Cannabis is continuously growing as a popular option for medical treatments due to its beneficial and diverse treatment options. In fact, multiple countries have adopted regulatory medical cannabis legislation to treat conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, depression, arthritis, epilepsy, Tourette’s, and many others. Nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, amongst others, have all moved to adopt cannabis for medical applications. According to data compiled by Imarc Group, the global medical cannabis market was estimated to expand upwards of USD 11 Billion in 2017. By 2023, the market is expected to reach USD 37 Billion while registering a CAGR of 22% during the forecast period. In the United States, cannabis is legal in some states, but on a federal level, marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I substance, a category that also features drugs such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy and peyote. However, according to a report by ABC News, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a legislation that would decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level in September. MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTC: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB), GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH)
The “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019” or the MORE Act, includes Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris as the lead sponsor of the Senate version of the Act. “Times have changed — marijuana should not be a crime. We need to start regulating marijuana and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives,” Sen. Harris said in a press release last month. “As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone — especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs — has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry. I am thrilled to work with Chairman Nadler on this timely and important step toward racial and economic justice.”
MediPharm Labs Corp. (OTCQX: MEDIF) (TSX: LABS) announced breaking news last week that, “its wholly-owned subsidiary, MediPharm Labs Inc., has launched and completed production of a new product format, sublingual sprays, as part of its multi-faceted strategic pharmaceutical manufacturing agreement with Avicanna Inc. (TSX: AVCN) (OTCQX: AVCNF) (FSE: 0NN) (“Avicanna”), a leading biopharmaceutical company.
Marketed under Avicanna’s RHO Phyto™ medical brand, the high-performance RHO Phyto Rapid Act Sprays will be available nationally to Canadian medical patients through the Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™ online healthcare platform in the coming weeks. RHO Phyto Rapid Act Sprays are optimized for increased absorption and faster onset in comparison to basic MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) sublingual sprays. The products are discreet, easy to use, administered under the tongue to provide more direct absorption into the bloodstream, convenient and pleasing to taste.
“Avicanna chose MediPharm Labs to be their manufacturing partner across a wide range of product formulations because of our pharmaceutical-quality production capabilities and I’m proud to say these were used to great effect in fulfilling this important order,” said Pat McCutcheon, CEO, MediPharm Labs. ‘Medical cannabis users will be delighted with the quality and reliability of RHO Phyto Rapid Act Sprays and more broadly with the fact that Avicanna is leading the way in bringing new and innovative sustainable plant-derived cannabinoid-based products to assist in their care and wellbeing.’
The alliance between the two companies is designed to provide patients and the medical community with the most advanced product offerings backed by scientific rigour, data and world-class quality standards. Avicanna has a rich pipeline of formulations that it has developed over the past four years in collaboration with leading Canadian research institutions.
“The team at MediPharm continues to impress as they deliver sophisticated cannabinoid formulations in innovative delivery formats with pharmaceutical level quality standards,” said Aras Azadian, CEO, Avicanna. ‘Our RHO Phyto Rapid Act Sprays, which are the second set of products delivered by MediPharm’s technical team within only one month, provide patients and the medical community with an advanced solution for acute relief and an incredible candidate for replacing inhalation products.’
On May 14, 2020, MediPharm Labs entered a 3-year, multi-faceted agreement with Avicanna involving production, domestic and international distribution and intellectual property licensing that will drive growth for both parties. Under the manufacturing segment of the agreement, MediPharm Labs uses its specialized capabilities to produce Avicanna’s advanced RHO Phyto™ medical cannabis products and Pura Earth™ dermacosmetic topicals. The RHO Phyto Rapid Act Sprays represent the second Avicanna product format produced at MediPharm Labs GMP-certified facility in Barrie, Ontario. The first was Rho Phyto’s Blood Orange flavoured Micro Drops, in both high CBD and medium CBD formula made from full spectrum cannabis distillate. Additional product formats, including topicals, capsules and transdermal patches, are being finalized for production under the contract manufacturing agreement…”
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Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced on May 27th that its wholly-owned subsidiary Tilray Portugal, Unipessoal Lda. had received a Good Manufacturing Practice certification in accordance with European Union standards, for its manufacturing facility in Cantanhede, Portugal. The GMP certification was issued by Infarmed, the Portuguese National Authority of Medicines and Health Products which provides end-to-end GMP certification for Tilray’s current operations in Portugal. “This is an important milestone for our strategic growth in the international medical cannabis market,” says Sascha Mielcarek, Tilray’s Managing Director in Europe. “Our third GMP certification will enable us to manufacture more products at our facility and export a greater range of medical products to international patients, partners and markets. As demand increases around the world and more legal medical cannabis markets emerge, Tilray’s EU campus is ready to serve more partners and patients across the EU and other international medical markets.”
Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) announced on August 28th, the Company will be opening 10 brick-and-mortar retail cannabis locations across Alberta under its award-winning Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners. This announcement marks the Company’s latest commitment to national retail expansion and added consumer engagement opportunities across the country. “With 10 new stores set to open and additional locations in the pipeline, we are thrilled to announce this milestone and excited to bring the Tokyo Smoke and Tweed guest experiences to Alberta for the first time,” said Grant Caton, General Manager for Canada at Canopy Growth. “We’ve seen the value brick-and-mortar retail brings to our consumers – welcoming new guests to learn about cannabis and building relationships in new communities – and we’re excited to share our knowledge and industry leadership across the region.”
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) announced on February 3rd, its Aurora River production facility, located in Bradford, Ontario, has received European Union Good Manufacturing Practice certification. EU GMP certification is granted to companies whose production facilities demonstrate a high degree of quality and consistency in their manufacturing procedures and is a requirement for the export of medical cannabis products into most European markets. “Aurora is leading the development of medical markets across Europe and around the world,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. “The EU GMP certification of our River facility further validates our strategy focused on purpose-built facilities, designed and constructed exclusively for the production of high-quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabis. I congratulate our team on successfully working with regulators and licensing bodies to ensure Aurora’s facilities and products are in accordance with local and international standards that will allow for greater access to the highest quality medical cannabis products to patients who need them.”
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: GWPH) along with its U.S. subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences, Inc., announced on August 3rd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved EPIDIOLEX® oral solution to treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex in patients one year of age and older. Along with this new indication, the age range has been expanded to include patients one year of age and older who experience seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. TSC is a rare disease that causes benign tumors to grow in vital organs of the body and is a leading cause of genetic epilepsy.1 EPIDIOLEX, the first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription medicine and the only FDA-approved form of cannabidiol, was initially approved by the FDA in June 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with LGS or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older. GW has also received approval for this medicine in the European Union under the tradename EPIDYOLEX® and a TSC EMA submission is currently under review. “FDA approval of this new indication is exciting news for those with refractory seizures due to tuberous sclerosis complex,” said Justin Gover, GW’s Chief Executive Officer. “Since EPIDIOLEX is already available to patients by physician’s prescription, patients with TSC can immediately access the medication. This label expansion, including the expansion of the age range in all approved indications, further demonstrates that the FDA process can continue to enable broader patient access to appropriately tested regulatory approved cannabinoid medicines. It also provides hope for these patients and their families and is yet another important milestone for EPIDIOLEX as a first-in-class antiepileptic drug.”
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