The Green List has a zero-tolerance for illegal listings or prescription products.

March 21st Highlights

  • Medical Cannabis in Peru - With a population of 33 million and the fifth-largest economy in Latin America, Peru’s medical cannabis market is estimated to be worth US$99 million (Prohibition Partners). With a regulatory environment similar to Colombia, Peru is an early mover in Latin America and has established a legal framework for producing, importing, and selling cannabis products for medical use. Consequently, the Peruvian market is advancing rapidly and has the potential to register diverse cannabis-based products. In 2020, MediPharm Labs entered into the growing Latin American cannabis market with Cann Farm Peru
  • Cannabis increase during Pandemic - A group of researchers at the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) recently conducted a study that found “just over half (52 percent) of those who had consumed cannabis in the previous week said that they were consuming it more than they were before the pandemic.” The study was published in the American Society of Addiction Medicine and consisted of three surveys conducted in May and June of 2020. Survey participants from across Canada were selected from a pool of more than a million people maintained by the research technology and consumer data collection company Delvinia. This data is consistent with the increase in cannabis approvals in Australia through lockdown periods. Reference Material

Medical cannabis offers help for child conditions, but cost out of reach for many

Medical cannabis studies ramp up, offering hope to some opioid users

A German doctor at the forefront of medical cannabis

Cannim Australia unveils debut product

CSIRO looks to get into medicinal cannabis to take advantage of US$44bn market

VPCL completes cannabis company buyout, becomes Health House International

Green Party pushing for cross-party decriminalisation bill that would skip members' ballot

ECS completes acquisition of Murray Meds

Big changes for Tasmania’s Controlled Access Scheme

Tilray receives approvals to expand medical cannabis products in New Zealand

CannPal Animal Therapeutics concludes trade on ASX on AusCann Group acquisition

March 7th Highlights

  • Medical Cannabis in Thailand - In Thailand, cannabis-based drugs are used for the palliative care of cancer patients and other indications. nearly one million (996,743) patients were reported to have taken cannabis-based drugs in Thailand last year. In Thailand. the price of cannabis used as an ingredient in modern medicines is estimated to be between 153 ($6.51 AUD) and 744 ($31.68 AUD) Bahts per gram, based on the price set in other countries. Reference data
  • The Quality Cannabis Loophole - New Zealand cannabis companies are currently being impacted by a loophole system that provides an exemption allowing all authorized prescribers to “procure the supply of any medicine”; including approved and unapproved medicines. Among other things, it allows an authorized prescriber to obtain a medicine by direct importation (without having to adhere to GACP and GMP). GACP and GMP are globally recognized standards that ensure cultivators and manufacturers produce cannabis to the highest quality standard for patient use. Australian companies face a similar issue with imported products and compounding pharmacies. Currently, businesses can export cannabis to Australia without GACP and GMP, furthermore compounding pharmacies can also use cannabis material that does not adhere to these standards. These loopholes undermine the framework and have been designed to protect patients and guarantee quality products.
  • The Importance of Label Claims - I found this article fascinating - a new study found one third (38%) of the "strongest" cannabis strains in Israel contain less than 15% THC. I’ve spoken with several Israeli cannabis companies and commonly get asked for flower material 20% +. Patients believe they are consuming products that are stronger than what is actually being shown on test results. This raises a concern about label claims. In Germany, there have been multiple products recalled due to incorrect label claims (products not meeting specifications as outlined on the label). Label claim is very important as it indicates to patients exactly what they are using to treat themselves.

Changing the cannabis conversation - a note from Richard Brandson

Jay-z’s cannabis brand challenges the hypocrisies of cannabis legislation

A new observational study focusing on cannabis for PTSD treatment has been approved

Cannabis could generate 8 billion Baht for Thailand

One-third of Canadian cannabis users consumed more during pandemic

Graph from NDSHS data showing increasing use of cannabis among older adults

February 21st Highlights

  • Cannabis - A Booming Opportunity for Job Creation - A new report from the industry analyst company Leafly and Whitney Economics shows the legal U.S. cannabis industry added 77,000 new jobs in 2020. Nationally, the industry supports about 321,000 jobs, a 32-percent increase over the previous year — at a time when the broader economy shrank by 3.5 percent. The number of cannabis workers is larger than the number of Americans who work in medical and diagnostic laboratories, and it nearly rivals the 325,000 Americans employed in the performing arts or spectator sports. The growing cannabis employment base is a valuable case study, demonstrating the impact functional medical and adult-use cannabis indicates are on the job economy. This is further complemented by a U.S study. Researchers looked at opioid mortality and cannabis dispensary prevalence in 23 U.S.states from 2014 to 2018 and found that, overall, counties, where the number of legal cannabis shops increased from one to two, experienced a 17 percent reduction in opioid-related fatalities. More jobs and reduced opioid mortality, appear to be a no-brainer. Content Source
  • The Cannabis Industry Gains Milestone Legitimation - This month’s €6B acquisition of the UK heavyweight GW Pharmaceuticals by Jazz Pharmaceuticals has been hailed as a major validation of the medical cannabinoid industry. The deal is the largest to date in the medical cannabinoid field. Jazz’s offer valued GW’s shares nearly 50% higher than their previous day’s close. The acquisition is expected to close in the next few months, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. Experts say it could herald a new era of investments in an industry that is increasingly gaining recognition. It could also lead to a flurry of patent wars in a niche where the primary resource is a naturally occurring plant whose medical properties are hard to patent. Going forward, companies with a focus on the commercialization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and have leverage to the biotech side of the industry are uniquely positioned to be a beneficiary of long-term growth opportunities. Currently, there are only a few companies to be levered to the biotech side of the cannabis value chain and we are favorable on the long-term potential that is associated with the vertical. There is a half-life for businesses that are simply supplying cannabis as unregistered medicine. Companies who are adopting pharmaceutical approaches within their business model (i.e. supply chain, distribution, product development) will have a competitive advantage. Content References - Link 1 and Link 2
  • Cannabis - Providing Relief from Migraines - An overwhelming majority of migraine sufferers found relief with the use of CBD oil, according to the results of a recent study. Data from a clinically validated survey showed that 86% of respondents reported a decrease in headache impact after using a cannabidiol (CBD) formulation for a 30-day trial period. Migraine is one of the world’s most prevalent neurological diseases, according to information from the Migraine Research Foundation, affecting approximately 39 million people in the U.S. and about one billion globally. Symptoms, which are often disabling, can include severe headache, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances and severe sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine disease is commonly treated with strong pharmaceutical drugs, although with varying results. Article Reference
  • Cannabis Gaining Traction with Older Adults - A new study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and its affiliated Soroka University Medical Center found that medical cannabis might reduce blood pressure in older adults. The study from last year found the number of Americans age 65 and older who smoke marijuana or enjoy edibles increased 75% from 2015 to 2018. A new study suggests that might be a good thing for some. Article Reference

Cannabinoids in Focus after GW Pharmaceuticals snapped up for €6B

NFL requesting research on CBD for pain management

Can India’s medical cannabis market thrive?

Areas with more cannabis dispensaries have fewer opioid deaths, new study finds

Carving out a slice of the European medical cannabis market

February 7th Highlights

  • Over the Counter CBD - The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced in December that it would “down-schedule” low dose CBD preparations of up to 150 mg a day to allow pharmacists to dispense this medicine without a prescription. On Monday the 1st of Feb, these regulations were implemented. However this change only is the beginning, companies will still need to conduct clinical studies to demonstrate efficacy for their products - creating a 2-year minimum lag before products will be for sale over the counter. Whilst the change is a positive step, media hype (which there has been a lot of) may drive patients/consumers to pharmacies with the expectation they can immediately purchase products. This creates an opportunity for pharmacies to educate and provide information on how cannabis can be legally accessed by any GP in the country. Cannabis companies (suppliers and clinics) should aim to work with pharmacies to take advantage of this momentum.
  • Cannabis and the Online Platforms - Companies are providing platforms for patients and consumers to obtain their cannabis. In Australia services like Canview provide patients the means to learn about the cannabis products they are being prescribed. In America sites like Leafly, provide a platform for cannabis consumers to learn about cannabis products (including terpene content) and comment on how different products affect them. This has allowed Leafy to become the Google for cannabis. Leafy recently partnered with Jane to create an e-commerce platform through Leafly. This is a fantastic way for Leafly to commercialize it’s content and trusted database of content contributors. I see Leafly as a major player in the cannabis consumer purchase space - the company started as a content provider VS a seller of products, this will undoubtedly provide a competitive advantage over other cannabis e-commerce platforms that simply sell products. 
  • Over half of cannabis users with Parkinson's disease report clinical benefits - A survey in Germany found over 8% of patients with Parkinson's disease are using cannabis products and more than half experienced beneficial clinical effects, reports the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. More than 8% of patients were already using cannabinoids and more than half of these users (54%) reported that it had a beneficial clinical effect. The overall tolerability was good. Over 40% of users reported that it helped manage pain and muscle cramps, and more than 20% of users reported a reduction of stiffness (akinesia), freezing, tremor, depression, anxiety, and restless legs. Patients reported that inhaled cannabis products containing THC were more efficient in treating stiffness than oral products containing CBD but were slightly less well tolerated. Study Reference
  • Cannabis Vapes in 2021 - Recently the first cannabis vaporization company was listed on the London Stock Exchange. The group became one of the first medical cannabis companies to float on the London Stock Exchange (a great sign of the continued legislation of the cannabis industry). Whilst this is a positive move for vapourization technologies, the industry may have an uphill battle ahead. In 2019, the cannabis vape market was damaged by an outbreak of severe vaping-associated lung illness. This in turn cast a sea of doubt amongst consumers regarding the safety of vape products. In America, the cannabis vape market sector grew at almost half the pace of overall sales for cannabis products last year, despite vape companies’ efforts to reassure consumers about the safety of merchandise sold by legal retailers. It will be important for companies developing vapes for medical and adult markets to demonstrate the quality/safety of devices. Companies may also need to conduct safety studies (phase 1 trials) on their products to provide people with comfort that their product will cause no harm.

 

‘We know it works’: Cannabis oil firms chase approvals as over-the-counter sales are legalised

Chemist Warehouse and Cannatrek do medical cannabis deal

New Zealand's medicinal cannabis supply in jeopardy

‘Pure biotech’ play Avecho is making a ‘terrifying’ move. Will it pay off?

Botanix soars after pot-up-nose study success

Lifespot Health generates revenue from Medihale medicinal cannabis inhaler device

Medlab Clinical to confirm NanaBis’ potential as non-opioid pain treatment in phase three trials

January 25th Highlights

  • The Growing CBD Market - With a worldwide shift towards legalisation of cannabis products, the sector cannabis is poised for significant growth. Numerous studies in 2020 have demonstrated increased uptake of cannabis products (medical and adult use) across multiple jurisdictions. The CBD space is also growing in massive popularity. The global market for cannabidiol oil and the overall CBD consumer health market could be worth an $123-billion in 2027, averaging a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.6% until then, according to data from Research and Markets.
  • Cannabis in France - France has some of the harshest cannabis laws in Europe–it has been illegal in the country since 1970, the state doesn’t allow medicinal use, and there is no distinction in law between personal use and trafficking, as there is in some countries. However, France has the highest reported use of cannabis in Europe. Between 2015 and 2017, according to Statista, just over 11% of the French population said they had used cannabis over the previous year, the highest of any European country. French people are the biggest consumers of cannabis in Europe. Over 700,000 French use cannabis daily; around 41% of French adults have used cannabis at least once. French teens use cannabis more than teenagers in any other country in the world. Data reference - content reference
  • The Japanese Cannabis Market - I think Japan is one of the most promising markets across Asia Pacific. According to Prohibition Partners' Asia Cannabis Report, Japan will become the second-largest medical cannabis market in Asia with a scale of $800 million USD. With huge buying power and a strong health care system, Japanese people are advocating plant-derived health care products, which makes CBD products extremely popular in the Japanese market. Read more here

Veterinarians in Brazil to take course on Medical Cannabis

Dutch government set to offer six month reprieve for 'life saving' cannabis oil

UFC changes its anti-doping rules; now allowing cannabis

Use of dispensary cannabis reduces symptoms of PTSD

Biden health nominees have history of supporting legal cannabis

French energy firm will invest $23 million in hemp-fueled gas plant

 

December 20th Highlights

  • Access to Clinical Data is Essential - THE NHS is to launch its first-ever cannabis patient registry in a move which signifies an ambition for the medicines to become more widely available to UK patients. The data recorded will be accessible to doctors within the NHS who until now have been reticent about prescribing cannabis-based medicines citing a lack of evidence and concern about side effects. Government-led initiatives such as this are essential for the wider adoption of cannabis products by healthcare professions. Providing means for doctors to record outcomes as well as adverse events will ensure other ‘naive’ doctors are able to access real-world data. In my view this is an important/necessary role that governments should play in the development of the cannabis/medical industry. To read more about this platform
  • The Green Power of Hemp - I came across a wonderful quote regarding the impact hemp can have on our environment - “Cannabis can make a vital contribution to creating innovative solutions that can accelerate the transition to a regenerative growth model that is returning the planet more than necessary, while creating thousands of new green and highly skilled jobs in rural areas and in production” This was quoted by Francesco Mirizzi, Chief Policy Adviser at EIHA who released a new report on cannabis in the EU. In short, hemp has a significant number of uses i.e. clothing (replace coton), food (decrease livestock production), paper (stop deforestation), fuel (stop fuel mining), hemp can also regenerate soil and pull Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Hemp products also provide an economical opportunity across a number of industries - most notably CBD in health and wellness products.
  • Merges, a new cannabis trend? This month, Tilray and Aphria joined forces and combined assets to develop a global cannabis operation. The cannabis industry has grown at a remarkable rate over the last few years creating a huge buble. News network Health Europa estimated the global market to reach a value of $75bn by 2030. However 2020 has been the year where the bubble officially burst. At this point many pot stocks are already on the road to bankruptcy. Companies are now selling assets, laying off staff and considering merger strategies to weather any storms ahead. I suspect we will continue to see deals like Tilray and Aphria as the industry navigates rapidly changing regulations whilst more countries allow access to cannabis and CBD wellness products.
  • The Importance of Terpenes for branding - Allowing for terpene identification on products would be useful for consumers. The Candian government is consulting with the industry on product labeling - allowing terpene identification on labels. Terpene identification will provide companies a means to differentiate their products and break away from purchase decisions solely based on THC content. I suspect cannabis consumers (naive and premium) will be interested in the effects of terpenes as terpenes impact the overall consumer experience. The Candian Government consultation agenda will explore other items such as research and beverages. I recently spoke with David Berg about the topics of terpenes - see link.
  • An incredible Study on Cannabis & the Gut - A new study has found that chronic stress can disrupt the body's endocannabinoid system, which can lead to depression and other mood disorders. French scientists have found an interesting connection between depression, chronic stress, gut bacteria, and the body's endocannabinoid system. The study authors believe a decrease in natural endocannabinoids can lead to decreased activity in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that new research has linked to depression and memory. I truly hope this area of research receives further attention, as mental health is going to an increasingly important topic post-COVID-19. Study reference.

Australian cannabis companies celebrate TGA green light for over the counter sales

Aphria, Tilray combine to create biggest cannabis company

Germany: 75 million for medical cannabis in the first half of the year

Australian researchers suggest loosening cannabis research rules could remove the cap on possibilities

ECS Botanics raises $4 million to fund medicinal cannabis facility in Tasmania

New Zealand textile maker nears startup of hemp production line

Zelira Therapeutics to sell HOPE product range in DC

Althea expands into South Africa with new supply agreement

 

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