Special report: Innovative agtech play Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies is entering the medicinal cannabis growers market, conducting a world-first proof of concept to cool cannabis seedling roots and help them grow faster.

The company (ASX:ROO) is collaborating with leading Israeli cannabis grower Canndoc and will use its technology in a trial of cannabis plants grown in a greenhouse in Northern Israel during the summer of 2018.

Roots Sustainable technology will be used to cool the root systems of cannabis seedlings and stabilise temperature between scorching summer days and cooler nights, which is expected to lead to a shortened growing cycle, higher yield and greater uniformity.

This is the first time the agtech has dipped its toe in the multi-billion dollar medicinal cannabis market, which it estimates is currently worth $40 million in Israel alone.

That current figure is not even a sliver of the projected future size of the marker, which a sector report from Energias Research in March put at worth $US24 billion by 2024.

The medicinal cannabis sector is set for a compound annual growth rate of around 19% over the next six years, according to the report.

Roots Sustainable has so far only used its novel Root Zone Optimisation Approach (RTZO) with edible crops, including successfully increasing the yield of basil by 66% during the winter months.

It’s first foray into the cannabis growth is just a taste of things to come, said chief executive Dr Sharon Devir.

It should demonstrate how universal our technology is and how it can be applied to a diverse range of crops,” Dr Devir said.

As the medicinal cannabis market takes off across the globe, there is one consistent theme: producers must meet stringent standards for plant quality with less environmental impact. Roots Sustainable can assist in this process, Dr Devir said.

“The proof of concept offers a significant opportunity for Roots’ root zone technology to expose internationally the benefits of our technology, with competition in the highly-regulated medicinal cannabis sector requiring higher yields and plant quality to meet exacting medicinal standards and lower costs.”

This special report is brought to you by Roots Sustainable.

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