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Patient Advocate since 1977.


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Growing Demand Drives Flurry of Aussie–Israeli Cannabis Partnerships

https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/growing-demand-drives-flurry-aussie-israeli-cannabis-partnerships

An Israeli company will partner with an Australian one to help boost clinical education opportunities around medical cannabis. The two companies, iCAN: Israel-Cannabis and Melbourne-based LeafCann have announced a joint-venture to collaborate on a range of initiatives including medicinal cannabis research, product development, and education.

The venture will be called iCAN: Australia, and, according to LeafCann Group CEO Jaroslav Boublik, the companies will “develop global clinical education initiatives to bridge the gap between public demand and practitioner education.”

Despite significant interest in medical cannabis in Australia, a slow rollout and onerous application process has frustrated patients seeking access to treatment. Nationwide, only 41 patients in the country have been prescribed medical cannabis through an authorized prescriber.

With the move, LeafCann becomes the latest of several Australian medical cannabis companies to partner with Israeli firms and researchers. MMJ Phytotech has a license agreement with the Israeli Yissum Research Development Co. as well as research links with Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. And on the education front, the Israeli cannabis start-up accelerator Cann10 recently announced that it will be running Australia’s first medical school course on cannabis at Deakin University.

For iCAN: Australia’s part, the joint venture will develop educational programs within Australia’s Registered Training Organisation framework. According to an iCAN spokesperson, that means it will be eligible for healthcare workers’ required continuing professional development credits, will be endorsed by medical colleges and the government, and will also be tax deductible for medical professionals to attend.

The programs, meant to address what’s seen as dearth of formal medical cannabis education opportunities in the country, “are designed by highly credentialed medical educators and will provide training that contributes to recognised professional certification and diplomas for Medical Practitioners including GPs, specialists, nurse practitioners, nurses, aged care workers and pharmacists,” spokesperson Daniel Goldstein said in a statement. “We will look to take this curriculum outside of Australia as well and become qualified for continuing education credits in different geographies.”

Education is just one focus of the partnership, which will also “bring world-class cannabis products to the Australian market” according to Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis. That’s about as specific as the companies have been on the product front. The joint venture has tight-lipped so far, saying only that “Our products will cover a range of indications and are being prioritized according to the state of the clinical science, critical demand and regulatory limitations.”

Although it isn’t growing cannabis yet, the Australian half of the partnership, LeafCann, has already submitted licences for cultivation, manufacturing and R&D in Victoria, and it plans to seek licenses for further operations in Tasmania. If Australia decides to allow medical cannabis exports—as the Office of Drug Control has signaled it will—the joint venture will look to offer its products globally.

As regulations settle and ease in Australia, partnerships like that of iCAN: Australia are likely to become more common as companies in Israel, a cannabis R&D leader, aims to capitalize on a growing industry in Australia. In update delivered last week, Bill Turner, the head of Australia’s Office of Drug Control, said that 90 manufacturing and processing license applications had been received. Although the government has been accepting applications since November 2016, almost a third of all applications received so far have been submitted in the past month and a half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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INTERNATIONAL CANNABIS AND CANNABINOIDS INSTITUTE – Warning to European CBD Consumers

https://www.marijuanatimes.org/icci-offers-warning-to-european-cbd-consumers/

ICCI-CBD-warning
Image Courtesy of Bill Griffin

Oils with a high CBD (cannabidiol) content have enjoyed a rise in popularity in the European market lately. As long as the THC content is no higher than 0.2% in most (but sadly, not all) European member states, CBD oil is perfectly legal.

Consumers are more aware of the medicinal properties of CBD and its non-psychotropic effect when ingested or inhaled.

This surge in awareness and demand has created a large – and unregulated – industry. Thanks to Europe’s free market, consumers are able to buy from another EU state with ease.

In Prague, under the framework of Patient Focus Certification (PFC), the world’s first independent testing took place of the quality of cannabidiol (CBD) products available on the retail market and the composition of “cannabis oils” available in the European Union. The results were found to be worrisome and highlighted the need for independent certification of the quality of mass-produced products made from cannabis.

Essentially, consumers only have the label and claims from the producer to go on when buying their CBD products. There is no way for them to test and validate these claims on their own. It is even difficult for the producers to get their products tested, so where this information is coming from is open to discussion.

In cooperation with the first European laboratory with a PFC certification – working within the Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition of the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (VŠCHT) – the International Institute for Cannabis and Cannabinoids (ICCI), also headquartered in Prague, assessed the quality of certain types of commercially available CBD oils on the European market.

Professor Jana Hajšlová, who led the testing, says, “For both categories, we are interested in the quality and authenticity of used oils and possible content of environmental contaminants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which accumulate in oils (for protecting the health of their consumers, maximum limits have been anchored in legislation. For “CBD oils”, we also examined the consistency of the determined contents of CBD with the producer’s stated values and the potential content of THC.” THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychotropic substance found in cannabis that gets you high.

Professor Hajšlová and her team tested 29 oils containing the non-psychotropic biologically active substance from cannabis – CBD – and 25 oils from cannabis seeds purchased on the EU market in the last quarter of 2016.

Tomáš Zábranský, Director of Research at ICCI, explained why the following aspects were selected in the assessment of edible cannabis-based foods, “Multi-core polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzopryrene, are classified as carcinogens and genotoxic mutagens of class IIa – according to the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). That means they are substances whose carcinogenicity was proven experimentally on animals, even though not on people (otherwise being prevented for ethical reasons), they have nevertheless been proven by a multitude of epidemiological studies. This especially pertains to ill persons trying to utilize the beneficial effects of CBD, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are unquestionably hazardous, mainly upon long-term (chronic) reception.”

In other words, what some people are buying to make them better could well have a detrimental effect on their health.

Another unexpected outcome of taking uncertified CBD products could be that you consume more THC than you were expecting. This could be seen as a nice problem for some, but potentially dangerous if the consumer is working in a hazardous environment, or even just doing a school or shopping run.

Tomáš explains, “Another problem is the excessive content of THC in the blood after use of CBD oils. THC is another medicinally active substance from cannabis, but it is psychoactive as opposed to CBD. Even its relatively low quantities can cause changes in perception among more sensitive individuals, which could jeopardize their ability to drive or make decisions in general – especially if they are not aware of the possibility of their psyche being influenced by an external substance.”

There could be legal implications for the consumer, too. “Another problem for drivers may be testing positive for THC upon traffic stops, which could lead at least to losing one’s driver’s license. Generally speaking, any psychoactive substance in one’s body about which one has no idea is always a problem.”

The results of their analysis exceeded expectations of the deficiencies in the claims of the producers. This lead ICCI, along with the Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, to issue a warning to European consumers about the risks of hazardous contaminations.

They discovered that, in terms of the content of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), only 9 out of 29 (31%) of tested CBD oils were satisfactory.

Cannabis oils (which are actually oils from cannabis seeds and not from the plant) enjoyed better success in this basic food safety criterion. In this category, 23 out of 25 tested sample products (92%) satisfied the legal limits of PAH in foods.

The quality analysis also uncovered a problem in the lack of awareness of customers on the composition of the given product. A full 60% of tested CBD oils did not have any mention of the THC level on the label. This is important as consumers need to know if they exceed the recommended or maximum dosage of THC. Otherwise, they could end up testing positive for a THC level higher than the limit of 2ng per ml of blood upon screening during a traffic stop or employment.

For a quarter of the tested oils, the risk is affiliated with the use of a recommended dose and another 10% evoke this risk upon using the maximum dosage stated on the packaging. Further, labels of 34% of CBD oils showed discrepancies between the true content of CBD, or sums of CBD and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and the content stated by the producer.

This means that CBD consumers could not only be just plain old ripped off, they could be taking substances detrimental to their health, hazardous to their safety and psychological well-being, and  they could be unwittingly breaking the law whilst driving or lose their job after a drug test.

With the European hemp industry growing so much in recent years, ICCI’s study and other independent testing of the quality of cannabis-based products designed for human consumption highlight the need to introduce and observe standards for safe production and distribution.

Having met many people working within the industry over the last few years, I get the impression they are not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent consumers, but rather they lack the knowledge to setup and manage facilities involved in the production and distribution of cannabis-related products. Up until now, there was no way for them to gain this knowledge.

Therefore last year, ICCI licensed the PFC program from the nonprofit American patient organization ASA (Americans for Safe Access) for certification outside the USA and localized the certification criteria for use in the EU.

Pavel Kubů, CEO of ICC,I explains what will happen with the results of this testing, “We are contacting all producers of the tested edible cannabis-based food products, we will share with them the results and offer assistance in checking the safety and increasing the quality of their products. The list of those foods that satisfied limits in the PAH analysis will be available to all consumers on the PFC International website. Members of patient organizations associated in the international association (IMCPC) will be provided information through the association KOPAC regarding the quality of the oil that they use and find out whether it was amongst those tested, and if so, with what results.”

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions – “How To Spot A Stoner”

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Ohio Sues Five Drug Firms, Saying They Fueled Opioid Crisis Attorney general of state hard-hit by addiction says companies misrepresented risks

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ohio-sues-five-drug-firms-saying-they-fueled-opioid-crisis-1496248317?mod=djemalertNEWS

Updated May 31, 2017 12:43 p.m. ET

Ohio is suing five drug makers, the state’s attorney general said, alleging they fueled the opioid crisis by misrepresenting the addictive risks of their painkillers.

The lawsuit targets Purdue Pharma LP, Endo Health Solutions, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon and Allergan PLC, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike DeWine said. The companies couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.

In a news conference, Mr. DeWine, a…


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CBE Top 100 list 2017 https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2016/06/cannabis-business-executive-100-top-ancillary-businesses/?utm_source=CBE+Master+List&utm_campaign=04a6a9736f-2017+CBE+Ancillary+Business+list+Survey&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f64189714-04a6a9736f-264218709

https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2016/06/cannabis-business-executive-100-top-ancillary-businesses/?utm_source=CBE+Master+List&utm_campaign=04a6a9736f-2017+CBE+Ancillary+Business+list+Survey&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f64189714-04a6a9736f-264218709

 


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Canada currently has 428 companies applying to become licensed cannabis producers “LPs”

https://news.vice.com/story/canada-just-made-it-easier-to-produce-legal-medical-weed

Canada just made it easier to produce legal medical weed

Canada just made it a lot easier for companies to get licenses to produce medical marijuana — something industry experts predict will significantly boost the country’s cannabis supply and potentially result in hundreds of new companies entering the system ahead of the legal recreational market next year.

There are currently 428 companies in the queue applying to become licensed cannabis producers (or “LPs”).On Friday, Health Canada announced in a news release it had streamlined the notoriously lengthy and rigorous application process to become an LP. The new measures will “enable increased production,” the department stated. Since the licensing program came into effect in 2013, there have been 45 medical marijuana production licenses granted, the most recent of which was granted this week.

“I do see this as a game-changer, a significant development that will impact the cannabis sector overall,” said David Hyde, a security consultant who has worked with 155 LP applicants, including 18 that have been granted licenses.

The approvals process has picked up this year, with one or two companies getting licenses every month. Currently, only patients with valid medical prescriptions can legally get cannabis in dried or oil form from one of these LPs, through the mail. Otherwise, they can apply to grow their own.

“The world is going to explode in terms of the opportunities.”

The changes announced by Health Canada include hiring new staff to help speed up the application process that can sometimes take more than a year, removing the cap that prevented LPs from growing more than a certain amount, as long as it’s within the capacity of their vaults. And the companies now have more freedom to modify and expand their facilities.

Many licensed producers have lamented the layers of bureaucracy required to get a license, including extensive criminal background checks of those in charge, as well as costly security infrastructure requirements.

Hyde predicts that a significant number of the applicants in waiting will be granted licenses in short order because of the revamped procedures. And even though these are all medical licenses for now, he added the changes are clearly to help the industry get prepared for the significant recreational demand to come. A report released by Deloitte predicts Canada’s recreational market could be worth billions.

Once the Liberal government’s recreational cannabis law comes into effect likely sometime next year, these companies are slated to be at the helm of the supply chain, although it will be up to the provinces and territories to decide the way in which the product is sold.

“Canada is really the global gold standard in terms of cannabis production. So the export market is also going to be shining brightly. So I think we’re going to need several hundred producers at the end of the day of different sizes across this country to provide all the different needs that are going to come down the pipe,” explained Hyde.

“People can’t tell the difference between licensed producers anymore.”

“The world is going to explode in terms of the opportunities.”

But with all of this new growth comes concerns that the industry is becoming homogenous. On Friday, cannabis business analysts warned an audience at the Lift Cannabis Expo in Toronto about “massive investor fatigue.”

“Fundamentally, to some degree, these businesses, as prescribed by Health Canada and being in a highly regulated industry are almost forced to be identical,” Aaron Salz, CEO of Stoic Advisory, said in a speech on Friday. “People can’t tell the difference between licensed producers anymore.”