cannabis market research

February 2024 Brief

Hi , welcome to your cannabis brief!

We discuss German legalisation, US rescheduling debates, excise tax reforms in Canada and medicinal cannabis regulations in Spain.

German distributors broaden product portfolios ahead of legalisation, Israeli market is seeing an uptick despite consolidation, new market entries in Poland and the first legal sales in Greece.

Studies on cannabis use and anxiety point to a positive impact, despite the fact that people suffering from anxiety are predisposed to self-medicate with cannabis.

We hope you enjoy this month’s cannabis brief!

 

1. Regulatory updates:

 

🇩🇪 The lower house of the German parliament has passed the Cannabis legalisation bill with support from the Socialist, Green, Liberal and Left-wing parties.

  • The law still needs to go through the upper house controlled by the opposition, which could delay the entry into force of the law, currently planned for April 1st, as a mediation committee between both chambers convenes.
  • Focus of the law is on harm reduction, fighting the black market and protecting minors: possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis will be decriminalised for adults, with home cultivation and cultivation clubs allowed from July 1st.
  • Medical cannabis access likely to improve: special narcotic prescription and security measures will no longer apply, while the tender process and production quotas for domestic medical growers are scrapped in favour of an open licensing system.
  • Backlash on legalisation includes members of the ruling party arguing that it will boost organised crime, enable money laundering and facilitate youth access.

 

🇺🇸 US rescheduling decision by the DEA is expected in the coming weeks, as pressure mounts on Biden administration to use cannabis as political leverage to win crucial November election.

 

🇨🇦 Excise tax reform in Canada is being formally proposed in the lower house of Parliament, with the goal to set it as a 10% flat rate instead of the current C$1/g for flower, which creates effective tax rates upwards of 30%. Revenue agency is owed over C$200 million in unpaid cannabis duties.

 

🇪🇸 Spain’s Ministry of Health launches public consultation to regulate medicinal cannabis. Changes to the proposal of royal decree are still possible, with only oral extracts codified in the national formulary expected to be made available through hospital pharmacies.

 

🇫🇷 Health regulator in France announces that no more patients will join the medical cannabis experiment after the end of March, and flower will stop being available in the next few weeks, as it prepares to grant authorisations of medical cannabis products to be supplied from next year.

 

🇦🇺 Australian TGA has not tested any imported medicinal cannabis batches since implementing new regulations, industry players raise concerns about the quality of overseas products amidst a call to prioritise Australian-grown production which is now coming online.

 

🇺🇦 Ukraine has legalised medical cannabis, with President Zelensky signing the law that will be effective in six months.

 

🇬🇧 In the UK local council recommends refusing application of cannabis farm in Northern Ireland due to potential noise and odour impact.

 

🇳🇱 The participation of East Amsterdam in the Dutch supply chain experiment is in question, as 5 out of 11 coffee shops in the district demanded being excluded.

  • Health minister announces that the experiment advances according to schedule and 5 additional growers will start producing this summer, with 2 last growers joining in early 2025.
  • Limit of 500g trading stock by participating coffee shops will be increased.

 

🇧🇷 Brazilian health regulator launched a public consultation on a cannabis flower monograph setting a 20% tolerance for THC/CBD and max 1% CBN.

 

🇪🇺 European debate on cannabis legalisation is gaining momentum with researchers outlining policy options for recreational legalisation.

 

🇨🇿 Despite being one of few European countries to regulate semi-synthetic substances instead of banning them, Czech government has introduced a temporary ban on HHC products due to mounting cases of child intoxication.

 

🇵🇱 Polish parliament speaker in favour of decriminalising cannabis — the state «has other things to do» than minding about one or two joints here or there. This follows escalating pro-cannabis stance of the new ruling coalition in Poland, led by prime minister Donald Tusk.

 

🇦🇷 Industry concerns in Argentina about the future direction of cannabis policy under the government of Javier Milei as an audit on medicinal home growers registry is being planned by the Ministry of Security.

 

🇹🇭 Thai government plans to ban recreational use of cannabis by the end of the year, with a new bill to be presented to lawmakers for approval before the end of October.

 

🇵🇰 President of Pakistan has signed ordinance regulating the cultivation, extraction, refining, manufacturing, and sale of hemp derivatives for medical and industrial purposes.

 

🇨🇴 Colombian government has doubled to 4 years the maximum time for license holders of psychoactive cannabis to hold it in stock before destruction.

 

🇮🇱 Israeli drug smugglers are being boycotted by Moroccan hash dealers due to the ongoing war in Gaza, leading to lost “tens of millions of shekels” in the illicit market.

 

🇵🇹 Portugal hemp sector demands the use of the entire hemp plant, not just specific parts. Food regulator expresses support to 19 authorised growers sowing 64 hectares.

 

🇲🇼 Malawi‘s Cannabis authority launches production survey to determine amounts and how much is being exported, as it lacks data on the revenue generated from hemp exports.

 

Infographic of the month: Medical Cannabis in the UK

202402_UK_Medical

2. Market and company updates:

 

🇩🇪 In Germany, legalisation news has brought a new round of capital raising, while established medical cannabis companies broaden their portfolios ahead of expected market growth:

  • Sanity Group launches hard capsules for Vayamed extracts. Avaay Medical adds new flower varieties, including 2 varieties from Miracle Valley and 1 from Fuga in Canada, and the Lemon Sherbet from Uruguayan Pharmin, which has later ceased operations.
  • Cannamedical expands supplier network with Fotmer Life Sciences from Uruguay and Safricanna from South Africa, as it also introduces “Rainmaker” from Canada and “Gorilla Glue #4” from North Macedonia.
  • Canify has raised a total of €35M and expects >€10M revenue in 2024, as it launched new non-irradiated varieties from Fotmer Life Sciences in Uruguay, such as Purple Dog Bug and GG.
  • DEMECAN has launched a cannabis concentrate for inhalation obtained from CO2 extraction from its German-grown flower.
  • Avextra closes funding round at a €100M valuation to expand distribution and accelerate clinical trials.
  • Cansativa announces results of €17M revenues in 2023 with >30% gross margin.
  • Agritech company SpexAI closes oversubscribed seed round.

 

🇵🇱 In Poland, multinational cannabis giant Curaleaf has acquired Can4Med, a pharmaceutical wholesaler specialising in cannabinoid medications.

 

🇮🇱 Newly found momentum in the Israeli medical scheme perseveres: over 140,000 patients are purchasing an estimation of over 4 tonnes per month, despite harsh sector consolidation:

  • IMC quits cannabis market, seeks to sell its assets and announces potential reverse merger with Kadimastem, a clinical cell therapy company.
  • Medical cannabis manufacturer Medocann launched a new premium brand called ‘SOLO’ with 3 strains and luxury advertising.
  • Better’s best selling strain (T20/C4 Persian Kush) might be in danger
  • Pharmacan announced liquidation and insolvency proceedings following financial losses, failed fundraising, and a breakdown in collaboration with a cannabis farm. Regulatory changes and competition from imported cannabis also contributed to the company’s downfall.
  • InterCure claims that ongoing war still limits access to its facility in Kibbutz Nir Oz, as it seeks to restore the facility and obtain compensation for damages.

 

🇦🇺 In Australia, Canadian LP Aurora has acquired the remaining shares of MedReleaf, one of the largest medical cannabis distributors in Australia, at a valuation of A$50M.

  • Breathe Life Sciences obtains GMP license for Psilocybin and MDMA manufacturing for mental health disorder treatment.
  • MedTEC Pharma has launched its first 5 domestically-grown strains as it plans to harvest 14,000 plants in South Australia.
  • LP Cann Group has been suspended by the ASX due to funding concerns after reporting operating loss, debts, and ongoing discussions for funding/refinancing options.
    • New Zealander Rua Bioscience has sued Cann Group for breaching their exclusive supply contract, following Cann Group’s notice to terminate the contract.

 

🇬🇧 Cannabis clinics in the UK are seeing a spike in prescriptions for ADHD, with Curaleaf Clinic reporting an 86% increase in ADHD patients nationally over the last year.

  • Medical cannabis division of Rokshaw rebrands as Curaleaf Laboratories.
  • Script Assist launches ‘Find a Doctor’ feature allowing to choose a specialist doctor, book appointments, and order repeat prescriptions through the app.
  • MGC Pharma rebrands as Argent BioPharma, undergoing extensive restructuring and incorporating American capital to continue developing its drug portfolio including CannEpil for refractory epilepsy and cerebral palsy and CogniCann for dementia and Alzheimer.
  • British Cannabis acquires CBD brand Goodbody Botanicals, expanding manufacturing capabilities and presence on the FSA list.
  • Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies prepares raise to fund further clinical research.

 

🇨🇦 In Canada, exports are the fastest growing channel for Avant Brands, which announced 4 new international agreements in Israel, Australia and Germany.

 

🇨🇴 In ColombiaClever Leaves has partnered with Paradise Seeds to develop and register high-performance cultivars both for its use and for third parties.

 

🇵🇹 Lisbon-based extractor SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals acquires indoor grower RPK Biopharma from Akanda for $2M, capable to produce 2 tonnes of indoor flower as well as outdoor capacity.

  • Somaí partners with Airo Brands to manufacture and distribute inhalation oils and cannabis-infused gummies in the European and Australian markets.
  • Cannprisma, a LP from the Algarve, expects to harvest between 3 and 6 tonnes in its first year of commercial operations that will conclude in June 2024.
  • CannaForest has produced high-THC distillates in collaboration with extraction partner Somaì. The distillate has 71.3% THC potency, is purified and rich in minor cannabinoids.

 

🇧🇷 In BrazilZion MedPharma obtained authorisation to sell its new phytocannabinoid in pharmacy chains such as RD, DPSP, Panvel, and Nossa Drogaria.

  • Ontario-based MediPharm Labs has obtained GMP certification from ANVISA, allowing it to manufacture cannabis finished goods for Brazilian medical cannabis patients.
  • Swiss API producer Linnea announced a partnership with Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UniCamp) to develop innovative cannabinoid-based products aligned with medical needs.

 

🇬🇷 In Greece the first medical cannabis prescriptions have been redeemed 7 years after the passing of the law that legalised production and access in the country.

  • The first product was approved days before the first dispensation: a balanced THC:CBD flower grown by Tikun Olam in its Corinth facility, distributed by local pharmaceutical company Lavipharm at a cost of €16.6/gr fully borne by the patient.

 

🇺🇾 In Uruguay 3.3 tonnes of cannabis for adult use were sold in the pharmacies in 2023, almost double the amount of 2022, thanks to higher THC, more competitive varieties.

  • Indoor producer Pharmin closed unexpectedly, leaving 65 workers unemployed, as 150 kilos of high-THC cannabis disappeared from the company’s premises. In recent months the company had announced agreements in Germany and Australia.

 

🇺🇸 The United States have received the first DEA-sanctioned cannabis import from Jamaica, carried out by a Canadian-Jamaican company to the ACS Laboratory in Florida, seeking to eventually commercialise products in the US after rescheduling.

  • Mike Tyson launches a new line of cannabis seeds in collaboration with Royal Queen Seeds, consisting of six strains of feminised and autoflowering seeds.
  • A class-action lawsuit filed in Georgia accuses STIIIZY, Cookies, and others of selling marijuana as hemp, seeking a minimum of $150 million in damages.

 

🇫🇷 French CBD leader High Society inks supply agreement with 7.2 tonne of capacity Swiss grower.

 

🇩🇰 Valcon Medical has dispatched the first Danish-manufactured medical cannabis oil to patients, THC 25 Scanleaf.

 

🇲🇦 In Morocco, Italian extraction specialist Herbolea Biotech has formed a partnership with a subsidiary of Moroccan medical device leader Promamec to use its technologies for hemp extraction and purification.

 

🇲🇽 Xebra Brands scales down Canadian cannabis beverages operations as it shifts focus to manufacturing in Mexico, where it has signed a CBD isolate supply agreement with local partner.

 

🇹🇭 Teera Group acquires Thailand‘s first certified GACP/CUMCS cultivator Golden Triangle Group.

 

🇪🇨 Ecuador hemp sector seeks technical assistance from Canadian organisation.

 

3. Science updates:

 

🌎 Review finds association between cannabis and anxiety is best explained by anxiety predisposing individuals toward cannabis to self-medicate, rather than cannabis use causing anxiety.

 

🇺🇸Phylos and People Science conducted a research study on the energizing effects of THCV finding that it significantly increased energy, motivation, and well-being compared to placebo.

 

🇦🇺 An Australian review finds potential of cannabis entourage effects for anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects to treat Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, modulating brain aging.

  • 3/4 of Australian endometriosis patients are underdosing to limit high costs of accessing legal cannabis, including A$100-200 initial consultation and median medication costs of A$300/month.
  • Oz Medicann Group is preparing for three clinical trials to test the efficacy of a sublingual CBD tablet for sleep, a CBD salve for inflammatory arthritis, and a sublingual CBD tablet for anxiety in collaboration with NICM Health Research Institute and the New Zealand Medical Research Institute.
  • Emyria‘s phase III CBD trial for psychological distress is on hold as the company shifts focus to MDMA and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression and PTSD.
  • Cannabis extract might have potential as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of malignant melanoma.

 

🇪🇸 In SpainTrichome Pharma has unveiled its new R&D centre in Seville to conduct in-vitro propagation and varietal development.

  • Project authorised by the Spanish Medicines Agency in the Balearic Islands researches CO2 utilisation of cannabis crops for medicinal purposes.
  • A study of Fundación CANNA on commercially-available CBD topicals finds discrepancies between labels and its actual content.

 

🇳🇱 Medical cannabis pioneer Bedrocan opens Clinical Research Unit to study effects of medicinal cannabis and risk factors of cannabis use, seeking to obtain recognition of the safety and efficacy.

  • Fluence and Innexo BV partner to explore “no-veg” cannabis cultivation, producing electrical savings of up to 55%, improved quality and consistency, and labor-saving benefits.

 

🇬🇧 Study sponsored by Curaleaf finds improvements in sleep quality in patients with insomnia.

 

🇿🇦 Clinical trial in South Africa co-sponsored by Cannabis Research Institute, Afriplex and Releaf Pharmaceuticals.explores medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids for persistent pain.

 

🇵🇹 A review finds potential for the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of acne vulgaris, including anti-inflammatory and skin health-boosting properties of CBG and CBD.

 

🇮🇱 Terpenes and CBD show anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects against human corona and influenza viruses in vitro.

 

🇦🇷 Argentinian government conducts a comparative test among medical cannabis laboratories to assess the quality of measurements and improve analysis processes.

 

🇬🇷 Study finds potential of hemp for remediation of copper-contaminated Mediterranean soils and CBD production.

 

🇩🇰 77% of Danish pet owners that used unlicensed CBD on their dogs found pain alleviation, despite no licensed veterinary cannabinod products being available in Denmark.

 

🇲🇽 CBD was used to treat chronic foot problems in an Asian elephant, improving appetite and healing abscesses.

 

🇨🇦 78% reported decreasing stimulant use after using cannabis to manage cravings

Tags :
Australia,Czech Republic,United States
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