Creso Pharma stakes a claim in Canada

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A Cannabis Act expected to be in place by next summer in Canada will eventually open the market to hemp-based nutraceutical products, Australia-based Creso Pharma noted in a recent statement. The Act is expected to pave the way for full legalization and sales of edible medicinal cannabis products in 2019.

“Once regulatory oversight for these products – such as measures to protect public health and safety, standardized serving sizes and potency, child-resistant packaging requirements, and standardized health warnings – has been developed and put in place, the Canadian government will allow medicinal cannabis edibles to be sold,” the company noted in a late-October market update.

Creso produces neutraceuticals under its CannaQIX and CANNAPEAL lines.

Strategy bypasses major hurdle

“Our strategy is to position the company for leadership in CBD hemp extract for nutraceuticals based on Good Manufacturing Practices, and sold over the counter both for the human and animal markets,” Boaz Wachtel, Creso Pharma’s founder and Chairman, told HempToday. “It lets us bypass the number one hurdle to providing consumers access to medicinal cannabinoids by avoiding the need for a doctor’s prescription — as is the case in most MMJ programs.”

Creso, which launched on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in autumn 2016, sees vast opportunities for cannabis-based medicinal and health products in Canada’s rapidly advancing cannabis market.

Acquisition of Mernova

The bigger news from Creso is that the company has made progress on the development of a 20,000-sq.-ft. medical marijuana (MMJ) growing facility in Nova Scotia.

Creso said it has finished due diligence on the purchase of Halifax-based Mernova Medicinal Inc. in anticipation of developing the growing facility, where it will cultivate plants for its MMJ products.

“With the Mernova acquisition in Canada, we’re completing the implementation of our vertically integrated vision to provide patients both CBD nutraceuticals and high THC products in Canada and globally where possible,” Wachtel said.

Expected to be completed in autumn 2018, the MMJ operation will have a capacity of 20,000–40,000 kg. of raw materials production annually, Creso estimated. Options on adjacent land would allow for expansion to 200,000 sq. ft. and production of 200,000-400,000 kg. yearly, Creso said.

Cannabis growing license

Mernova has meanwhile applied for a license to grow plants for MMJ under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR) program.

The license “will give Creso a significant competitive advantage as one of the few companies globally and the only medicinal cannabis company listed on the ASX with 100% ownership and capacity to cultivate, extract and manufacture its own innovative cannabis and hemp derived human and animal therapeutic products in Canada,” Creso said in the statement. In addition to sales in Canada, plans call for exporting Creso products to countries where they are legal.

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