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MJ Lifestyle Issue 01 Digital

ARE YOU STILL DOING WORK

ARE YOU STILL DOING WORK IN THE E-CIG BUSINESS? We have a strategic partnership with Beckett Associates, which is a leading UK firm that specializes in scientific and regulatory affairs for the vaping industry. They work with toptier vaping companies in both the US and the United Kingdom and we make sure their clients formulations are solid before any regulatory filings are made. I am also an advisory board member at the Blinc Group, which works with both e-cig and Cannabis clients that focus on vaping technology; and I have helped on the technical side at vaping.com. There is a lot of crossover between the two industries - inhalation of anything is a complex scientific area and many of the rules that apply to the e-cig world, particularly in Europe, are useful for Cannabis companies looking to improve their vaping products. So it’s a very symbiotic relationship between the two industries and for a company like mine it’s important that the learning process is intensive and ongoing. Being involved with vaping helps a lot with that. TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVENTION IMPROVING THE SOLUBILITY OF DRUGS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO COME UP WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY? There are an increasing number of poorly soluble compounds coming out of drug discovery - the process by which the medical industry develops new treatments. This leads to interesting challenges: if drugs are poorly soluble then they are not absorbed into the bloodstream very effectively and as a result they don’t work very well. For the last 20 years or so, the pharmaceutical industry has focused on how to overcome these challenges. As a result, there are now myriad solutions to the formulation challenges poorly soluble compounds pose - I’ve seen and worked on many of them over the years. However, given how slow the product development process is in the pharmaceutical world, very few products that utilize these techniques have actually come to market yet. And that’s where it gets interesting. Because cannabinoids are poorly soluble, these techniques that have been developed would work equally well in Cannabis applications. But in Cannabis, there’s no requirement for big expensive clinical trials to bring a product to market, which is right where it’s clear that a particular formulation doesn’t poses low risk to human health. So Cannabis products can potentially utilize cutting edge pharmatechnology years or even decades before the pharmaceutical industry can, which is really exciting. My invention helps solve these problems using silica - it was in fact the subject of my PhD thesis. ISSUE 01 88

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR FIRST COMMISSIONED PROJECT IN CANNABIS? The first product I worked on wasn’t actually designed for commerce but was born out of necessity. I’m a runner and a yoga instructor so I try to stay healthy, but an active lifestyle inevitably leads to some injuries. I was training for a half marathon about 18 months ago when I was hit by heel pain. I used a number of different overthe-counter creams to try and alleviate the pain and allow me to run, but found that Cannabis applied to the skin was the best solution. Problem was, many of the products I bought were not as good as they could have been. Given how poorly soluble cannabinoids are, making a product that allows them to be absorbed through the skin is a complex technical challenge. I’ve been making my own skincare products for years and after a week or so, I knew I could do better. I worked with Johanna (of Casually Baked) and together we performed flower extractions ourselves in my kitchen, selected essential oils and natural absorption enhancers and produced a topical formulation that worked much better than what was commercially available. After that, a lot of companies asked whether they could commercialize the product. It was then that I realized that I had the opportunity to create a viable business that could genuinely accelerate the development of the Cannabis industry by making products better. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT IN THE CANNABIS SPACE TO DATE? One of the first projects I worked on was with Level. They’re a great company and what I really love about them is their holistic approach to the Cannabis plant. They’re looking at all the different cannabinoids they can get and what they can do with them, which is refreshing in a market which is very heavy on THC and CBD but light on other cannabinoids. Together, we created sub-lingual tablets which immediately dissolve in the mouth without a foul taste and deliver a fast acting micro dose of whichever cannabinoid the user chooses. Tablets are available with delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, CBD, CBG, THCA and THCV. The format - 3mg individual tablets - allows users to customize their ideal dose and ratio across cannabinoids while offering a more convenient, discreet and stable alternative to liquid tinctures. “It was then that I realized that I had the opportunity to create a viable business that could genuinely accelerate the development of the Cannabis industry by making products better.” This project posed interesting formulation challenges. It is difficult to turn a sticky active cannabinoid into a free-flowing powder that can be made into a tablet. That’s why most oral products on the market are gel capsules. To get to the kind of tablet design most people would recognize from traditional Western medicine - and the kind of design the Level products use - meant months of research and development. But the end result was worth it, because solid state tablets deliver cannabinoids much more effectively. 89 @MJLIFESTYLE

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