The 1st of November 2019 will mark the one year anniversary of the legalisation of medical cannabis in the United Kingdom. A year after Charlotte Caldwell’s tireless campaign to obtain life-saving medication for her son Billy catapulted medical cannabis onto the public agenda, the cost of prescriptions has dropped substantially while the number of scripts written has increased, but more needs to be done before it can be more widely offered by the National Health Service (NHS).
The average price of a month’s supply of medical cannabis imported through Logist has dropped from £750 to £550, reducing the average monthly prescription cost by 27%, while the average price per gram has also fallen by 25%. The reduction in cost is a combination of increased volume (meaning the costs associated with importing products is lower per prescription) and the increased availability of different products.
The type of medical specialist consultants writing prescriptions for medical cannabis has also diversified to include pain, oncology and neurology. There has also been a broadening in the delivery method for medical cannabis requested by specialist consultants to include different cannabis oils, pills and flowers, which is largely a result of the greater range of products available. Since February, Logist has imported approximately 1.5kg of flower to the UK.
The vast majority of medical cannabis has made its way to the UK thanks to Logist, a joint-venture formed between specials importer IPS Pharma, and Grow Biotech, the UK’s leading medical cannabis market access specialists.
Timeline of Events
- 1st November 2018 – New regulations introduced, which allowed for the import and prescription of cannabis-based medicines
- 14 February 2019 – The first bulk import of medical cannabis in the UK and first patients to receive medication from Logist
- May 2019 – EU based bio-pharmaceutical company MGC Pharma appoints Logist
- August 2019 – NICE publish interim report on medical cannabis
- August 2019 – American medical cannabis giant Columbia Care announces that it will fund and provide medicine for clinical trials in the UK
- September 2019– Leading Canadian company Aurora appoints IPS Pharma and Grow Biotech as importer and distributor for the UK market
- September 2019 – Medical cannabis consultant informs Logist that a patient is no longer using opioids to manage their condition following treatment with medical cannabis
Looking forward to the near future, Chief Operating Officer of Grow Biotech, Hari Guliani, said, “Over the next twelve months we expect the UK’s medical community as a whole to take on the challenge of understanding how cannabis might help their patients. We are expecting leading consultants to publish papers on the impact they have seen on their patients, as well as evidence gathered through MHRA-approved trials. This will significantly improve the data available to regulators, policymakers and NICE.”
At present, it is only available on the NHS in extremely limited circumstances and is only obtainable through a prescription written by a specialist consultant in the private sector. NICE (The National Institute of Health Care Excellence) has advised that more clinical trials need to be undertaken in the UK and overall costs of medication need to be reduced before medical cannabis can be prescribed by NHS consultants. However, new medical trials are now underway and prices associated with the import of medical cannabis are falling dramatically, giving hope to the thousands of patients who are still struggling to access life-changing medication.
Another major change which cannot be overlooked is funding for the UK’s young medical cannabis industry. Ben Langley, Chief Executive Officer of Grow Biotech explained that, “We have seen a massive increase in funding for UK businesses operating within the medical cannabis space, especially from North America. In addition to the £5m Grow Biotech has raised over the last two years, there have been notably well received fundraises for Emmac Life Sciences PLC (£11m raised in March 2019) and for Oxford Cannabinoid Therapeutics ($10m in April 2019). This trend is likely to accelerate as European medical cannabis gradually establishes itself as an attractive asset class for global capital and European equity exchanges start to open their doors to cannabis companies.”
Both Ben Langley and Hari Guliani are available for comment and interview.
SOURCE Grow Biotech
Core One Labs’ Subsidiary, Core Isogenics Inc., Teams up with Reiziger Pty. Ltd. to Showcase High Yielding Nutritional Cultivation Technology
Core One Labs Inc. (CSE: COOL), (OTCQX: CLABF), (Frankfurt: LD6, WKN: A14XHT) (“COOL” or the “Company”) announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Core Isogenics Inc., has begun a highly complex nutritional regimen to accelerate the growth of cannabis plants and increase flower yield and quality.
The Core Isogenics’ nursery and breeding rooms are now operational. Approximately 25% of the breeding rooms are now actively involved in a project with Reiziger® Holland to improve harvest yields. This is a significant milestone in the Company’s journey to seed-to-sale with increased profitability. The initial project focus will be a twelve-month study matching genetics to nutrients and creating feeding regimens specifically designed for maximum absorption and conversion of nutrients into cannabinoids. The Company has high expectations for this technology and the possible benefits for the CannaStrips™ brand.
The nursery facility is uniquely suited for this type of project with its ability to track the growing conditions in isolated rooms, as well as documenting the feeding schedule and soil condition in order to gather information to accurately assess the cultivation process. This documentation will allow the Company to consistently produce high quality products in every harvest. This consistency is vital to the Company’s cultivation model where the goal is a predictable outcome in every harvest.
CEO of Core One Labs Inc., Brad Eckenweiler, stated, “The introduction of Reiziger® and their cultivation technology into our operation is a major step in the growth of Core One Labs. The ability to have Shaun Reid and his team of master Dutch breeders and growers share their decades of experience is extremely valuable and will result in accelerating the Core Isogenics nursery years ahead of what would have been a long learning curve. Most certainly our indoor growing ability will be the primary beneficiary with higher yields and stronger cannabinoid profiles.” The Company will continue to update the market on the development of this exciting project.
SOURCE Core One Labs Inc.
IMCC Appoints Yaron Berger as CEO of IMC Holdings
IM Cannabis Corp. (the “Company” or “IMCC”) (CSE: IMCC), one of the world’s pioneering medical cannabis companies with operations across Europe, is pleased to announce the appointment of Yaron Berger as Chief Executive Officer of I.M.C. Holdings Ltd. (“IMC“), the Company’s wholly-owned operating subsidiary in Israel. Oren Shuster will remain the Chief Executive Officer of IM Cannabis Corp.
Mr. Berger brings more than 10 years of experience in various senior roles both in public and private sectors, leading large-scale operations. Most recently, Mr. Berger was the Chief Executive Officer of Telepharma Ltd. (“Telepharma,” doing business as epharma), a leading wholesaler, direct marketer of prescription drugs and chain of pharmacies in Israel. At Telepharma, among other accomplishments, Mr. Berger re-branded its digital platform and transformed the customer experience. As an early entrant into the medical cannabis sector, Mr. Berger also established Greenpharma under Telepharma, a full-service distributor, patient counselling service provider and online resource for medical cannabis patients in Israel. Prior to his experience in the pharmaceutical sector, Mr. Berger served as the Chief Operating Officer of the National Police Academy and spent over 20 years in the Israeli Air Force, most recently as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Oren Shuster, Chief Executive Officer of IMCC said “Yaron is uniquely qualified to lead our Israeli operations under the new medical cannabis regulatory regime, which requires a high level of engagement and education for the country’s pharmacists on the benefits of medical cannabis. Yaron was an early mover in identifying the opportunity in medical cannabis and we are very excited to benefit from his expertise in the pharmacy channel to maintain IMC’s status as a leading medical cannabis brand in Israel.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the IMC team, who I have known as a leader in the medical cannabis market in Israel over the past ten years,” said Mr. Berger. “The IMC brand is synonymous with quality and innovation. The new medical cannabis reform in Israel presents a significant opportunity for the Company and the IMC brand to further elevate its market position as the preferred medical cannabis brand for physicians, pharmacists and patients.”
SOURCE IM Cannabis Corp.
LCBO’s bottom line proves privatized alcohol sales a bad idea: OPSEU’s Thomas
The LCBO’s latest profits show the Crown corporation’s value to the people of Ontario, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said Friday.
In its 2018/2019 annual report released Thursday, the LCBO is reporting earnings of $2.37 billion on total revenue of $6.39 billion.
Thomas said those profits go to the provincial government and pay for vital public services like health, education and highways.
“This is why the Ford government should rethink allowing corner stores and grocery stores to sell more alcohol,” said Thomas. “Is saving folks a 10 minute drive in some cases worth jeopardizing their health care?”
OPSEU represents LCBO workers and Thomas says these frontline professionals deserve the credit for the corporation’s continued success.
“The reason the LCBO is the gold standard in selling alcohol responsibly is because of OPSEU members who make sure alcohol isn’t sold to minors or intoxicated people,” said Thomas.
“They also provide customer service that is second to none and they’re the ones who have made the LCBO a success story.”
As he read the LCBO report, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida reflected on the Ford government’s decision to take the sale of legalized cannabis away from the Crown Corporation.
“Think of what the LCBO’s profits would have been if Premier Ford hadn’t scrapped the plan of the former Liberal government?” said Almeida. “I’ve put together a lot of budgets and I know how tough an exercise it is.”
“It still makes me shake my head that a government that claimed it had catastrophic financial problems would turn down massive amounts of revenue and go on the misguided course that the Conservatives took. Really? Wow.”
Almeida says municipalities who voted to opt out of Doug Ford’s foolish cannabis privatization plan should stand firm and demand a responsible plan.
“The LCBO continues to prove it’s the best option to keep controlled substances out of the hands of minors,” said Almeida. “Municipalities and Ontarians in general should continue to demand a responsible plan and just say no to Doug’s. After all, a little competition wouldn’t be a bad thing would it?”
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
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