After closing a private placement to raise $1.56 million towards buying a 25% stake in a new greenhouse earlier in the week, British Columbia-based cannabis company Veritas Pharma Inc. (CSE: VRT) is already announcing another major project.
In a press release issued today, Veritas revealed human trials are set to begin in Puerto Rico for the company’s new CTL-X cannabis strain mix.
The strain has undergone pre-clinical trial testing for the past two years at the University of British Columbia through Veritas’ research subsidiary Cannevert Therapeutics Ltd.
Human trials for the acute pain management strain will be handled in San Juan, Puerto Rico next month with involvement by the Fundación de Investigación (FDI) and the Institute For Medical Cannabis.
While the testing facility and equipment are ready, Veritas is currently awaiting final approval from Puerto Rico’s Department of Health before bringing in human subjects. Veritas Medical Director Scott Alexander commented on the upcoming trial:
“With the preclinical studies completed, the training of the FDI staff to fully understand each step of the requisite protocol for the testing of CTL-X is a very important step to initiating human trials.”
Dr. Alexander went on to say, “We are very pleased to be working with such a credible partner. FDI not only has the right prerequisite in terms of competence but has access to the ideal type of healthy volunteers who can be included in this study.”
According to the Veritas press release, CTL-X is slated to become the first whole cannabis plant product to be clinically tested on the island.
Puerto Rico is still in the process of recovering from last year’s devastating Hurricane Maria, and has to deal with marijuana restrictions on the federal level due to the island commonwealth’s status as an unincorporated American territory.
Despite the federal restrictions on recreational cannabis usage, medical marijuana was officially legalized in Puerto Rico in 2015.
According to a 2017 report from mobile refrigerated transportation company CSAFE Global, 25% of Puerto Rico’s GDP is directly tied to the pharma industry, with the medical marijuana companies in a prime position to expand across the territory.
Besides the territory of Puerto Rico, marijuana for medical usage is now legal in 32 US states after voters in Utah and Missouri passed medical cannabis laws earlier this week.