Australian cannabis producer Creso Pharma (ASX: CPH) has expanded into the Sri Lankan market by signing a binding letter of intent with distributor Ceyoka Health.
The first step will be obtaining the necessary regulatory approval for its flagship product, cannAFFORD 50, to be sold as a therapeutic medicine. Then it will work on rolling out hemp-based products across the country via the network of pharmacies that Ceyoka Health serves.
Sri Lanka has a population of 22 million and a GDP of $87 billion, so it represents a potentially lucrative market for global marijuana firms. Cannabis plays an important role in the culture of the island, where it is used to treat a range of conditions and to heighten sexual energy.
There are an estimated 600,000 cannabis users in the country and medicinal marijuana is legal at pharmacies that hold a license from the Ministry of Health. There is some domestic cultivation, but it also relies on imports and Creso Pharma is aiming to establish itself as a leading light in the country.
Ceyoka Health is one of the leading pharmaceutical distribution companies in Sri Lanka, with a distribution network of more than 1,800 pharmacies. Creso Pharma and Ceyoka Health plan to work together on a number of joint initiatives to provide Sri Lankans with hemp-based products.
“In addition to their broad distribution network, this is a company which is heavily focused on investing in innovation,” said Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, Creso Pharma’s chief executive and co-founder. “With Ceyoka, we found an ideal fit with Creso’s own philosophy and we anticipate a very long and successful collaboration.”
The main product they will initially focus on is cannAFFORD 50, a CBD lozenge designed to treat chronic pain. It is designed to dissolve in the mouth, ensuring it works faster than tablets or capsules as the active ingredients enter the bloodstream directly, without having to travel through the liver first.
Creso Pharma is based in Barangaroo, New South Wales, and it also has an office in Switzerland, where cannAFFORD 50 is produced. It was the first company to import cannabis into Australia and it recently entered the Canadian market by acquiring Mernova, a Nova Scotia-based medicinal cannabis growing operation.
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