MedReleaf CEO Neil Closner on their new cannabis oil capsules

Earlier this month, MedReleaf received their license to sell cannabis oil, and became the first Health Canada approved licensed producer to begin selling cannabis oil capsules to Canadians.

Earlier this month, MedReleaf received their license to sell cannabis oil, and became the first Health Canada approved licensed producer to begin selling cannabis oil capsules to Canadians. MedReleaf is now selling both cannabis oil capsules and bulk oils in 50 ml bottles.

Initially licensed to begin production of cannabis oil in February of this year, the process of approval from the regulator for the final sales license took another nine months to complete. MedReleaf CEO Neil Closner says they expect to expand their range of oil products, but wanted to start with providing access to unique Tikun Olam strains like AvidEkel and Midnight — a high CBD and a balanced 1:1 strain — along with indica and sativa oils.

Oil capsules are in high demand, as they allow for a more measured, titrated dose, but they have been slow to appear under Canada’s regulatory system (MMPR/ACMPR). Current regulations limit potency of oil in capsules to 10mg per unit, and 30mg per ml in ‘bulk’ oils. In addition, producers must put the products through disintegration testing to ensure they break down properly.

Related: A pricing overview for cannabis oils currently available from Licensed Producers

Voluntarily discontinued distribution of Tilray’s cannabis oil capsules in Croatia

Below is our interview with Closner on this new release.

MedReleaf was licensed for Oil Production in Feb. It's now Nov. What took so long?

MedReleaf took extra care and time to ensure that our product formulation was and is of the highest quality possible. We rejected 2 different extraction machines and exhaustively analyzed carrier oil options before we settled on our final equipment and recipes. We also were developing oil capsules (which took extra time) and we are happy to now be the first in Canada to offers these. We are confident that our patients will be very satisfied with our oil products and that the wait will have been worth it.

Has there been a delay in approvals from HC?

We would have liked to have seen our approval come in a little faster but we understand how busy Health Canada is these days.

MedReleaf is the first LP to offer oil capsules (domestically). What are some of the challenges presented in capsule production/sale vs oils?

There are obviously additional manufacturing steps in the production of capsules including the selection of the optimal capsule material. There are also additional laboratory tests that are necessary to ensure that the capsule breaks down properly etc.

Why provide capsules when there are such strict limits on THC levels? Is there a demand from physicians?

MedReleaf believes that measured and consistent dosing is one of the keys to expanding the market for medical cannabis. Physicians and patients are most familiar with a capsule based dosing format and this should lead to expanded market acceptance. We believe that our formulations, despite the THC limits, will provide many patients with noticeable effects.

Tell me about the strains you're offering. Two Tikun Olam offerings and an indica and a sativa? Why these 4?

Upon our initial launch we felt that our exclusive Avidekel and Midnight varieties and our unique indica and sativa blends would offer a broad enough selection to appeal to as wide a patient-base as possible. By offering a high CBD, a balance CBD-THC and both indica and sativa THC offerings, we felt that we were covering most bases. We will be expanding this offering over time.

What does the future of medical cannabis ingestion options look like?

This is difficult to answer as the answer largely rests with Health Canada and what is approved for sale. We hope to see a broader array of ingestible products made available as we believe that ingesting is a preferred method for many people and for many ailments.

What other new technologies are MedReleaf working in?

We believe that MedReleaf has the largest cannabis focussed R&D effort anywhere in Canada. Our team of PhDs and Master’s level scientists and researchers are hard at work on a number of new products and technologies. We are constantly seeking to introduce products that address specific needs of patients and medical professionals. Patients who are registered with us will get first access to what we have coming…stay tuned.

Any chance for clones or seeds?

This is not a business that we see ourselves participating in at this point in time.

Anything else?

We are thrilled to be launching our initial line of oil based products and hope that patients will appreciate the time and effort that have gone into crafting them.

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