Prairie Plant Systems Inc. and CanniMed Ltd. have successfully received Section 56 exemptions under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) governed by Health Canada and as a result have begun manufacturing cannabis oil for patients.
Similar to the seven dry cannabis products currently being offered, CanniMed® oils will be available in three distinct THC-to-CBD ratios, according to the company:
• CanniMed® oil 18:0 - containing 18.3 mg/ml THC and 0.2 mg/ml CBD
• CanniMed® oil 10:10 - containing 9.7 mg/ml THC and 10.3 mg/ml CBD
• CanniMed® oil 1:20 - containing 1.2 mg/ml THC and 20.5 mg/ml CBD
"We are very proud to be among the first licensed producers to receive the go ahead from Health Canada to manufacture CanniMed oils for our patients," said Brent Zettl, president and CEO of Prairie Plant Systems Inc. and CanniMed Ltd. "Patient requests for oils have been significant with as many as 67 per cent responding to an informal survey suggesting they would prefer this delivery method over smoking or vaporizing."
CanniMed® oil will be packaged in 60-milliliter bottles and include an oral syringe for consistent dosing and as a spill prevention.
About CanniMed and Prairie Plant Systems
CanniMed Ltd. was the first producer to be licensed under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). Their pharmaceutical-grade cannabis is produced under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations, the criteria used to manufacture all pharmaceuticals in Canada.
By Steve Elliott
Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose on Saturday ordered a crackdown on groups that illegally advertise marijuana, and repeated the Conservative Party's promise to keep storefront dispensaries illegal on the eve of the launch of a federal election campaign.
"Today I directed Health Canada to create a task force to crack down on illegal marijuana advertising," Ambrose said, reports Morgan Lowrie of The Canadian Press. "This task force will ensure that those who engage in such illegal activities are stopped, and should these illegal activities continue, promptly referred to law enforcement."
Health Canada will begin actively monitoring cannabis advertising instead of acting mostly on the basis of complaints, the agency announced. Under current law, only licensed producers of marijuana are allowed to advertise basic, non-promotional information.
Health Canada said it will issue compliance letters in cases where violations are identified. The department said it will also be more active in working with businesses to make sure they are aware of the rules around advertising cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Businesses and individual Canadians will be provided an opportunity to file complaints about illegal advertising for follow-up, according to Health Canada.
The Federal Court of Canada has certified a class action commenced on behalf of more than 40,000 medical marijuana licensees alleging that Health Canada violated their privacy.
In November 2013, Health Canada sent notices to more than 40,000 participants of the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP) to advise of changes to regulations governing the use of medical marijuana in Canada. The notices were delivered in oversized envelopes that had the words "Health Canada - Marihuana Medical Access Program" on the return address, revealing to anyone who saw the envelope that the recipient was licensed to possess or produce medical marihuana for medical purposes.
Previously, Health Canada's mailings to MMAP members were discreet and made no mention of marijuana on the envelopes. Despite the Government of Canada's acknowledgement of the error, it insists that no one was harmed by the breach.
Recipients were upset, and maintain their privacy had been violated. Some said they worried they'd lost their jobs or become victims of a home invasion, reports CBC News.
"It opened us up for discrimination," said Debbie Stultz-Giffin, chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana Society. She was one of 2,105 Nova Scotians who received the letter, and she said it left patients and caregivers open to everything from condemnation from family and friends to robbery.
By Steve Elliott
Safe access to medicinal cannabis is being put in peril for hundreds of Canadian military veterans due to a battle between two companies, one comprised of veterans, in the Great White North.
Marijuana for Trauma Inc. and its principals/shareholders on Tuesday announced they have commenced a lawsuit against OrganiGram Holdings Inc., whose wholly-owned subsidiary, OrganiGram Inc. (OrganiGram) is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada.
The lawsuit was filed with the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, Judicial District of Fredericton for breach of confidence, conversion, breach of contract, conspiracy and breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent misrepresentation, according to MFT.
The lawsuit alleges OrganiGram denied MFT its interest in Trauma Healing Centers Inc. (THC). THC, developed through a partnership between MFT, OrganiGram and Denis Arsenault, CEO of OrganiGram and also a Defendant in the lawsuit, opened centers in several cities in eastern Canada to provide services to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other chronic conditions caused by trauma.
MFT alleges that OrganiGram unlawfully terminated the relationship, unlawfully used MFT's proprietary information, business practices, and expansion plans for MFT. Following the termination of the relationship in February 2015, THC moved to restrict MFT from helping veterans and first responders outside of New Brunswick.
MarijuanaMedInfo Inc. on Wednesday introduced www.MarijuanaMedInfo.ca a free, online resource for patients and healthcare professionals. The website provides scientific, clinical, regulatory, reimbursement and access information on the medical use of marijuana.
"The new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations simplified the process for patients and physicians and removed some barriers to access" said Dan Rego, president of MarijuanaMedInfo. "What has been lacking is the provision of an educational initiative on the clinical use of cannabinoids for healthcare professionals and the public."
MarijuanaMedInfo.ca is designed to allow visitors easy access to published medical information on the use of marijuana for medical purposes, sorted by condition or disease. Information is provided around all aspects of medical cannabis use in Canada including the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, the Guidelines of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, the Licensed Producers and the strains of medical marijuana available, coverage/ reimbursement of drug costs, medical marijuana clinics, routes of administration, precautions and warnings, as well as the medical document Healthcare professionals must complete.
Additional educational materials focused at healthcare professionals managing medical cannabis can be obtained at no cost.
By Steve Elliott
If things go according to plan, the world's very first hemp airplane could make its maiden flight as early as this fall.
The plane, composed of 75 percent hemp, will take off from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, chosen for its symbolic value as the site of the first flight by the Wright Brothers. The project is part of Canadian Derek Kesek's plan to help get industrial hemp use noticed, reports Deb Hopewell at Outside.
"There are many advantages to using hemp," said Kesek, who founded Hempearth, a Waterloo, Ontario-based company focused on developing hemp products for mass use. "This plane project is just our first experiment with industrial hemp, and we plan to explore many uses.
"Once we establish structural testing and information from the hemp project, we will take that and work on the next best implication," Kesek, a former organic-restaurant owner in Burlington, Ontario, said. "The sky may not be the limit."
Kesek believes hemp can be used to replace the fiberglass currently used to build airplanes. This is important because hemp is carbon neutral, whereas the fiberglass manufacture creates air pollution, releasing styrene into the atmosphere.
“Our experts have tested the strength and durability of woven hemp material compared to fiberglass, the traditional material for aircrafts, and determined that in most cases hemp is as strong, or stronger, than fibreglass,” according to Hempearth.
Kind Financial Acquires the Assets of Agrisoft Development Group
Kind Financial, a financial solutions company to the cannabis industry, on Thursday acquired the assets of Agrisoft Development Group, a seed-to-sale compliance software company.
The Agrisoft platform is used in cannabis dispensaries and cultivation operations in numerous states and Canada. It provides these facilities with back-office, inventory, biometric security, state regulation reporting systems and payment system adaptability.
Kind explained that with the expansion of legalized cannabis there's been more stringent regulations for inventory requirements including mandates for tracking cannabis and cannabis products from seed-to-sale.
Agrisoft's platform is the most advanced and detailed technology created specifically for the cannabis industry, offering 100 percent accountability and transparency of reporting to all levels of government, according to the company. "Its team of experts in law enforcement, regulatory compliance, software development and data security have combined their expertise to build the industry's most reliable and comprehensive tracking system," a prepared statement avers.
Agrisoft's platform documents every step in cannabis manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, according to the company.
Tikun Olam® Ltd., the first, largest and foremost government-licensed producer of medical cannabis in Israel, on Thursday announced a joint partnership in New York State with Compassionate Care Center of New YorkTM (CCCNY), a privately held New York-based biopharmaceutical company applying to be a Registered Organization under New York's Compassionate Care Act, and MedReleaf Corp., a privately held federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis in Canada, which has set the gold standard for the industrial production of medical-grade cannabis in North America.
Founded in 2005, Tikun Olam is the only large-scale industrial producer of medical cannabis in Israel, supplying one third of qualifying Israeli patients with pharmaceutical-grade products. Tikun Olam has the most extensive patient experience treatment database in the field of medical cannabis with over 10,000 patients being monitored for nearly a decade and the data for the treatment of each patient's ailments recorded along with the efficacy of the different strain variations and dosages administered.
It is the only private company to have its proprietary medical strains of specifically-bred cannabis clinically tested on humans and referenced by name in peer-reviewed published articles reporting on the successful trials. In fact, Tikun Olam's strain Erez® was used in the only completed double-blind-placebo clinical trial on humans for Crohn's disease, which resulted in complete remission for 50 percent of the patients in the cannabis group and 10 percent in the controlled group.
By Steve Elliott
Canadian medical marijuana patients can legally use all forms of cannabis, the Canadian Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday.
Medicinal cannabis patients will now be able to legally consume marijuana, not just smoke it, reports the BBC.
Cannabis oil is now legally allowed instead of only dried marijuana flowers, making it easier to infuse food products.
The right at stake was described by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association as the right to personal autonomy in medical decision-making – no matter what medical science may say about the wisdom of the decision, reports Sean Fine at The Globe and Mail.
The case began back in 2009 when former head baker Owen Smith of the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada, a British Columbia collective, was charged with trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana. Smith was caught baking 200 cannabis cookies, reports Trinh Theresa Do at CBC.
A B.C. judge acquitted Smith and gave the Canadian government a year to change laws about marijuana extracts. The case then went to the Supreme Court.
Compass Diversified Holdings, a Westport, Connecticut-based owner of middle market businesses, on Monday announced that on June 4, it entered into an agreement to acquire Fresh Hemp Foods Ltd. ("Manitoba Harvest"). The acquisition is expected to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Manitoba Harvest is a pioneer and global leader in branded, hemp-based foods. The company's products are the fastest growing in the hemp food market and among the fastest growing in the natural foods industry.
Manitoba Harvest's award-winning products are currently carried in about 7,000 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended November 30, 2014, Manitoba Harvest reported net revenue of approximately C$37.9 million, an increase of 23.9 percent year-over-year. The company continued its rapid growth in the first half of its current fiscal year, generating net revenue of approximately C$27.6 million for the six months ended May 31, 2015.
The purchase price for Manitoba Harvest is based on a total enterprise value of C$132.5 million and will also include working capital and certain other adjustments upon closing. Manitoba Harvest generated net revenues of approximately C$44.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately C$6.4 million for the last twelve months ending May 31, 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 28.5 percent and 59.4 percent, respectively. The company generated Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended May 31, 2015 of approximately C$5.0 million.
CannTrust develops new line of products in a ready to use format at $3.50/gram
CannTrust, "Canada's only pharmacist-controlled and operated producer of medical cannabis," has launched of its own product line of "patient ready strains" at just $3.50 a gram, delivered. "Patient ready," in this context, means that the weed arrives in a pre-ground state, ready for your vaporizer, pipe, bong or paper.
"We are pleased to offer this new format of products carefully selected from our most popular strains of premium cannabis," reads a prepared statement from the company. "The cannabis is from the same harvest and lots as the original bud form of these same strains and is then refined into an already prepared version of medical cannabis that is easy to use by patients, especially in a vaporizer."
"We are very excited about the launch of these products for several reasons that we feel will be beneficial to both patients and their doctors," the company announced.
Each of the three strains are only $3.50/gram, "making this an affordable and easy to use option for medical cannabis," the company announced.
Supreme Formula - Patient Ready
THC: 8.5% • CBD: 0.2%
Supreme Formula 8.5 percent THC is a unique blend of the best THC strains. This was specially formulated to meet the recommendations of the College of Family Physicians of Canada's recommendation of up to 9 percent THC, according to CannTrust.
Original Cheese - Patient Ready
THC: 11.4% • CBD: 0.1%
Indica 50% • Sativa 50%
By Steve Elliott
Two natural allies -- rock and roll and cannabis -- will be together in August at a musical festival in Grand Forks, British Columbia.
CannaFest 2015 will bring together musicians and people to educate about the healing power of marijuana, according to organizer Chuck Varabioff of the B.C. Pain Society in Vancouver, reports Daybreak South at CBC News.
"I deal with sick people every single day," Varabioff said. "I wanted to give back something to them, where they're able to come forget about their pain, their problems, anything they have negative going on in their life, and come out and experience something positive."
"It's all about the movement; it's all about the people coming together and promoting a product they believe in," Varabioff said.
This is the second year that Varabioff has organized CannaFest. The first one took place in Vancouver last year.
Grand Forks Mayor Frank Conrad said he won't "delve into the marijuana issue because that is a federal issue," but said he believes the event will help stimulate the local economy.
The B.C. Pain Society is a medical marijuana dispensary that houses Canada's first cannabis vending machines.
CannaFest 2015 will take place on Aug. 7 and 8 at James Donaldson Park in Grand Forks, B.C. One-day passes are $50, and two-day passes are $75.
Coalition ratifies declaration this past week in Prague, urging the UN to reclassify cannabis plant for medical use
Medical cannabis patients from 13 countries, including those represented by U.S. advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), established the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) this past week while at the "Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical Practice" conference in Prague from March 4-7. IMCPC member countries include Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
The first action of the IMCPC was to ratify a declaration urging the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to either reclassify cannabis for medical use, convene a UN Special Convention on Cannabis, or simply exclude cannabis from the UN Single Convention on Narcotics. The IMCPC declaration will be delivered to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna this week by Pavel Bem, the Czech representative for the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Indoor Harvest Corp, through its brand name Indoor Harvest™, a design build contractor, developer, marketer and direct-seller of commercial grade aeroponic and hydroponic fixtures and supporting systems for use in urban Controlled Environment Agriculture and Building Integrated Agriculture, has announced that its common shares have begun trading under the ticker symbol INQD.
On February 26, the company applied to have its common stock traded on the OTCQB. Until its application is accepted, the Company will trade as an OTCPink via the OTCMarkets platform under the ticker symbol INQD.
"It has been a long process, but we are excited to announce that we've now begun trading as a public company," said Indoor Harvest Corp's CEO and founder, Chad Sykes. "We will be releasing the results for fiscal year 2014 in the near future and look forward to starting our pilot project with Tweed Marijuana, Inc. in Canada.
"With our going public effort behind us, it's time to shift focus toward scaling the company, bringing on board expert talent and wrapping up development of our product offerings. 2015 should prove to be a pivotal year for the company moving forward as we introduce new technology for building integrated agriculture," Sykes said.
Forces & Families on Monday announced a new partnership with CannTrust, the only pharmacist-controlled and operated producer of medical cannabis in Canada.
Created in 2007, Forces & Families is a Canadian volunteer organization that provides support to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families. Under the leadership of founder and chairman John Randolph, Forces & Families has helped raise charitable monies in support of the Military Families Fund and also involve CAF men and women, their families and veterans to connect with Canadians to help build mutual understanding, awareness and respect.
"Today's partnership announcement with CannTrust adds to our growing list of significant corporate supporters from across Canada," Randolph said. "Support comes in many shapes whether it's special events for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, their families and veterans or fundraising for the Military Families Fund.
"This new relationship with CannTrust will assist us not only in these areas but will also offer education, awareness and support to help address some of the critical health and wellness issues faced by the CAF, Veterans and their families," Randolph said.
Throughout 2015, Forces & Families said it will continue to increase the awareness of CAF members and their families and also provide a series of visible support mechanisms aimed at fighting illnesses such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) with a goal of helping its members achieve mental wellness.