The ACMPR isn’t really innovative in the types of products it allows licensed producers to sell. The regulations only allow the sale of dried marijuana (which is currently carried by all licensed producers), fresh marijuana (which no LP has decided to sell as of yet), cannabis oil (which is being sold by over half of the LPs), and cannabis capsules (which are THC-capped by Health Canada, and only currently sold by Medreleaf). There’s been some fascinating maneuvering within these rules: Whistler Medical Marijuana recently announced the sale of a topical cannabis balm by characterizing it is a cannabis oil, thus allowing it to be sold to patients. Let’s take a look at some other innovate delivery systems being developed by LPs at the moment.
CanniMed recently formed a partnership with Stoney Creek Ontario-based CTT Pharma. CTT is developing a wafer that enables medication, in this case cannabis, to be absorbed directly through the mucosa of the oral cavity, allowing for fast absorption and early onset of effects as it bypasses the liver. CanniMed believes this product will be especially helpful for those who have a fear of swallowing or choking. Think Listerine strips, but instead of fresh breath it delivers cannabinoid-based medicine.
Buttressed by a patent that is awaiting formalization, CannTrust has developed a Keurig-like disposable coffee pod that contains hot beverages, such as coffee and hot chocolate, infused with cannabis. The project was announced in November 2015, and received some significant press attention at the time (who can resist the thought of mixing the ease of use of Keurig machines with the power of cannabis?). Unfortunately, we haven’t heard much else from CannTrust about the CannCup since then, and with the way the ACMPR is set up it may be a while before Health Canada approves it.
Tweed x Delivra
Tweed’s parent company Canopy Health is investing heavily in innovative and alternative delivery systems. Its newly formed off-shoot company Canopy Health Innovations easily obtained a $7 million private placement a few months ago. Tweed also received a Dealer’s License from Health Canada in December 2016, enabling them to start developing products that can’t otherwise be sold to ACMPR patients. One fascinating development is the company’s partnership with Delivra, the Canadian company behind popular LivRelief pain cream. Through its partnership with Delivra, Tweed hopes to develop a topical pain cream infused with cannabis. Will it be an extension of the LivRelief brand? Perhaps LivRelief PLUS? Time will tell. And if Whistler is able to characterize its topical balm as an oil and sell it to patients at this time, perhaps it won’t be long before we see similar Tweed products out there.
In my view, Health Canada ought to develop a process whereby they can assess and greenlight these developments on a case-by-case basis. With LPs starting to export cannabis oils and capsules to other countries, the thirst for alternative delivery systems will only hasten, both domestically and abroad.
Are there any other innovative cannabis delivery systems being developed by Licensed Producers that we left out? Let us know in the comments!
– Harrison Jordan
Featured image by James St. John.