With Nationwide Legalization, Canada Opens a New Global Frontier

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This month, as its Cannabis Act goes live, Canada enters a new age of private freedom and public progress. At the individual level, adults may now legally possess and use limited quantities of cannabis. At the national level, as the first G7 country to legalize on top of an established medicinal use system, Canada has taken big steps toward positioning itself as a global leader in cannabis production, distribution and responsible regulation.

Beyond the social advancements within Canada, this measure represents the tipping point for acceptance of cannabis throughout the world and the inevitable opening of a new global marketplace. As Creso’s CEO, Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, said: “This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada and one which will change the global debate on drug policy. Canada has set the stage for a movement that will be followed by other countries.”

Cannabis is estimated to be a $6.5 billion industry by 2020 in Canada, according to research by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. That’s more than the $5.1 billion Canadians spent on alcohol in 2017 and a figure fast approaching wine sales. More equity capital has been raised in Canada for cannabis companies than anywhere else in the world, with over 50 cannabis related companies listed on the Canadian exchange.

It’s clear that demand will immediately outpace supply in Canada, creating a huge opportunity for licensed suppliers to expand, new brands to enter the market and industry leadership to be established.

Having anticipated this pressing dearth in supply and booming investment activity, Creso’s Canadian subsidiary Mernova worked to have its application for a cultivation license accepted by Health Canada this month. (Creso remains the only company listed in the Australian Securities Exchange that owns a cannabis facility in Canada and that will be able to reap the benefits of being able to supply this growing market.) The Mernova facility, which has been constructed to full Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, is designed to produce an annual yield of three to four tons of dry cannabis.

Beyond positioning itself as a responsible cultivator of quality plant material, Mernova will market its cannabis to a primed public under the brand name Ritual Green. Other forward-looking plans for Mernova include leveraging Creso’s Swiss food engineering capabilities and technologies to form the Canadian Institute for Research and Development of Human and Pet Edible Cannabis Products.

Blazing the Global Cannabis Trail

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As cannabis becomes legal in some areas but remains banned in others, the pressure is high for innovators to establish standards that will ensure the safety of inexperienced consumers and destigmatize cannabis elsewhere.

Because they have embraced the medicinal benefits of cannabis, a handful of countries are at the forefront of industry advancements. For example, Canada’s medicinal cannabis system already services over 300,000 patients; Israel is establishing its position as a trusted developer of unique strains; and Australia is hosting a boom of innovative medicinal cannabis companies.

The gains of its medicinal cannabis system has driven Canada to take steps toward implementing full legalization later this month, which is bound to position it as an a trusted source of products and a model for other countries throwing their hats in the ring. Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, Creso Pharma’s co-founder and group CEO, sees Canada’s legalization as “an international tipping point in the development of pro-cannabis policies.” In other words, it’s only matter of time before the US and other countries follow, and industry pacesetters must have a global view to successfully serve this rapidly growing need.

Creso has deep pharmaceutical expertise working in concert with industry-leading partners in cannabis research, cultivation, and extraction. With the “tipping point” in mind, a global understanding of regional cannabis demand and regulation informs Creso’s production and distribution. Creating partnerships with cannabis experts, established manufacturers, and existing supply chains has accelerated the development of Creso’s cannabis and hemp-derived products, which include therapeutic, nutraceutical, topical, lifestyle, and animal applications.

Nutraceutical cannaQIX is a perfect example of the Creso business model in action. A proprietary extraction method means the full-spectrum hemp extract in cannaQIX contains the full benefits of the full plant—abundant in CBD but with only trace amounts of THC. Creso has partnered with an established manufacturing company, Domaco, to create a great delivery method for their high-quality CBD extract: citrus-flavored lozenges, which allow quick on-the-tongue absorption to bypass liver metabolism that can lessen the efficacy of swallowed CBD tablets, capsules, or oils. (Lozenges also are very consumer-friendly for new users.) They also have partnered with one of the top over-the-counter Swiss brands, Doetsch Grether, to head distribution in Switzerland.

By carrying over the same culture of excellence, quality standards, and methodological rigor that defines the pharmaceutical world and by establishing streamlined manufacturing and distribution to leverage the strengths of key partners, Creso is leading the formation of best practices the burgeoning cannabis industry will refer to for years to come.