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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