Vertical Announces Wollastonite Research and Development Results
February 5th, 2019 VANCOUVER, B.C. – VERTICAL EXPLORATION INC. (TSX-V: VERT) (“Vertical” or the Company”) is pleased to announce the successful completion of Phase Three trials involving cannabis grown with wollastonite (CaSiO3) as a soil additive at BC Bud Depot’s (BCBD) ACMPR-licenced Research and Development facilities in Vancouver, BC. The positive Phase Three trials build on the success of Phase Two Trials, which included samples of marijuana grown with 15% wollastonite from the Company’s St. Onge project being entered in an international growers’ competition, winning first place overall for Best Flower at the August 2018 Kootenay Cannabis Cup in Cranbrook, BC. (see October 2, 2018 news release.)
In the Phase Three trials BCBD measured and recorded significant improvements in root mass, powdery mildew control and pest elimination. In every case the most optimal results occurred with an admixture rate of 10% to 15% wollastonite to the growth medium. Most notably, powdery mildew, the most common fungal blight to affect Cannabis sativa, was virtually undetectable with wollastonite admixture above 10%. An admixture above 10% wollastonite also correlated with sharp reductions in the presence of thrips and fungus gnats, insect pests with a sub-soil life phase in which the wollastonite crystals lacerate and impale their soft bodies. At a microscopic level, wollastonite’s needle-like structure penetrates soft-bodied insect larvae and pupae, interrupting the life cycle without the use of pesticides. Wollastonite’s unique properties also allow it to break down into calcium, magnesium and silicon in a highly bio-available form that balances soil PH throughout the growth cycle – this allows the cannabis plants to uptake silicic acid and promotes strong cell walls that better resist insect feeding and spore penetration, supporting increased growth and elevated product yields.
“We recorded a dramatic elevation of overall health among plants grown with wollastonite,” stated Matthew Harvey, CEO of BCBD. “The wollastonite group produced consistently low levels of powdery mildew – little to none – appearing later in the growth cycle. Roots, meanwhile, showed extreme vigour, growing dense and white with no sign of yellowing. Root health indicates a plant’s ability to resist disease and to support high yields of high-quality of finished marijuana.
According to Mr. Harvey the findings of the Phase Three BCBD wollastonite study indicate a major financial implication for the cannabis industry, where a trend towards cultivation of expansive plant canopies creates a powerful incentive for effective and efficient methods of crop protection and production.
As Mr. Harvey explained, “Large-scale cultivators need every tool at their disposal to improve plant health and avoid crop losses – a 10% to 20% loss in crop production due to a preventable outbreak of a destructive fungal pathogen can equate to millions of dollars of lost product. Companies that take crop protection seriously are looking for cost-effective soil additives that not only nourish plants but build resilience against the pests and pathogens that threaten profits. Our findings show wollastonite to be a critical tool for both cannabis crop protection and top-end production in a market where quality is of vital importance. It is no longer acceptable to spray fungicides on marijuana: natural prevention is the key and Wollastonite is the answer.
Vertical’s CEO Peter Swistak commented: “We are very excited by these excellent Phase Three results which prove that wollastonite is a very appealing natural growing additive for the cannabis industrybecause it couples crop protection with product improvement, resulting in a more natural and healthier product for consumers.”
With the highly successful completion of these Phase Three cannabis trials at BCBD, Vertical is now moving aggressively forward with its plans to test market its high-quality St. Onge wollastonite to both micro-producers and large-scale cannabis companies. Vertical believes that the cannabis industry offers significant revenue potential for the company and anticipates providing further updates on its cannabis testing and marketing efforts in the near future.
ABOUT VERTICAL EXPLORATION
Vertical Exploration’s mission is to identify, acquire, and advance high potential mining prospects located in North America for the benefit of its stakeholders. The Company’s flagship St-Onge Wollastonite property is located in the Lac-Saint-Jean area in the Province of Quebec.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Peter P. Swistak, President
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management’s current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com).