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WIRE: 22nd Century announces expansion of cannabis research program

CLARENCE, N.Y. – 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT: XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a leader in tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research, announced today that the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Botanical Genetics LLC, has expanded its cannabis research program to include multiple new research projects in support of its core mission, which is to develop proprietary cannabis strains for important new medicines and commercially viable agricultural crops.

More specifically, Botanical Genetics is: 1) working to develop proprietary cannabis strains for novel, safe, and effective medical applications, and 2) developing very low THC industrial hemp varieties that may be legally grown in the U.S. and around the world as a commercial agricultural crop.

To inform investors and to generate interest from potential research and commercial partners, Botanical Genetic has launched a new website at The new website details Botanical Genetics’ strategy, partners, and projects in the rapidly evolving cannabis space. The Company’s primary initiatives include:

    1. Botanical Genetics is developing new technologies to make cannabis plants more amenable to genetic enhancement and improvement.
    2. Botanical Genetics is developing new methods for the manipulation of cannabis plants to result in unique cannabinoid profiles in proprietary strains of the plant.
    3. Together with its industry partners, Botanical Genetics is modifying cannabis plants to produce altered profiles of the major cannabinoids, leading both to new medical marijuana products and to new industrial hemp varieties.
    4. As previously announced, Botanical Genetics is developing the means to produce cannabinoids in tobacco – a plant species that shows great promise as a biofactory for the production of cannabinoids.
    5. Botanical Genetics is actively involved in several state-based industrial hemp pilot programs to develop and breed improved varieties of industrial hemp that are specifically optimized to grow in the climates of particular U.S. states.

In conducting the Company’s legal cannabis research, Botanical Genetics operates its own laboratories in New York, sponsors research activities in Vancouver, Canada, and partners with universities, commercial laboratories, and hemp/cannabis growers in an increasing number of U.S. states.

“We are the only company in the United States with the freedom to use all of the enzyme genes in the cannabis plant that lead to THC, CBD, CBC, and other important cannabinoids,” explained Henry Sicignano, III, President and CEO of 22nd Century. “I am proud that our unique – and growing – intellectual property portfolio puts 22nd Century at the forefront of cannabis biotechnology.”

Acknowledging 22nd Century’s growing influence in the cannabis technology arena, Dr. Paul Rushton, Vice President for Plant Biotechnology, and Thomas James, Vice President and General Counsel of 22nd Century, have been appointed to the advisory committee of the “iHemp Platform.” The iHemp Platform is a cooperative association of progressive hemp farmers, industry experts and university leaders who are working together on the successful implementation of state and regional industrial hemp pilot programs.

Dr. Rushton explained, “We have decisive plans to make Botanical Genetics the U.S. leader in cannabis biotechnology. The medical marijuana and industrial hemp markets are projected to be worth billions of dollars in the very near term and we intend to be a major player in these developing industries.”

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 is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. 22nd Century currently owns or exclusively controls more than 200 issued patents and more than 50 pending patent applications around the world. Visit and 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, 2015, filed on February 18, 2016, 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.

Investor Relations:
IRTH Communications
Andrew Haag, 866-976-4784
Redington, Inc.
Tom Redington, 203-222-7399

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