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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, on of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need. –

franjo

German Cannabis Expert Announces Hunger Strike

Germany has made great strides improving its cannabis laws in recent years, but there is still so much work to be done, as too many patients are still without safe access to a safe medicine. There was understandably great hope that Germany would start treating marijuana the same as any other medicine, after the country implemented an expansion of the burgeoning medical program, but too many bureaucratic hurdles remain. Hoping to fulfill the practical notion that cannabis should be treated the same as any other prescribed medicine, Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, on of the world’s preeminent medical cannabis experts, has announced a hunger strike until Germany sufficiently opens up the medical cannabis program to all patients in need.

I had the honor of meeting Dr. Grotenhermen when he spoke at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin last year, and the man’s dedication to the cause, and expert knowledge, were evident to all in attendance. I hope when the ICBC returns to Berlin in 2018, that Dr. Grotenhermen can reflect on how his efforts have successfully brought medical cannabis fully into the medical mainstream.

Below is a press release sent out by Dr. Grotenhermen announcing his hunger strike: 

Cannabis expert starts hunger strike

Rüthen: On August 17, 2017, the German cannabis expert Franjo Grotenhermen entered an indefinite hunger strike. The objective of refusing to accept any food is to decriminalize all citizens who need cannabis to treat their serious diseases.

On March 10, 2017, a much-debated law on cannabis as a medicine went into effect in Germany. It was the declared aim of the legislature to allow all patients who need a therapy with cannabis medicines to do so. The law, however, proves itself in practice as too bureaucratic. Therefore, treatment with cannabis and cannabinoids is unattractive for doctors who in principle support such therapy. Many patients do not find a doctor who allows them legal access to the needed treatment.

“The legislature has taken a great step into the right direction,” explains Grotenhermen. “However, many patients are still dependent on a still as illegal regarded treatment. They face criminal sanctions. This is no longer acceptable. Therefore a basic clarification in the narcotics law must be established. The prosecution of patients to whom a doctor has certified the need for a therapy with cannabis must end. ”

Already today, the German Narcotics Law allows prosecutors to stop a criminal case in the case of a “minor debt”. This possibility is mainly applied in cases of possession of small amounts of cannabis. Grotenhermen urges that criminal proceedings should in principle also be stopped if accused citizens need cannabis for medical reasons. “The need for a cannabis therapy should not be judged by the judiciary, a government agency or a health insurance company, but, as with other medical treatments, also by a doctor,” explains Grotenhermen.

He also strongly supports the uncomplicated access of patients to standardized preparations from the pharmacy. In this respect, it is necessary to improve the existing law. However, the prosecution of the remaining losers of the legal situation must also be ended. “I am not aware of a convincing argument by which patients’ prosecution can be maintained,” adds Grotenhermen. A corresponding amendment to the Narcotics Act is, therefore, logical and unavoidable.

From 7 pm a 21-minute video will be presented on a special website (www.cannabis-hungerstrike.de), in which Grotenhermen explains in detail the background and goals of his hunger strike. On May 12, 2017, he had already begun a short 8-day “warning hunger strike”, by which he wanted to draw attention to a problem associated with the new law.

Franjo Grotenhermen, born in 1957, studied medicine in Cologne. Medical practice in Rüthen (NRW) with a focus on therapy with cannabis and cannabinoids. Grotenhermen is the chairman of the German Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM), Executive Director of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and
Chairman of the Medical Cannabis Declaration eV (MCD), as well as author of the IACM-Bulletin, which is available in several languages on the website of the IACM. Grotenhermen is an associate of the Cologne nova-Institut in the department of renewable resources and author of numerous articles and books on the therapeutic potential of the hemp plant and cannabinoids, their pharmacology and toxicology. Among others, since 2008 he has been an expert on debates in the
Health Committee of the German Bundestag on the medical use of cannabis products, most recently in September 2016.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon’s cannabis le 

http://marijuanapolitics.com/german-cannabis-expert-announces-hunger-strike/


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Banks versus pharmacists – first official extortion in the public drug scene – URUGUAY – by HANF JOURNAL .de

https://hanfjournal.de/2017/08/18/apotheken-in-uruguay-werden-aufgrund-legalen-hanfhandels-von-banken-verschmaeht/

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After moving forward in Uruguay in order to keep the own population of black market traders of illegal substances , unexpected hurdles seem to arise in the first country of the re-legalization of cannabis. The pharmacies in Uruguay are scorned by legitimate hemp trade by banks and have to fear their hitherto maintained money accounts. Either the cannabis sale would be discontinued, or abandoned to the formerly valued customer, it says on the side of the money institutions.

The President of the State Banco de la República, Jorge Polgar, said that no relations with pharmacies would have been accepted which would have received a license for the trade in marijuana . This is to prevent the international isolation of the bank which would actually be possible due to cross-border activities of the domestic financial institutions in the USA. According to international regulations, no accounts should be kept which are connected in any way to drug trafficking. Even if the government in Uruguay does not provide criminal prosecution for the public trade in cannabis – even behind the state’s distribution – the banks of the brave country feel their hands bound to international law.
In the absence of a solution to the surprising tangle mill in Uruguay, many of the twenty approved pharmacies would have to end their trade with the coveted and extremely affordable natural substance . A threatened blocking of his own bank account forced the medication-offering businessmen to the reluctant action, explained a lawyer of the pharmacist settlement of Uruguay.

Banks versus pharmacists – first official blackmail attempts in the public drug milieu!

 

 

 


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“It’s California in 1995 All Over Again, Man” – Opportunities and Problems Piling Up in the European Cannabis Market – from Cannabis Business Executive magazine / Philip J. Cenedella IV

“It’s California in 1995 all over again, man.”

That was a comment I overhead during a conversation between an American and a German entrepreneur at the Mary Jane Berlin event held in Berlin in the second week of June, 2017.

Indeed, there may not be a better way to sum up the current state of the state here in Europe’s most populous country. Having been on the frontlines of the grassroots efforts in San Diego last century, it is fun to see how our industry is now growing in Germany and throughout Europe.  And like California back then, or now, the struggle is not always easy.

Here’s another interesting quote of the month:

“European markets are increasingly important to the cannabis sector. Each has a well-funded medical system, residents who seek natural and complementary therapies, and a government-supported mandate to stop the rising tide of opiate addiction related to chronic pain treatment.”

-Benjamin Ward, CEO, Maricann Group, Inc.

As of August, 2017 starts, the medical marijuana patients in Germany are experiencing “sold out” conditions nationwide, and the two exclusive importing countries (Canada and the Netherlands) are anticipating further bottlenecks as their in-country supply needs change. This is a significant problem – but also an opportunity for GMP-certified growers to fill the gap. If, and how, the German government opens up alternative supply to support their medical patients will be the top story in Germany this year.

From the patients perspective, there are two bad things about the current state of affairs: Little to no choice in their required medicine and their insurance companies are now refusing to cover the costs for the medicine as stipulated in the federal law.

Of course, lawyers are now getting involved and insurance companies are starting to be forced into approving valid claims from their policy-paying customers. But it is a silly, slow process to say the least.

The solution the German government is pursuing is to award 10 grow licenses to companies that will then produce 200 lbs. cannabis ​each within the country. The first bud from those plants are not scheduled to be picked until sometime in 2019, which is simply too long for patients to wait.

Some of the companies that have been publicly mentioned as potential winners of a grow license are Spektrum Cannabis, which is the Canopy Growth company formerly known as MedCann; Maricann GmbH, which is the new German subsidiary of its Canadian parent, Bedrocan, that has been a leader in the industry but recently run into a dispute with their Canadian licensee, Bedrocan International; Aurora Cannabis from Canada, which recently acquired the German firm Pedianos adding an EU-wide, medical marijuana distribution capability; and ABCann of Canada, which touts the “Father of THC” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam as a key member of their board of directors.

Homegrow options in Germany are currently not permitted, and existing indoor/outdoor farm operations are not yet able to be registered, licensed and taxed.

The black market continues to win, and patients continue to lose.  Cannabis business executives worldwide need to effectively work with the German government to develop the solutions we all know exist.  Three organizations that are key to this effort are the BfArM (www.bfarm.de )  the DHV (www.hanfverband.de )  and the GTAI ( www.gtai.de )

My personal comment is the government, politicians and regulators here in Germany need to listen to their constituents who support our industry by over 60 percent nationwide, according to a recent poll. The total quantity of flower to be delivered by the 10 licensees is probably less than what my buddy Butch has in his building back in California to handle his patients which live within five miles of the office.

Yes I am joking, Butch usually has less, but the point is – ​it simply is not enough for a population twice the size of California.

With all the talk about Germany, it is also important to remember that it is one of 18 countries within Europe that currently allow for some form of medical marijuana.  Besides Germany, there are provisions for the distribution and use of medical products in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and, the most recent addition, Poland.

This is an interesting list that, again, shows these are historic times here in Europe.

Sadly missing from the list above is the United Kingdom, and that has affected people we know. Our friend Vera Twomey, and her entire family had to leave the U.K. last month just to take care of their young daughter with Dravet’s Syndrome. In the U.K. their daughter suffered from up to 30 grand mal seizures a day while taking a regimen of pharmaceutical drugs.

Think about that for a moment – 30 grand mal ​seizures a day.

Now living as “medical refugees” from their homeland, the Twomey’s and their daughter are now dealing with zero grand mal seizures a day thanks to her medical marijuana.

30 grand mal seizures a day, now zero a day – everyday for the past 3-4 weeks.

The United Kingdom calls medical marijuana illegal. Patients and advocates call that thinking arcane, unjust, and possibly criminal itself. They are now petitioning the Human Rights Commission of the European Union in Brussels for help. I am positive their efforts will be successful – it is just a matter of time.

Vera and her family hope it comes within her daughter’s lifetime. That is all for now. Have a successful rest of the summer, rest up and get ready because I believe that Q-4 of 2017 is going to be a busy one for our industry and your company.

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Cannabis Shows Great Promise in Treating Cancer—Let’s Not Wreck It With Hyperbole

DR. DAVE HEPBURN – LEAFLY

There’s no topic like cancer to inspire cacophonous claims of a cure, pegged to everything from the rinds of fruits nobody has ever eaten to powders drawn from Micronesian beaches no one has ever visited. As such, claims of miracle cures for cancer typically cause the medical establishment to roll their eyes and avert their attention.

This is why it’s so important to eschew such cure-related hyperbole when discussing the cancer-treating components of cannabis, which could all too easily be lumped into the same National Enquirer“wonder cure” category.

RELATED STORY
Government-Run Cancer Institute Quietly Acknowledges That Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells

Such talk is especially counterproductive given that there is little doubt that cannabis plays a very important role as a treatment option for cancer—a fact even government agencies are ready to acknowledge, issuing statements on cannabis and cancer that are profoundly encouraging.

The National Cancer Institute has said that “Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.” (Presumably it does something similar outside of the laboratory, but taking cannabis from lab to bedside is an exercise in Schedule-I bureaucratic frustration.) In addition, the NCI states that “[c]annabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their non-transformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”

Anecdotes of success in treating cancer with cannabis can’t be ignored—they’re what’s driven the medicalization of cannabis for a long time.

This is because cannabis is what’s known as “pro-apoptotic.” Apoptosis means that a cell commits suicide. Cannabis encourages this in some cancer cells while protecting non-cancer cells from the same fate. As any oncologist will tell you, killing cancer cells while not affecting normal tissue is one of the Holy Grails of treatment. Cannabis can also prevent cancer cells from further dividing, spreading, and growing.

Even the National Institute of Drug Abuse—an organization historically devoted to vilifying cannabis—has gotten on board, stating that “marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.” Not even they can ignore the science.

Anecdotes of success in treating cancer with cannabis can’t be ignored—they’re what’s driven the medicalization of cannabis for a long time. But anecdotes aren’t enough to support touting cannabis as a miracle cure. As always with cannabis and its 144 cannabinoids, the range of effects and variations is vast. Medical cannabis is still the wild west. One size simply does not fit all. There are just too many permutations.

So let it be said, loudly and often: Cannabis is not a cure for cancer. It is not a panacea that has been evilly suppressed by greedy pharmaceutical corporations.

Exaggerations such as these do nothing but sabotage the potential of cannabis. T-shirts emblazoned with “Cannabis Cures Cancer” and assorted leafy greens simply give the appearance of Rastafarian snake oil.

Let’s not further embolden biased clueless conservatives, who look for reasons to further vilify cannabis and stigmatize cannabis users. Now is the time for common sense and reason rather than common screech and rhetoric. Overcoming stigma means reversing ideas that are all too often loosely formed yet firmly held.

Progress in cannabinoid science is truly exciting and packed with great promise If we are to advance, the focus needs to be on objective science and studies. Let’s keep it that way.


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Legal, regulatory obstacles preventing Canadian ‘Big Cannabis’ from diving headfirst into U.S. – from MJBiz Daily

August 10, 2017

Legal, regulatory obstacles preventing Canadian ‘Big Cannabis’ from diving headfirst into U.S.

(This is the second article of a four-part series examining how Canadian cannabis companies are expanding globally. Part I ran Aug. 9, and Parts III and IV will be published on Aug. 15-16.)

By Matt Lamers

Canadian cannabis companies eyeing U.S. medical and recreational marijuana markets can encounter a host of legal and regulatory pitfalls, prompting most of the big licensed producers to shun America altogether – at least for now.

“The rule right now is ‘no.’ You cannot do business in the United States,” said Aaron Keay, CEO of Ottawa-based ABcann Global, a licensed producer (LP) that trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ABCN.

In particular, the company doesn’t want to jeopardize its listing on the TSX Venture Exchange, given the stipulations laid out by the exchange’s parent company.

On its face, the United States is an attractive market:

  • Thirty states – plus Washington DC – have legalized medical marijuana.
  • Eight states also have legalized sales of recreational cannabis.

Canadian licensed producers seem poised to invade the U.S. industry, as many are spreading their wings to gain a first-mover advantage in newly legalized marijuana markets globally.

Most of these companies ultimately want a slice of the U.S. market, which could generate up to $9 billion in retail sales next year, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017.

But several issues have made the United States off limits for some Canadian companies – notably the biggest players.

Hurdles aplenty 

Catch No. 1: MMJ exports to the United States are a nonstarter. Health Canada won’t issue an export license without an import certificate from a foreign counterpart – which can’t happen in the United States, because marijuana is illegal in the eyes of the U.S. government.

To get around the need for an export permit, some Canadian cannabis companies are investing directly in licensed producers based in the United States.

Catch No. 2: You’ll have a hard time listing on either of Canada’s two largest stock markets. TMX Group – the parent of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) – mandates that its listed companies comply with relevant laws and regulations where they do business.

And because MMJ is illegal in the eyes of Uncle Sam, listed cannabis companies on Canada’s two biggest exchanges are technically not supposed to do business in the United States.

In fact, only one of the five cannabis companies on the TSE has cannabis-related assets in the United States, while around a dozen of the 47 cannabis stocks on the smaller Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) have U.S. holdings.

Catch No. 3: You might have a limited ability to raise capital. While the CSE is a respected exchange, it doesn’t have nearly the clout, exposure to institutional investors, or access to capital that firms listed on the TSE and TSXV enjoy.

Big Canadian companies kept at bay

Ironically, U.S. prohibitions blocking the development of the cannabis industry on a national scale are shielding the country’s state-sanctioned cultivators from competing against well-capitalized and more experienced Canadian peers.

Most of the biggest licensed marijuana growers in Canada, behemoths compared to their under-capitalized American counterparts, are holding off on any U.S. expansion plans to avoid breaking laws in either country – and to stay in good standing with TMX Group regulations.

A case in point: The United States is a no-go zone for Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis (TSE: ACB).

“It has to be federally legal. We’ve got to make sure that everything we do is kosher with the exchange,” said Cam Battley, executive vice president of Aurora. “We will not touch anything in the U.S. while it’s federally illegal.”

Two years ago Aurora had a “growth strategy south of the Canadian border” – it agreed to build a production facility in Washington state – but the plan was superseded by the 2015 Canadian election. That plan is no longer in the cards.

“I’m very interested in the U.S. market, but I’m not going there until it’s federally legal, and we are not going to jeopardize our relationship with the TSE,” Battley said.

Saskatoon-based CanniMed Therapeutics (TSE: CMED) says it has a facility in the United States, but it’s not producing cannabis to avoid running afoul of regulators. But “when regulations change it’s something we can and will ramp up extremely quickly,” a company spokesperson said.

According to the company’s website, CanniMed’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SubTerra LLC of White Pine, Michigan, “is a key strategic asset in the Company’s longer-term strategy to service a potential medical cannabis market in the United States.”

Neil Closner, CEO of Markham, Ontario-based MedReleaf (TSE: LEAF), told Marijuana Business Daily the company only considers markets that are regulated at a federal level.

MedReleaf’s vice president of strategy, Darren Karasiuk, acknowledged the “substantial” potential of the U.S. market, but said “the company is not currently considering making any investments in the cannabis industry there, and would only consider doing so in the future after consideration of the impact on the company of all laws affecting any such investment and in compliance with all applicable guidance and requirements of the TSE.”

For Smiths Falls-based Canopy Growth Corp. (TSE: WEED), the United States is not currently on its radar.

“International expansion for CGC is only going to be done in jurisdictions where it’s federally legal to do so,” said a spokesperson.

Keay, the CEO of ABcann Global, said he’s keeping an eye on opportunities south of the border and communicates on a regular basis with executives in the country.

But “right now we cannot go down that path because we’re listed on the TSX,” he said. “You can’t right now. But I have my eye on it. It’s the land of some of the biggest consumer products in the world.”

Some undeterred 

Still, some analysts and Canadian executives are bullish on the U.S. cannabis sector’s potential – and a few licensed cannabis producers have entered the American market.

Vahan Ajamian, an analyst at Canada’s Beacon Securities, sees great potential in the U.S. market as more states legalize medical and adult-use cannabis, but notes “it’s really 50 separate markets” owing to the plant’s illegal status at the federal level.

“We are big believers in the U.S. opportunity,” he said.

Among the five cannabis companies trading on the TSE, only one is actively involved in the U.S. marijuana market.

Leamington, Ontario-based Aphria (TSE: APH), which boasts a “U.S. expansion strategy,” has business interests in Arizona and Florida, and belongs to a partnership vying for a license to grow medicinal cannabis in Ohio.

Through Aphria (Arizona) Inc., Aphria owns 18.5% of Copperstate Farms Investors, which in turn has a 95% interest in Copperstate Farms – a licensed medical cannabis producer in Arizona.

In Florida, Aphria’s stake in Liberty Health Sciences gives it a financial interest in an MMJ company operating in a state poised to become a major market for medical cannabis.

Liberty Health Sciences CEO George Scorsis told Marijuana Business Daily his company is focused exclusively on the United States “because of its tremendous opportunity.”

Scorsis’ strategy involves going into markets that are “completely medical. That’s one premise we will never deviate from. Second, we look at states that do not have canopy restrictions, because that permits us to grow at a scale of greenhouse that allows us to be the lowest cost producer. We also like states that have high barriers to entry.”

With a market cap of CA$100 million ($79 million), Ottawa-based CannaRoyalty (CSE: CRZ) is one of the larger companies on the CSE with investments in the United States.

Marc Lustig – CEO of the marijuana-focused investment company – told Marijuana Business Daily that, regardless of the federal policies, the United States “is the largest opportunity and will be for some time.” 

CannaRoyalty has financial stakes in cannabis companies operating in Washington state, Oregon, California and Arizona.

It’s also indirectly involved in Florida, where one of its investee companies, AltMed, agreed to combine its Florida operations with Plants of Ruskin. It’s also looking at Nevada, Massachusetts and Maryland.

“Our whole strategy is surrounding producers with the whole toolbox that they need,” Lustig said. “We’re building a diversified company across different product segments, and across multiple geographies.”

Matt Lamers can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com.


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Medical marijuana companies in Canada capitalizing on ‘insane’ growth abroad – by Matt Lamers

https://mjbizdaily.com/canadian-medical-marijuana-companies-tap-insane-growth-overseas/

(This is the first article of a four-part series examining how Canadian cannabis companies are expanding globally. Part II will be published Thursday and Parts III and IV on Aug. 15-16.)

By Matt Lamers

Canadian medical cannabis companies are primed to tap what one industry executive calls “insane” growth overseas.

Flush with capital and largely free from American competition, Canadian licensed producers (LPs) are spreading their wings to gain a first-mover advantage in new markets as more countries legalize marijuana for medical use.

Fueling the overseas push is the vast amount of funding the companies have accumulated: During the first half of 2017, Canadian cannabis companies raised more than 1 billion Canadian dollars ($790 million), up more than 1,700% from the same period last year.

“One of the big advantages that Canadian companies have internationally right now is that we have access to capital that companies in no other country can match,” said Cam Battley, a member of the board of Cannabis Canada, the industry association for licensed cannabis producers.

“In addition to our expertise and the credibility of having operated successfully under rigorous government regulation in Canada, we have access to the level of capital required to make significant investments in equity and also in capital projects.”

The potential is significant. A recent analysis by Toronto-based Eight Capital, a full-service investment dealer, pegs the potential international medical cannabis market at CA$180 billion ($142 billion) over the next 15 years.

“We believe the path to global expansion for the LPs starts by partnering through medical-focused opportunities, and that in the longer term, international medical markets could be major upside opportunities,” the report states.

Germany and Australia have been the early focus for nearly a dozen Canadian MMJ companies tapping international markets through exports of flower and oils, licensing arrangements, distribution deals and acquisitions. Others have accumulated interests in South America.

Europe, where about a dozen countries permit sales of MMJ, is the big prize.

Battley said Canadian companies are going overseas to capitalize on their advantage while it exists.

“There are no significant American competitors right now on the international stage, so the best opportunities are open to well-capitalized Canadian producers,” he said.

Vahan Ajamian, an analyst in Beacon Securities’ Toronto office, said Canadian cannabis firms are driven by opportunity overseas rather than competition at home.

“There are all sorts of opportunities in foreign jurisdictions,” he said. “Germany is a hot one. Other countries in Europe are going medical. Mexico legalized medical cannabis. The world is slowly but surely going that way.”

“These are opportunities you’re looking to exploit, because of your size and capability in Canada,” he added.

The race to Germany

After Germany agreed to greatly expand its medical cannabis program earlier this year, a number of Canadian companies quickly established a foothold in Europe’s largest economy.

Germany became the first country to cover the cost of medical cannabis through its national health insurance system for any therapeutic application approved by a doctor.

The country is conducting an application process to select 10 licensed producers to cultivate 200 kilograms (441 pounds) of medical marijuana annually from 2019 to 2022. The 10 licensees could be announced in September, according to industry officials.

Until domestic producers are operational, imports will be needed to meet German demand.

Among the Canadian companies vying for one of the coveted licenses is Vancouver, British Columbia-based Aurora Cannabis, which lists as ACBon the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In May, the licensed MMJ cultivator acquired Germany-based Pedanios, an importer, exporter and distributor of medical cannabis in the European Union. It’s the largest medical cannabis distributor in Germany.

Pedanios passed the first stage of the application process.

“Demand in Germany is expanding at an insane rate,” said Battley, who also serves as executive vice president of Aurora. “Not only is Germany creating a very well-thought-out medical cannabis system, they’re reimbursing medical cannabis under the national health system.”

“We see Germany as our anchor in Europe, and that’s a market of 500 million people in the EU,” added Battley. He said Aurora is making “very considered and select investments that are anchoring us in markets that we see as very attractive future markets for medical cannabis. The good opportunities that come along are available at attractive prices right now.”

Ottawa, Ontario-based ABcann Global (TSX Venture: ABCN), another licensed producer, also is pursuing opportunities in Germany, and its common shares trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

CEO Aaron Keay said ABcann Global sees Germany as a gateway to broader European opportunities.

“We’re absolutely at the forefront,” he told Marijuana Business Daily. “We look at Europe as a significant part of our strategic plans for expansion, in addition to what we’re doing domestically.”

Keay confirmed that ABcann expects to acquire a distribution license and start exporting MMJ to Germany in the third quarter. He also said ABcann is “very interested to continue to pursue the cultivation in Germany.”

Canopy Growth (TSE: WEED), a licensed producer based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, established a foothold in the country with exports to Germany and its acquisition of MedCann, a Germany-based pharmaceutical distributor, in late 2016.

“Frankly, it’s growing very, very quickly,” Canopy Growth spokesman Jordan Sinclair said of the German market. “It’s very important.”

“There’s a lot of things that happen in the German market that are going to mirror what happens in Canada. So from a positioning perspective, and with the experience we bring to the table, we think we’re going to excel,” he said.

Other Canadian players in Germany (and nearby) include:

Australia bound

Australia, with a comparable population and demographic makeup to Canada, is receiving considerable interest from international cannabis companies.

The country legalized medical marijuana last year for patients with chronic or painful illnesses.

In May, CanniMed (TSE: CMED) marked its first shipment of commercial cannabis oil to Australia with the sale of 3,600 milliliters of oil to Health House International, a medical cannabis wholesaler in Perth.

A CanniMed spokesperson said the current focus is on the global medical market, rather than the Canadian and U.S. recreational markets, “because the opportunities allow for international expansion faster.”

Canopy Growth wants to use the lessons it learned in its early days in Canada to help AusCann Group Holdings (Australian Securities Exchange: AC8) in Australia. Canopy Growth will offer its expertise to AusCann in exchange for an initial 15% ownership stake in the company. AusCann’s strategic partner has been granted two cannabis licenses from Australia’s Office of Drug Control.

AusCann will import MMJ from Canopy until it’s capable of supplying locally produced medicine.

“Over the past year or so we have been supplying them with some of our intellectual property so they can come out of the gate strong. In exchange for that, they gave us a small stake in the business,” a Canopy spokesperson said. “We’re not exporting actual cannabis to Australia, we’re only exporting intellectual property.”

Aurora Cannabis entered the Australian market by taking a 19.9% stakein Cann Group Limited (Australian Securities Exchange: CAN). Cann is the first Australian company licensed to conduct research on and cultivate medical cannabis.

Aurora will also be exporting its intellectual property under an agreement with Cann.

ABcann Global is also actively looking at opportunities in Australia, CEO Keay told Marijuana Business Daily.

Canadian licensed producers have also done business in ColombiaCroatiaSouth AfricaNew ZealandChileCyprusBrazil, the Cayman Islands, Israel, Spain, Uruguay and the Netherlands.

Matt Lamers can be reached at mattl@mjbizdaily.com.


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CHONG’S CHOICE CBD – by Diamond CBD, Inc.

PotNetwork Holding Inc. (OTC: POTN) announced that Tommy Chong, counter-culture legend, marijuana legalization advocate and half of the incomparable creative team of Cheech & Chong, has selected its subsidiary, Diamond CBD, Inc., as his partner to introduce a proprietary brand of hemp-derived CBD oil products, under the brand name, Chong’s Choice CBD. Tommy’s brand will include CBD-infused edibles, concentrated solvent-free vaping additives and hemp oil tincture drops. Production of the new line is expected to begin within a month, with immediate online availability. As Tommy’s partner, Diamond CBD will offer the new brand to its distribution channels and assist in overall marketing. Tommy Chong stated, “I use Diamond CBD products and love them. They help me relax and often soothe the occasional pain of an old stoner.” He continued, “I want to be part of this 21st century CBD revolution which promises unprecedented health benefits to millions of people and Diamond CBD has a premier line of products, many of which I am pleased to bring to the market under my brand.”

Gary Blum, Chief Executive Officer, PotNetwork Holding, added, “We are honored to get to work closely with Tommy, and anticipate this partnership will further solidify Diamond CBD as the category leader in beneficial CBD products.”

 

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