Halifax-based Greenlight Analytical Inc. has received a $374,250 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which will help launch its device for measuring the chemicals in cannabis and food.

The company said in a statement that the ACOA loan, which it received under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, will help to fund a $500,000 project that encompasses the commercialization of the device.

“It certainly accelerates getting a product to the market and it does significantly derisk the value proposition we can get to investors,” said Greenlight CEO James Wylde in an interview, referring to the loan. “We can do some long-term planning around it.”

Greenlight, which moved to Halifax from the Ottawa area last year, is developing a modified mass spectrometer – a machine that analyzes the chemical composition of substances and lists their contents – paired with an artificial intelligence system that will translate the spectrometer’s output into an easily understandable format.

The company said in a statement that producers have no quick and reliable way to test cannabis crops during growth and flowering, which means their quality and safety is unknown until after the harvest. With over 70 jurisdictions around the world legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis, consumers are quickly developing strain, taste, and experience preferences.

Greenlight has lined up five early adopters, selected from different portions of the cannabis market, and expects to have a device in their hands within three to six months. The company will initially target the cannabis industry, and Wylde said it eventually plans to diversify into the agrifood market.

“While the worldwide pandemic has slowed economic development across most sectors, sales of legal recreational and medical cannabis have remained strong,” said Wylde in the statement. “With the increasing international acceptance of cannabis, there is a growing need for producers to provide their customers with the quality, consistent and safe products they demand.”

The company now has four full-time employees and three contractors and is currently raising capital, with a target for the current round of $750,000. Wylde said the fund-raising process was delayed by the pandemic as investors wanted more clarity about the state of the economy in March to July. But he added things are improving.

“Now we’re getting more meetings, and we’re getting the second and third meetings more readily than we would have before.”


Disclosure: ACOA is a client of Entrevestor.