Prairie Plant Systems was established in 1988 as a privately held plant biotechnology company with a focus on research and development. Initial research efforts concentrated on the development of micropropagation protocols and in vitro rooting techniques for the saskatoon berry tree, a hardy fruit-bearing tree native to Saskatchewan, Canada. This initial corporate program effectively produced disease-clean trees, critical for the use in commercial saskatoon berry orchards.
The following year, Prairie Plant Systems expanded and relocated into the L.F. Kristjanson Biotechnology Complex in Innovation Place, Saskatoon. Research efforts continued and, by 1990, Prairie Plant Systems had 29 different varieties of plants in culture including saskatoon berries, apples, plums, raspberries, cherries, cutleaf birches, miniature roses and several medicinal plant species.
The proprietary protocols and successful technologies made Prairie Plant System an obvious partner for contracting services to other organizations, including the Plant Biotechnology Institute of the National Research Council, Agriculture Canada, and later Cameco and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.
In an effort to further control the variability and susceptibility of the growing environment, Prairie Plant Systems entered into a joint venture with Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. (Flin Flon, Manitoba) in 1990 to establish a growth chamber 365 metres below the surface of the earth. The success of this project and the media coverage resulted in international recognition and provided further opportunities for diversification and expansion of services; especially toward plant-made pharmaceuticals. See the Biosecure Underground Growth Chambers page for more information.
In December 2000, based on the success and security of the underground facility, Health Canada awarded Prairie Plant Systems a 5-year, $5.5 million contract for The Development of Comprehensive Operations for the Cultivation and Fabrication of Medicinal Marihuana. This project initially operated in the biosecure underground growth chamber in Flin Flon, Manitoba, and moved in 2009 to a newly constructed 35,000 sq. ft. above-ground Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant facility in Saskatchewan.
The research and development completed by the company continues to strengthen expansion in plant technology, accelerated growth technology and containment systems and effectively drives Prairie Plant Systems to strive for excellence in all areas of the business.