Canadian medical cannabis is in demand around the world. As more countries pass medical cannabis access laws, Canadian producers are being looked to to supply both cannabis as well as expertise in the new industry.
As Canada’s commercial medical cannabis access program (currently, the ACMPR) enters its fourth year and other countries around the world enact similar medical access programs, a demand for product that can pass international standards means Canadian medical cannabis is in demand.
As more countries pass medical cannabis rules that establish strict standards of access, the cannabis produced in accordance with GMP or GPP growing practices under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations are in high demand. To help satisfy patient demand while countries establish their own production rules, some companies are turning to Canada for both dried cannabis and cannabis oil, as well as starting materials and technical knowhow.
A recent announcement from BC-based cannabis producer Tilray that they will begin shipping cannabis oil to a hospital in Aukland, New Zealand, was just the most recent in a string of developments over the past year involving Canadian licensed producers of medical cannabis shipping product to international locations.
In 2016, Tilray became the first Canadian producer to ship cannabis products to both the European Union and Australia. In June, the company announced a distribution deal in Croatia for cannabis oil capsules. One formulation contains 5.0 mg of THC and 5.0 mg of CBD per capsule. The other formulation contains 2.5 mg of THC and 2.0 mg of CBD per capsule. Tilray voluntarily discontinued the program later in the year after issues with product becoming damaged in shipping.
In October of 2016, Tilray announced their partnership with the Government of New South Wales and the University of Sydney to begin the development of a novel treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting using Tilray’s cannabis oil capsules.
In July of last year, Tweed announced they had received approval from both Canadian and German officials to ship cannabis to Germany. Working with MedCann GmbH Pharma and Nutraceuticals ("MedCann"), a privately held pharmaceutical importer and manufacturer. In a press release, Tweed said the shipment marks the the first known incidence of dried cannabis being exported from a Canadian licensed producer “to a major G7 country.”
In June of last year, Bedrocan Brazil began importing products from both Bedrocan Canada and Bedrocan BC in the Netherlands. Eventually, the company says they will establish domestic cultivation facilities in Brazil using Bedrocan’s genetic material and cultivation technology. Bedrocan Canada is a subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, who also owns Tweed Inc. and Mettrum.
In May of last year, Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC) announced a partnership with AusCann, a company operating in Australia’s newly emerging cannabis industry. Through this partnership, Canopy Growth offers AusCann its “expertise” in a number of areas like production, quality assurance, and operations, as well as providing “strategic advisory services” to AusCann.
In October 2016, Peace Naturals, an Ontario-based producer, announced they were beginning shipment of products to a partner in Germany: Pedanios GmbH. Pedanios is a licensed medical cannabis wholesaler, a member of the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicine (Cannbinoid Medicilles), and has Germany’s largest current network of pharmacy customers.
Germany represents a large market share for licensed producers, with a population of over 80 million, compared to Canada’s approximately 35 million.
MariCann, a greenhouse producer based in Ontario, announced recently that they now own a facility outside Dresden, Germany, that the company feels can be easily-converted into a medical cannabis facility.
Canada’s first licensed producer of medical cannabis, CanniMed is also developing a cannabis production facility in Michigan. According to CEO Brent Zettl in a Midas Letter Podcast Interview: “we have eight countries that we’re speaking with at various levels, and those discussions are all ongoing, and we expect to see something happening in early sales provided that the licensing amendments come through as we need, and then we’ll start to see how that propels. So we think we’re going to have a very strong 2017.”
Also, in late October of last year, Ontario greenhouse producer Aphria announced a 5% stake in an Arizona greenhouse cannabis producer.
In the coming months and years, expect to see more exporting of Canadian intellectual property in the form of knowledge of how to grow under specific, controlled environments and regulations, as well as finished products such as dried flowers, oils and capsules, as well as ‘starting materials’ like clones and seeds.
Featured image via Wikipedia.