Now here’s an example of highly diversified, albeit on a global scale: Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis, hemp and device company recently received a license from the United Kingdom that will allow Spectrum Therapeutics, the company’s pharmaceutical division, to import bulk medical marijuana products into the country.The monumental license is the first issued by the UK’s Home Office and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It enables the company to skip third-party suppliers, and allows Spectrum to import cannabis from its other facilities in Germany and Denmark for storage at its Buckinghamshire facility.
The license benefits patients in a big way. Mirroring what they currently do in Germany, Spectrum Therapeutics can send medical cannabis products to patients in the UK the very next day. Their facility in Buckinghamshire can store enough cannabis to supply 5,000 patients per month. That could spell quick relief to medical cannabis patients in need. Right now, UK patients may face a wait of up to three months for their medical marijuana because wholesalers need an import license from UK officials in order to do business.
“We are delighted to have been granted licenses from both the MHRA and Home Office in order to provide a solution to one of the most significant barriers for access in the U.K.,” Spectrum managing director Cosmo Feilding Mellen said in a press release. “We are actively working with regulators to find the best way to ensure we can deliver continuous treatment to patients within the framework that exists.”
Medical cannabis was legalized in the UK last November, and the scope is extremely limited. Cannabis is prescribed only in cases when all other treatment options have failed. According to the Financial Times, 1,765 prescriptions have been issued in the UK since legalization.
Focusing on education
In another important industry benchmark, Spectrum Therapeutics worked In partnership with Canada’s Université de Montréal, McGill University, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In June it was announced that two phase I trials with proprietary cannabis products had been completed, with the focus centered on critical dosing and safety data. The company has started phase II trials as “proof of concept” that focused on more than 20 conditions, including anxiety disorders, sleep issues and pain.
Canopy Growth, and by extension Spectrum Therapeutics, has operations in more than a dozen countries across five continents. Spectrum is dedicated to research, education and has invested millions of dollars into research — all part of the plan to inform the public’s understanding of cannabis. Canopy Growth operates retail stores across Canada and is listed on both the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. The company also operates eleven licensed cannabis production sites with over 4.7 million feet of production capacity.
Strong international presence
A large part of the cannabis industry’s booming growth will be far from North America. The Motley Fool reported October 21 that Canopy announced that Spectrum would serve as the exclusive medical cannabis supplier to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Once the government of Luxembourg decriminalized cannabis in 2018, it opened the door for specially trained medical professionals to prescribe cannabis for certain medical patients (like those with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, for example). As part of the deal, Spectrum’s licensed facilities in Denmark and other countries will supply Luxembourg with medical cannabis through December 31, 2021.
The recent developments and resulting successes help to expand Canopy Growth’s strong international presence. Canopy currently operates in 11 countries beyond Canada and the U.S.