Roots Sustainable enters billion-dollar US cannabis market providing tech to Washington crop site

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Agtech play Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies is getting in on the $7 billion US cannabis market in a pilot of its root-cooling system with Washington cannabis consulting business American Farms Consulting.

This will be the company’s (ASX:ROO) first foray into the US cannabis agriculture market, which is expected to increase to $US22 billion by 2021.

The pilot will involve the patented Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology installed at an American Farms Consulting (AFC) site in Trinidad, Washington, cooling the roots of cannabis plants in part of the company’s 30,000 square foot open field space.

The Roots technology will be used to cool the roots of the cannabis plant and stabilise the temperature of the crops between day and night. This is important because the growing site in Washington is a semi-desert environment with warm days and cool nights. Evening out the crop temperature is expected to help increase growth rates and flower yields in plants, as well as speeding up the growing cycle overall.

If the RZTO method is deemed a success in this trial, AFC will then purchase the system.

The pilot program is not expected to generate significant revenue, but Roots chief executive Dr Sharon Devir said this was just the very beginning, because it will show how the agtech innovator can add value to the cannabis production space.

“It should demonstrate how the Roots RZTO technology optimizes the root zone temperatures – in this instance by cooling – until the optimum temperature of the cannabis plant is reached and maintained,” Dr Devir said.

The technology will be used on AFC crops plated in July 2018, with results from the pilot expected in September.

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