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