European rec legalisation, surge of private clinics and international markets teeming with activity.
A continental-wide policy shift is underway spearheaded by German legalisation, as well as commercial supply chain models like that of the Netherlands.
September has also seen an uptick of deals in the German and Australian medical markets, particularly in the telehealth and private clinic segments.
New export milestones by Canada, Uruguay, Portugal and New Zealand reflect on the increasing competitiveness of international cannabis trade.
We hope you enjoy this month’s cannabis brief!
1. Plans of adult legalisation gain momentum in Europe:
September has seen the Netherlands announcing the launch of its scheme, legislative progress in Germany, and new legalisation proposals in Portugal and Belgium, with ruling center-left parties of the continent edging in favour of adult-use regulation:
- The German senate has asked the Federal government to introduce changes in the draft of the legalisation bill to improve enforcement of new provisions.
- Conservative Bavaria remains in opposition of the law and will introduce measures to curb consumption if/when the bill receives its final approval.
- Social club representatives propose an alternative bill to ease limitations on home growing as well as CSC licensing and operating rules.
- The decision of a conservative-led Senate not to veto makes the goal of legalisation coming into force by January 2024 more likely.
- Launch of the Dutch pilot experiment to legally supply coffee-shops has been anounced for 15 December on the municipalities of Tilburg and Breda.
- 9 other municipalities will take part in the experiment and are expected to join during Q1 2024, including the east district of Amsterdam.
- In Portugal, the ruling Socialist Party is now championing legalisation, drawing on international experiences of harm reduction and protection of minors.
- The minister of economy and deputy prime minister of Belgium advocates for legalisation of cultivation, distribution and use of cannabis in the country.
- Thailand’s Prime Minister announces a ban on recreational cannabis, despite concerns that getting the cat back into the bag will prove difficult.
- Collegiate sports association NCAA intends to remove cannabis from mandatory drug testing administered to college athletes in the US.
2. International cannabis markets teem with activity:
Explosion of plays in the private clinic and telehealth segment across international markets, as well as a new round of facility licensing, supply agreements and M&A:
- France will likely not generalise its medical cannabis policy in 2024 as the government has not allocated funds in the social security budget draft:
- A campaign to pressure deputies ahead of final vote is ongoing, as the limitations of the current pilot scheme with 2,600 patients are apparent.
- French polynesia decides to legalise CBD use and production, as well as the importation of medicinal cannabis from metropolitan France.
- Phytocann, owner of CBD.fr, one of the largest online CBD retailers, has acquired Weedy.fr after buying HempHash.co.uk in the UK.
- German cannabis is bracing for adult legalisation hoping it will boost prescription rates thanks to telemedicine and private clinics:
- Demecan will commercialise German-made extracts under its own brand.
- Cronos brings Peace Naturals brand through partner Cansativa.
- Sanity launches value line Avaay Simple, grown by Portuguese Medicane.
- Cantourage presents its own telemedicine platform called Telecan.
- Swiss MediCrops acquires German telemedicine company Alpinopharma.
- Seed Innovations exits a €2.9m stake in Avextra, previously EuroxPharma.
- Stream of activity in the Australian market against the backdrop of TGO93 changes enforcing GMP requirements for imported products since last July:
- Australian market leader Cannatrek secures GMP for A$5m processing facility as it approaches A$ 9 figure revenues.
- Canadian MediPharm launches cartridges under Beacon Medical brand.
- Novachem imports CBD API and flower from New Zealand.
- Cann Group expands supply deal with Levin Health to A$2.3m.
- MGC Pharmaceuticals will be undergoing a capital restructuring.
- Uruguay is seeing a diversification of export strategies following two years of decreasing activity in the cannabis sector of the country:
- Pharmin exports 24% THC Lemon Sherbet to Breathe Life Sciences in Australia and plans to ship the same strain to Sanity Group in Germany.
- 2 of Flextem‘s flowers awarded finished product registration for export.
- Subsidiary of Aurora begins sales of 3% CBD extracts in Brazil.
- More varieties of higher THC (16%) are being rolled-out in Uruguayan pharmacies as adult-use sales have picked up following its introduction.
- Market consolidation perseveres in Canada while cannabis exports data shows that 60 tonnes were exported in the last fiscal year, 80% to Israel and Australia.
- Veteran Affairs of Canada spent C$167 million in the last fiscal year to supply medical cannabis free of charge to 20,000 Canadian veterans.
- Competition from recreational cannabis has raised concerns as the number of medical registrations is back to pre-legalisation levels.
- Canadian LP BZAM closes redundant facilities and cuts 90 personnel.
- Canopy files for creditor protection for sports drink subsidiaryy BioSteel.
- In the UK, Montu launches online clinic Alternaleaf and Gibraltar will make cannabis medicines available thanks to an agreement with Cantourage UK.
- Drug discovery company Apollon Formularies signs LOI to sell global assets to British Columbia based Sproutly for C$7m.
- CBD wholesaler British Cannabis acquires testing lab PhytoVista
- Polish wholesalers S-lab and CanPoland launch new flower varieties of 17-22% THC. Multiple strains are being launched under the same product registration.
- In Portugal, Somaí, a Lisbon-based extractor, achieves EU-GMP certification while GreenBe Pharma obtains commercial cultivation authorisation.
- In Israel, pharmacy sales of balanced varieties with a T10/C10 ratio are increasing, jumping from 5 varieties available last year to 14 strains in 2023.
- Czech CB21 Pharma, a CBDepot spin-off, extends EU-GMP to CBD APIs.
- Retail data shows an annual 13% decline of CBD sales in the USA.
- Denmark has destroyed 146 tonnes of cannabis since 2018.
- Colombia regulates the supply of cannabis for veterinarian purposes.
- 14 companies vie for medicinal cultivation licenses in Panama.
- Mauritius announces launch of first medical cannabis products.
Infographic of the month: Pharmaceutical cannabis sales
3. More evidence for CBD, CBN and medical cannabis:
- A clinical trial on CBN highlights market potential for insomnia. The double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, sponsored by FloraWorks, shows a significant improvement in sleep compared to melatonin and placebo.
- CBD reduces seizures by 68% in other resistant forms of epilepsy, promoting it as an adjuvant therapy regardless of its underlying cause or specific syndrome.
- A large Australian observational study shows improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life in patients accessing prescribed medical cannabis.
- An observational study conducted by Algea Care shows improvement in 90% of neuropathic pain patients following medical cannabis therapy.