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Alberta

Edmonton medical cannabis company expanding to Denmark

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From Atlas Biotechnologies Inc.

Atlas Biotechnologies announces a major expansion into the European market.

Atlas Biotechnologies Inc. is pleased to announce its expansion into Europe with Atlas Growers Denmark. Atlas Biotechnologies is proud to be the first Canadian grower to execute a large-scale indoor medicinal cannabis production facility in Europe.

Sheldon Croome, Atlas President & CEO notes: “We have been seeking to expand our production base outside of Canada for some time and are pleased to have secured this high-impact opportunity. The rapidly emerging European medical cannabis market is primed for tremendous growth and our Denmark expansion will provide Atlas a solid foundation to further serve our ever-growing client base of European buyers. We are excited to be planning one of the largest, most sophisticated indoor cultivation and GMP processing facilities in Europe, the next major frontier for medical cannabis legalization.”

Atlas Growers Denmark is structured using a finance lease of the assets of Egehøj Champignon; Atlas retains the right to purchase the assets at a fixed price at any time for twenty years. The assets consist of a 170,000 sq. ft. facility located on Funen, Denmark and will serve as Atlas’ European base of operations for the development and production of medical cannabis-based products. The property features 36 individual climate-controlled rooms, allowing for in-house cultivation of pharmaceutical grade cannabis flowers, as well as production of pure, extracted medical inputs, & GMP manufacturing of down-stream finished goods. The microclimates can be tailored to the unique environmental demands of each specific medical cannabis cultivar, or plant variety.

Kent Stenvang, CEO and Owner of Egehøj Champignon will lead the Atlas team as Denmark Head of Operations​.

Kent Stenvang added: “I am thrilled to become an integral member of the Atlas team and am consistently impressed by their biotech and pharmaceutical research focus in medical cannabis. This cultivation and processing expansion is a boost for the area by creating 50 local jobs with over 100 hires expected by late 2020.”

Drawings of European Facility

 

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Working with Novo Nordisk Engineering, Atlas has engineered a new 20,000 sq. ft. processing laboratory, which will meet European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (EU GMP) standards, the certification necessary for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Atlas Denmark has submitted a cultivation license. Approval is pending and is expected in the next few months with planting to begin soon after. The first harvest is scheduled for early 2020 with an expected eventual product yield of 20,000 kg each year.

About Atlas Biotechnologies Inc. (“Atlas”) and Atlas Growers Ltd.

Atlas is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and its wholly owned subsidiary, Atlas Growers Ltd. is federally licensed for cultivation and processing of cannabis products, with a focus on medical use markets. Atlas currently operates a purpose-built 38,000 square foot facility and laboratory, which has in-house capabilities to refine cannabis into distilled and isolated cannabinoid concentrates as well as specialized medical formulations in large volumes. Atlas’ proprietary controlled environment cultivation system is designed to maximize production of the highest consistency and quality of cannabis products for medical use applications. Atlas is heavily focused on research and development and continues to solidify collaboration with some of the world’s most prestigious post-secondary institutions, including Harvard Medical School. Atlas continues towards its vision of improving lives by creating The World’s Most Trusted Cannabis ProductsTM.

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Alberta

Alberta premier defends new rules on in-person learning, no mask mandates in schools

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By Dean Bennett and Colette Derworiz

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is defending new rules ordering schools to provide in-person learning during the current wave of viral illnesses, saying a clear, measured response is crucial for students and parents.

“We need a normal school environment for our children, and we need to make sure that the classrooms stay open to be able to support our parents,” Smith said at a news conference in Medicine Hat on Friday.

“That’s why we made the decision that we did — to give that clear direction.”

Her comments came a day after she announced regulatory changes saying school boards must provide in-person learning. Schools also can’t require students to wear masks in school or be forced to take classes online.

The changes take effect immediately.

“Anyone is welcome to wear a mask if they feel that that is the right choice for them, but we should not be forcing parents to mask their kids, and we shouldn’t be denying education to kids who turn up without a mask,” Smith said.

She has said mask rules and toggling from online to in-person learning adversely affected the mental health, development and education of students during the COVID-19 pandemic and strained parents scrambling to make child-care arrangements when schools shut down.

That’s over, Smith said.

“We’re just not going to normalize these kind of extreme measures every single respiratory virus season,” she said.

School boards have been asking for more direction as a slew of seasonal respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, along with some COVID-19 cases, have led to high classroom absentee rates and have jammed children’s hospitals.

In Edmonton, Trisha Estabrooks, board chair for Edmonton Public Schools, said the decision provided the clarity that the board was seeking.

“All Albertans now understand that it’s not within the jurisdiction, and nor should it ever have been within the jurisdiction of individual school boards, to make decisions that belong to health officials,” said Estabrooks.

She said the province has made it clear that any future public health order would supersede the new rules.

The in-person learning change applies to grades 1-12 in all school settings, including public, separate, francophone, public charter and independent schools.

The masking change applies to those same grades and schools, but also to early childhood services.

The Opposition NDP criticized the new rules, saying it’s unrealistic to force schools to be all things to all students while also handling a wave of viral illnesses and not providing additional supports to do it.

Jason Schilling, head of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said the government needs to work with school boards to figure out how to make this work.

“You have schools that are struggling to staff the building, (they) can’t get substitute teachers, teachers are sick, they’re covering each other’s classes, principals are covering the classes,” Schilling said in an interview.

“And then to say if you go online, you are to still offer the same programming in person — we just don’t have the people to do that.”

Wing Li, communications director for public education advocacy organization, Support our Students, said it will be difficult for schools to offer hybrid learning without any additional resources.

“There are no teachers,” Li said in an interview. “Pivoting online was mostly due to staffing shortages, which is worse now three years in.”

Li said online learning is challenging for students but, when temporary and supported, can keep schools and communities safe from spreading illness.

“This is a quite aggressive use of the Education Act to enshrine an ideology,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2022

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Alberta

Don’t have a cow: Senator’s legen-dairy speech draws metaphor from bovine caper

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OTTAWA — Haven’t you herd? A dramatic tale of 20 escaped cows, nine cowboys and a drone recently unfolded in St-Sévère, Que., and it behooved a Canadian senator to milk it for all it was worth.

Prompting priceless reactions of surprise from her colleagues, Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne recounted the story of the bovine fugitives in the Senate chamber this week — and attempted to make a moo-ving point about politics.

“Honourable senators, usually, when we do tributes here, it is to recognize the achievements of our fellow citizens,” Miville-Dechêne began in French, having chosen to wear a white blouse with black spots for the occasion.

“However, today, I want to express my amused admiration for a remarkably determined herd of cows.”

On a day when senators paid tribute to a late Alberta pastor, the crash of a luxury steamer off the coast of Newfoundland in 1918 and environmental negotiators at the recent climate talks in Egypt, senators seated near Miville-Dechêne seemed udderly taken aback by the lighter fare — but there are no reports that they had beef with what she was saying.

Miville-Dechêne’s storytelling touched on the highlights of the cows’ evasion of authorities after a summer jailbreak — from their wont to jump fences like deer to a local official’s entreaty that she would not go running after cattle in a dress and high heels.

The climax of her narrative came as nine cowboys — eight on horseback, one with a drone — arrived from the western festival in nearby St-Tite, Que., north of Trois-Rivières, and nearly nabbed the vagabonds before they fled through a cornfield.

“They are still on the run, hiding in the woods by day and grazing by night,” said Miville-Dechêne, with a note of pride and perhaps a hint of fromage. 

She neglected to mention the reported costs of the twilight vandalism, which locals say has cost at least $20,000.

But Miville-Dechêne did save some of her praise for the humans in the story, congratulating the municipal general manager, Marie-Andrée Cadorette, for her “dogged determination,” and commending the would-be wranglers for stepping up when every government department and police force in Quebec said there was nothing they could do. 

“There is a political lesson in there somewhere,” said the former journalist.

Miville-Dechêne ended on what could perhaps be interpreted as a butchered metaphor about non-partisanship: “Finally, I would like to confess my unbridled admiration for these cows that have found freedom and are still out there, frolicking about. While we overcomplicate things, these cows are learning to jump fences.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2022.

Marie-Danielle Smith, The Canadian Press

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