zyus has acquired a former ethanol extraction facility in Saskatoon and now has 43 employees — 35 who had previously worked at CanniMed.

He said the company is focused on developing medicinal oil products, rather than cultivation, because of the higher margins and the looming “flower wars” and anticipated oversupply of dried cannabis in Canada.

The Canadian Press

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