British think tank Beckley Canopy Therapeutics is teaming up with one of the world’s largest cannabis producers to promote a better understanding of medicinal marijuana across the UK.
The British government legalized cannabis for medical purposes in November 2018, but overly stringent guidelines mean that very few patients have been able to receive a prescription. This has sparked an outcry among parents of sick children and the medicinal marijuana trade has barely gotten off the ground.
Beckley Canopy Therapeutics hopes to change all of that and it has created a joint venture called Spectrum Biomedical UK with Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED; NYSE: CGC) to help patients with “severe unmet clinical need”.
The company is now beginning to introduce Spectrum-branded cannabis to physicians and patient groups in the UK.
And they plan to boost education of the benefits of medicinal cannabis among patient groups and doctors. It believes that it can help overcome considerable obstacles to patient access by building up expertise within the British healthcare community.
Canopy Growth’s Chief Medical Offer, Dr. Mark Ware, stated that Spectrum Biomedical UK will seek to provide effective and safe medical cannabis to patients backed up by clinical evidence.
Explaining that hurdles to medical marijuana still exist after the regulatory change, Ware also commented:
Amanda Fielding, a drugs policy pioneer who has devoted her career to exploring the potential harms and benefits of cannabis and psychedelics by developing a sound scientific understanding of their mechanisms of action, set up the Beckley Foundation. Beckley Canopy Therapeutics is a subsidiary of that, created to bridge the divide between science and drug policy.
She is excited to see that science is now being used to provide safe and effective cannabis medicines for patients across the globe and she said she is “thrilled” to be teaming up with Canopy Growth.
Spectrum Biomedical UK is designed to be a commercial venture as well as an education provider, supplying British patients with cannabis to treat conditions like chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and muscle spasticity for those with multiple sclerosis. A percentage of all profits will be assigned to the Beckley Foundation to support scientific research.
Canopy Growth is creating a family of ventures under the Spectrum Cannabis umbrella. It purchased Spectrum Colombia in a $34.8 million deal last year and it has since launched Spectrum Peru as an extension of that arm of its business. It can now add Spectrum Biomedical UK to the collection, along with Spectrum Cannabis Polska, a subsidiary serving Poland.
It has just completed its first import of medical cannabis, receiving a high-THC whole flower product called Red No. 2. Through that product, Spectrum is aiming to find customers through an estimated 300,000 patients who will qualify for medical marijuana treatment protocols in Poland.
Spectrum Cannabis Polska is a new entity and the fifth of its kind for Canopy in European markets. Spectrum Cannabis also operates in Africa and Australia, along with Europe and South America.
As operations continue globally, Canopy hasn’t neglected the recently legalized Canadian industry. Most recently, the company established a brand new professorship to run clinical trials on using cannabis for pain treatment at the University of British Columbia.
While a major supply glut tampers down the legal Canadian pot buying experience, Canopy also recently inked an 18-month supply deal with extraction company MediPharm Labs (TSXV: LABS).
A full rundown of the company’s latest quarterly earnings can be found here, with Canopy due to release their next quarterly report on Feb. 14, 2019.