22nd Century Will Play Leading Role in Industrial Hemp Industry

22nd Century’s THC-free marijuana sought by growers, research universities and state agricultural programs across the country

CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research, announced today that the Company is building on its newly developed THC-free marijuana. 22nd Century scientists and sponsored researchers are now developing important “enabling tools” that allow for the targeted manipulation of cannabinoid production in the cannabis plant. With this technology, the Company is working to create industrial hemp plants with altered levels of cannabinoids for new medicines and improved agricultural uses. These projects have already added significantly to the Company’s cannabis-based intellectual property portfolio.

As leaders in the resurgent industrial hemp industry, Dr. Paul Rushton, the Company’s Vice President of Plant Biotechnology and Thomas James, the Company’s General Counsel, were invited by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to the first-ever “Summit on Growing the Hemp Industry in New York State” that was held this week at Cornell University. 22nd Century’s recent advances, including the creation of zero-THC hemp plants, earned the Company a prominent spot at the meeting where Governor Cuomo’s executive team announced the goal of tripling hemp production in New York. The invitation-only event assembled key players who are leading the state’s fast-emerging industrial hemp industry.

Through generous research investment and business-friendly regulations, New York Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, announced the administration’s commitment to making New York State the national leader in the production of industrial hemp. New York has already removed the cap on hemp growing licenses; 22nd Century expects to receive permits to grow hemp in both the Company’s Buffalo-based laboratories and in New York state farms with contract growers. In addition, New York is securing a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) permit to facilitate the import of hemp seeds by the state – a move that will speed the research and development efforts in New York for 22nd Century’s proprietary hemp varieties, high CBD hemp plants, and plants with other unique agronomic traits.

22nd Century’s increasingly prominent role in the hemp industry is underlined by extensive recent news coverage of the Company’s zero-THC hemp on WIVBTVLocal Team Develops Strain of THC-Free Marijuana,” in The Buffalo NewsWhy a Clarence Company is Taking the High Out of Marijuana,” and in a host of other publications. 22nd Century Group is engaged in talks with research universities and hemp growers in the State of New York and across the country with the aim of bringing the Company’s highly differentiated hemp plants with unique cannabinoid profiles into the fast-growing industrial hemp industry.

“22nd Century is spearheading the development of important new varieties of industrial hemp and medical marijuana,” stated Dr. Paul Rushton, the Company’s Vice President of Plant Biotechnology. “Our expertise is in high demand by research universities, state agricultural programs, growers, and hemp processors; 22nd Century’s zero-THC hemp will form the foundation for hemp revitalization in New York and across the entire country.”

About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in cannabis is to develop proprietary cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed on March 8, 2017, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.

22nd Century Group
Investor Relations:
IRTH Communications
Andrew Haag, 866-976-4784
xxii@irthcommunications.com

Source: 22nd Century Group, Inc.