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Asterion Lodges Operational Works Permit Application for Development at its Medicinal Cannabis Propagation and Processing Facility

Asterion Cannabis Inc. announces that the Company’s wholly-owned Australian subsidiary has submitted its Operational Works permit.

Asterion Cannabis Inc. (“Asterion” or the “Company”) announces that the Company’s wholly-owned Australian subsidiary (“Asterion Australia”) has submitted its Operational Works permit (the “Operational Works Permit”) application to the Toowoomba Regional Council (the “Council”) to seek approval of certain development activities at the Company’s Toowoomba Medicinal Cannabis project (the “Project”), as part of the final approval process for development of the Project.

The Company recently received the required Development Approval permit (the “DA”) from the Council for the Project (see the Company’s news release dated November 6, 2019). The DA evidences the Council’s acceptance of Asterion’s proposed design and operational parameters for the intensive horticulture Project, a 75 ha (185 acre) site that includes 400,000 square metres (4.3 million square feet) of glasshouse modules for cannabis processing and cultivation and 108,000 square metres (1.2 million square feet) of auxiliary and processing buildings, along with a world-class medicinal cannabis tissue culture propagation facility, research and quality assurance laboratories and advanced security systems. The total combined square footage of the Company’s facilities at the Project is planned to be 508,000 square metres (5.5 million square feet).

Once the Operational Works Permit is granted, Asterion expects to be in a position to commence site works (the “Site Works”) on the Project. The initial stage of construction will provide local jobs for numerous consultants, contractors and suppliers. The Site Works is also anticipated to produce employment for over 500 people and include important opportunities for training and development.

Asterion’s Chairman and CEO, Stephen Van Deventer, stated, “Once obtained, the Operational Works Permit will enable the Company to begin key site preparation work, which is expected to include access haul roads, 2,500,000 cubic metres of cut to fill earthworks and associated drainage protection activities in preparation for construction. After many months of planning and extensive government and community support, Asterion’s facility will be ready for commencement. Under the local Council guidelines, we expect the Operational Works Permit to be granted in middle to late December 2019.”

About Asterion

Asterion is a Canadian medicinal cannabis company with operations in Australia. Asterion’s goal is to be a global industry leader in next generation medical cannabis products. Asterion is focused on the future of advanced agriculture and aims to produce the highest quality genetically uniform cannabis strains, at an affordable price.

Asterion is led by a team of highly experienced executives with over 120 years of combined experience in medical cannabis, renewable energy, capital markets, and other highly relevant sectors across North America, Oceania, Europe, Africa and Asia.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors

“Stephen Van Deventer”
Chief Executive Officer

For further information, please contact:

Deanna Kress
+1-778-999-6063
info@asterioncannabis.com

Forward-Looking Statements:

This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities legislation, including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this news release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations and orientations regarding the future including, without limitation, matters related to the receipt of the Operational Works Permit, the construction and size of the glasshouse modules for cannabis processing and cultivation, auxiliary and processing buildings, medicinal cannabis tissue culture propagation facility and research and quality assurance laboratories at the Project, the commencement and scope of the Site Works, the ability of the Company and Asterion Australia to supply medicinal cannabis products to the Australian and global markets, the number of employment and consulting opportunities created by the development of the Project and the Company and Asterion Australia’s anticipated business plans and prospects of success in executing its plans. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “will”, “plans”, “expects”, “may”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “proposes” or variations of such words including negative variations thereof and phrases that refer to certain actions, events or results that may, could, would, might or will occur or be taken or achieved. Forward looking statements are based on certain assumptions regarding the Company, including expected growth, results of operations, industry trends, growth opportunities, the Company and Asterion Australia’s expectation that Asterion Australia will be granted the Operational Works Permit and be able to obtain the financing needed to complete the Project and to carry out its planned future activities, retain and attract qualified personnel and obtain and/or maintain the necessary rights or permits needed to carry out its future business activities.

Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, but not limited to, the inability of the Company (or Asterion Australia) to, among other things, obtain the financing required to carry out its planned future activities, including development activities under the Operations Works Permit, the Site Works and the construction of the Project, obtain the required regulatory approvals, permits, consents or authorizations required, including the Operational Works Permit and the required cannabis licences for the cultivation, manufacturing and research of medicinal cannabis from the Australian Government’s Office of Drug Control, to execute its proposed business plans and complete its research as planned. Other factors such as general economic, market or business conditions, future prices of cannabis, changes in the financial markets and in the demand and market price for cannabis, or changes in laws, regulations and policies affecting the biotechnology or medical cannabis industry and delays in obtaining governmental and regulatory approvals, may also adversely affect the future results or performance of the Company and Asterion Australia. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, unless required by applicable law, the Company and Asterion Australia assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Although the Company and Asterion Australia believe that the statements, beliefs, plans, expectations, and intentions contained in this news release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that those statements, beliefs, plans, expectations, or intentions will prove to be accurate. Readers should consider all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to other periodic reports provided by the Company from time-to-time.

Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and, accordingly, are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements due to the inherent uncertainty of such statements.

Click here to connect with Asterion Cannabis Inc. for an Investor Presentation.

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Following international pressure, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

In a last-minute commitment after months of debate, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050, expecting to meet the goal largely through technology development.

The move comes following international pressure as Australia had previously refused to join countries in pledging to meet the target ahead of the United Nations' COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

However, the plan unveiled on Tuesday (October 26), which includes a government investment of AU$20 billion, does not strengthen the target set for 2030, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying Australia is on track to beat its Paris Agreement goal, cutting emissions by 30 to 35 percent by that decade.


"We will do this the Australian way," Morrison said ahead of a press conference, announcing investments in new energy technologies like hydrogen and low-cost solar.

An Australian hydrogen industry could be worth more than AU$50 billion in 2050, according to the government. Meanwhile, expanding production and processing of metals like lithium, nickel, copper and uranium could together be worth around AU$85 billion in exports in 2050.

That said, Australia will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil fuels as the plan will not shut down coal or gas production. The country is a major coal player, with the third largest reserves in the world, but its reliance on coal-fired power makes it one of the world's largest carbon emitters per capita.

"We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows," Morrison said. "We will not support any mandate — domestic or international — to force closure of our resources or agricultural industries."

Australia's desire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, Prakash Sharma, Wood Mackenzie's Asia Pacific head of markets and transitions, said.

"Our analysis shows that Australia can reach net zero emissions by 2050," he said. The country's major trading partners — China, Japan and South Korea — are already in transition towards that goal.

According to Wood Mackenzie, nearly 83 percent of Australia's power generation will come from solar and wind by 2050, as compared to about 20 percent last year. Natural gas, bio energy, geothermal and small modular reactors will supply the remaining 17 percent in power output. Coal into power is expected to be phased out by 2035.

"Although the pathway requires complete transformation of its traditional energy and export sectors, there are significant opportunities to capitalise on and protect future revenues," Sharma said.

"This will require Australia to become a significant player in low-carbon hydrogen trade as well as being able to offer carbon storage and offset services."

Meanwhile, the Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the prime minister's commitment to reach net zero by 2050, but said the mid-century goal is only meaningful with deep cuts to climate pollution this decade.

"Unless the government sets the wheels in motion to cut our emissions in half by 2030, it is making climate change worse and turning its back on the opportunities," said Chief Executive Kelly O'Shanassy.

"Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal and gas with renewable energy," she added. "We have abundant clean energy, tools and talent, but we cannot delay any longer."

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

map showing Victoria, Australia

The state of Victoria completed an inquiry on cannabis earlier this year. Will it actually change anything for the drug?

In August, the government of Victoria, Australia, released the results of its inquiry into the use of cannabis, taking into account 1,475 written submissions, dozens of expert witnesses and two minority reports.

A few months on, Australia-focused cannabis investors are wondering whether the document's findings will have an impact on cannabis use in the state, or even in the country as a whole.

The short answer? Probably not. But there's more to the story than that.


Why did Victoria conduct a cannabis inquiry?

Back in May 2019, Victoria's Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee agreed to complete an inquiry on cannabis in the state. Although it was initially due for completion in March 2020, the deadline was extended twice, first to March 2021 and then again to August 2021.

Chaired by Reason Party Member of Parliament Fiona Patten, whose party supports legalising cannabis, the committee broadly looked at two streams of cannabis policy reform. One, the legalisation of cannabis for adult personal use, and two, a legalised and regulated cannabis market.

The report puts forth 17 recommendations and 21 findings, but Patten said after its release that the Labor-heavy committee banded together to water down certain recommendations prior to the drafting of the report.

For example, according to reports from the Age, the first recommendation of legalising cannabis for adult personal use in Victoria became "Recommendation 1: That the Victorian Government investigates the impacts of legalising cannabis for adult personal use in Victoria."

Evidence from the inquiry suggests that legalising cannabis would keep young and vulnerable people out of the criminal justice system, with state parliament estimates suggesting Victoria would save AU$725 million over 10 years in police and justice costs.

Key highlights from Victoria's cannabis inquiry

Recommendations from the report broadly fall several categories: investigating a legalised and regulated market; health and safety; and education for minors.

Here's a wrap up of the main items the Victorian government was told to look at:

  • Investigate the impact of legalising cannabis for adult personal use in Victoria.
  • Consider referring an inquiry to Victorian Law Reform Commission to investigate state and Commonwealth laws inhibiting legislation and regulation of the cannabis market.
  • Provide ongoing funding to alcohol and drug sector organisations for drug diversion programs, and further funding to areas in regional and rural Victoria.
  • Implement a road safety campaign about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis.
  • Look at alternative testing methods for "drug driving," as current methods mean THC can be detected in a person's system long after being "affected by the drug," especially in the case of medicinal cannabis patients.
  • Advocate to the National Cabinet to remove unnecessary barriers for accessing medicinal cannabis.
  • Seek expert help on school drug education, avoid stigmatising users and promote help-seeking behaviour.

Minority reports included in Victoria's inquiry

Liberal Democrat David Limbrick, who participated in the inquiry, was "extremely disappointed" with the last-minute changes mentioned above and submitted a minority report in favour of legalisation.

It broadly supports the public policy Liberal Democrats have towards cannabis which is: "The Liberal Democrats support the legalisation of use, cultivation, processing, possession, transport and sale of cannabis, with protection of minors and penalties for driving while impaired."

A second minority report is also included — it comes from the Liberals and Nationals, both of which are firmly against legalising cannabis in order to protect public health and children. Signed by three members, it states that legalising cannabis only provides ready access and no deterrent to prevent cannabis use. They further wrote:

"The Liberals and Nationals support drug education programs warning of the harms of illicit substances, we support diversion programs that help get people off drugs, and we support other support services for those addicted to drugs. However, we do not support legalising cannabis."

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir told the inquiry in June that the use, cultivation and trafficking of marijuana causes "significant harm," and said he is firmly opposed to legalisation.

Will the inquiry impact cannabis legalisation in Australia?

Any hopes of legalisation were quickly dashed after the report's release by Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, whose focus is on job creation and economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to reporters after it came out, he said he has "no intention" of legalising cannabis.

"If you want to know why, then have a look at the sections in the mental health royal commission that talk about dual diagnosis, drug-induced psychosis," he told reporters outside parliament.

"Others have a different view, they're entitled to have a different view, but as the leader of the government I've just made the government's position very clear."

The lack of support by major state parties for the Victorian inquiry may speak to a wider delay nationally for supporting decriminalising and legalising cannabis. Combined with the narrow defeat of the cannabis legalisation referendum in New Zealand, it does not look like legalisation is likely anytime soon.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.