Glass Pharms has secured £22.5m in funding to build the world’s first carbon-negative cannabis cultivation facility in the South of England. It has also received the first UK commercial licence to supply High-THC flower to UK pharmacies and clinics.
UK-based cannabis cultivator Glass Pharms has secured the funding that will facilitate the construction of the 2.5 hectare greenhouse facility powered by an anaerobic digestion plant.
It has also secured the first UK commercial licence granted by the Home Office to supply high-THC cannabis flower to lawful third parties, such as pharmaceutical companies.
This will be tackling a major problem for cannabis patients in the UK – as all medical cannabis in the country is currently being imported from places such as Israel and Australia.
The new development will allow the company to grow medical cannabis to the correct regulatory standards for onward supply to UK pharmacies and clinics.
Glass Pharms CEO, James Duckenfield, commented: “We will underpin a secure supply chain of medical cannabis to UK patients without them having to compromise on freshness or quality, whilst at the same time making a real contribution towards the UK’s Net Zero targets.”
The agreement for the provision of up to £22.5m in financing is the largest dedicated infrastructure investment in the UK medical cannabis industry to date.
The anaerobic digestion plant that will power the facility will do so by turning food waste into electricity, with waste hot water from the plant being used for both heating and cooling in the greenhouse.
The facility will be accredited to verify its status as carbon neutral – however, the company says that it will more than likely exceed these requirements.
Growing to the tolerances required by the pharmaceutical sector for medical cannabis flower is difficult in traditional greenhouses – typically the preserve of energy inefficient indoor facilities. The new Glass Pharms facility plans to achieve these standards by using a range of methods.
These will include utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based environmental management systems to monitor and control a range of growing variables to ensure optimal stability.
Duckenfield said: “The result will be a replicable end-product, no matter the season, meaning that UK medical cannabis patients will benefit from a fresh product that meets their requirements for consistency and quality with predictable supply.
“We look forward to being able to supply our customers in 2022.”
Study explores safety of CannEpil on driving performance
MGC Pharma has carried out a doubleblind, randomised, placebo controlled clinical study investigating the impact of its epilepsy treatment on driving performance.
MGC Pharma has stated that its epilepsy treatment – CannEpil – was found to be safe for post-driving activities.
The clinical study was designed to assess the impact of a 1mL CannEpil dose of 20:1 CBD to delta THC on driving performance, sedation and mood.
CannEpil’s formulation is designed to treat drug resistant epilepsy with this high CBD, low THC formulation, which incorporates Graft Polymer’s GraftBio self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery system.
The study, carried out by the Swinburne University of Technology under the auspices of the Medical Cannabis Research Collaboration and sponsored by Cannvalate Australia, included the use of a driving simulator, a technique used to collect data required for the drug labelling, when pre- and early clinical studies indicate that a drug may cause somnolence or impair cognition.
It assessed 31 healthy, fully licensed drivers, 15 male and 16 female aged between 21 and 58 years, and the participants consumed either CannEpil or a placebo. At 90 minutes post-treatment, the participants completed a 40 minute “highway” drive using a driving simulator which was used to assess performance outcomes of deviation of lateral position, the standard deviation of speed, and steering variability.
Mood states and sedation levels were assessed by the Bond-Lader Visual Analogue Scale and Profile of Mood States which were administered prior to and/or following the driving task.
Currently, recreational cannabis consumption is implicated in as many as 13 per cent of drivers involved in fatal road traffic accidents in Australia. However, the direct effect of medicinal cannabis use on driving performance remains unclear.
Legislative changes in Australia permit the regulated consumption of cannabinoid-based products for therapeutic purposes, but currently, there is no standard clinical or legal guidance outlining when it is safe to drive after its use, and a positive roadside saliva test for THC may lead to criminal convictions irrespective of prescribed use.
Between 300 to 400 patients have been prescribed CannEpil across Australia and the Republic of Ireland monthly over the past two years.
MGC Pharma hopes that standardised assessment of performance decrements, including the findings of this Trial, will inform policy guidelines concerning the responsible use of medicinal cannabis products.
Khiron announces opening of first Zerenia medical cannabis clinic in Brazil
The new clinic will increase patient access to medical cannabis.
European medical cannabis group, Khiron, has opened its first Zerenia medical cannabis clinic in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as it continues its expansion into the country.
As part of its expansion into a number of jurisdictions across the globe, including Germany and Spain following recent developments, Khiron has now opened its Zerenia Rio clinic.
The clinic will provide physical consultations and telehealth services, connecting patients with medical specialists trained in the ethical, safe and responsible prescription of cannabinoid-based medications.
The medications focus on the treatment of conditions such as chronic pain, neurological pathologies, palliative care, rheumatology, psychiatry, geriatrics, endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, otorhinolaryngology and dermatology.
Located in Ipanema, a city with more than 12 million people, the clinic’s initial phase will have a total capacity of approximately 23,000 patient consults per year.
The clinic will be under the leadership of Dr Eduardo Faveret as medical director and will open with more than 13 doctors for both in-person and telehealth models.
Dr Faveret commented: “Brazil continues to experience exponential growth in prescribing doctors and demand for medical cannabis products by patients. Zerenia Rio, is positioned as a comprehensive and humanised pioneer in patient health service and prevention to improve the quality of life of Brazilian families.
“We have assembled a multidisciplinary medical team that covers diverse medical cannabis specialties and treatments, which makes our Zerenia Rio clinic unique in Brazil.”
Dr Faveret and the Zerenia Rio clinic will be supported by Khiron’s strategic alliances with doctors and patient associations, including CANNAB in Salvador de Bahia, and leading medical distributors such as TAIMIN in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Later this year, Khiron is expecting to launch additional THC medical cannabis products in the country, which will complement its current global portfolio.
CEO and director of Khiron Life Sciences, Alvaro Torres, said: “Khiron has developed a unique, successful, and sustainable model with the implementation of Zerenia in Colombia, Perú, and the United Kingdom.
“Brazil is Latin America´s largest addressable market with more than 210 million people and we believe that our Zerenia model will replicate the success we have experienced around the world.
“We have served more than 25,000 individual patients across the globe through our model, with high peer patient acquisition and retention rates. We have a fantastic team on the ground in Brazil composed of doctors, nurses, patient advocates, and administrative staff in our Zerenia™ Rio clinic that will elevate our patient-first model to new levels.
“Khiron’s Zerenia Rio clinic in Brazil will also allow us to continue to generate more patient-based evidence on the pharmacoeconomic benefits of our Khiron-branded medical cannabis products, and through this data, Khiron could eventually be able to provide insurance benefits for patients as we have done in Colombia.”
Akanda and Cansativa to supply German patients with cannabis flower
The collaboration will see patients have access to two novel cultivars.
Akanda Corp and Cansativa are collaborating to supply the German market with dried flowers from Akanda’s EU-GMP certified indoor grow facility in Sintra, Portugal.
Under the collaboration, Akanda is expected to deliver at least 1,000 kg of flower to Cansativa over the first 12 months of the agreement.
All pharmacies in Germany will be able to purchase the products through the Cansativa platform. Since the award of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in August 2020, Cansativa Group is the only company with approval for the distribution of medical cannabis from German cultivation.
Co-founder and CEO of the Cansativa Group, Benedikt Sons, commented: “We are very glad about this agreement that allows us to introduce two novel medical cannabis flowers to the German market.
“This enables patient access to an additional supplier with a new and innovative range of medical products. This exciting cooperation marks another step in improving the product diversity and security of supply on the German market.
“We look forward to a long-term relationship with Akanda, with whom we share an important part of our mission: We want to enable physicians, pharmacies, and patients by giving them access to an extensive medical product portfolio and help improve the quality of life with the help of medical cannabis.”
CEO of Akanda, Tej Virk, added: “Our prized purpose-built indoor grow facility is the only one of its kind in Portugal that can produce EU-GMP medical cannabis equivalent to the adult-use grades available in North America.
“It has both the quality and scalability to meet the growing demand for medical cannabis in fast-growing markets across the EMEA region, such as Germany.
“We are equally excited to be partnering with the Cansativa Group to bring some of our best strains to Germany through their platform. This supply agreement represents one of the largest agreements in the nascent European medical cannabis industry and is certainly Akanda’s most substantial commercial development to date, enabling new patient experience.”