Cannabiz Issue 1

sigmagroupmagazines

The publication provides a 360 degree spotlight about the Medical Cannabiz industry, specifically in Malta, covering topics related to regulatory issues, operators, affiliates and SEO trends, new mergers and acquisitions.


ISSUE 1 - FALL / WINTER 2019

THE FUTURE

OF CANNABIS

pg 28

CROSSING THE FRONTIER

pg 38

SAVING SOPHIE

pg 44

THE MEDICAL CANNABIS REVOLUTION

pg 64


WORLD’S

iGAMING VILLAGE

MALTA

27-29 NOV 2019

SIGMA.MT

MANILA

8-9 JUN 2020

SIGMA.PH


EDITOR - Katy Micallef

PHOTOGRAPHER -

Aleksey Leonov

CREATIVE DIRECTOR - Jessica Camilleri

SALES -

Laura Tabone

Christine Busuttil


Editor’s Note

The cannabis industry is one that has traditionally

been fraught with regulatory hurdles, gray areas

and ethical pot holes. It is refreshing then to see the

medical cannabis industry begin to receive the attention

it deserves, and as restrictions lift, new business

opportunities move into play.

Recent Maltese legislation approving the use and

possession of medical cannabis with a prescription

follows a blazing trail left by other pilgrims, such

as Canada, Israel and Thailand. The regulatory

turnaround has opened up a new space for local

industry to flourish, bringing economic growth to the

island and rejuvenating a flagging agricultural scene.

And of course, better regulation means better

products, which is why many new entrants to this

lucrative market are catching on to the benefits

emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain,

have to offer. From seed-to-sale tracking to personal,

patient-based medical products, the convergence

of these two spheres promises great things for the

future of medical cannabis, something we’re sure

many of the investors attending our back-to-back

summits on medical cannabis and blockchain this

November will be exploring.

This shift in perspective is also alluring for the hope it

brings to patients suffering from chronic illnesses, a

call to action eloquently laid out in our interviews with

Hannah Deacon and Tracy Ryan.

Finally some thanks. SiGMA Group’s foray into this

unchartered new vertical would be but a pipe dream if

not for founder and CEO Eman Pulis’ pioneer spirit, and

our inaugural issue of the magazine nought but a Word

document on a laptop, if not for Jessica Camilleri’s

inspired design.

Enjoy the issue,

Katy

ALEKSEY

KATY

JESS


CONTENTS

10

11

16

28

34

38

Medical Cannabiz Start-up Pitch

Find out what’s on offer for selected start-ups

at the competitive summit activity - Medical

Cannabiz Start-up Pitch.

Malta: Island of Innovation

The Prime Minister of Malta elucidates his

thoughts on the Maltese scene at the London

Cannabis Europa Conference earlier this year.

Taking the Plunge

MEP Dr. Miriam Dalli elucidates her thoughts on

what the future holds for the high-growth medical

cannabis market in Malta.

The Future of Cannabis

Alvit Pharma is building one of Europe’s larger EU-

GMP certified cannabis manufacturing facilities in

Malta. CEO Yona Levy gives an exclusive interview.

From Seed to Sale

Dr. Angele Azzopardi, Managing Director at

Starpharma writes about how ZenPharm is leading

the pack in Europe by maintaining high standards

of quality in the sector.

Crossing the Frontier

Katy Micallef takes a look at how Hoban Law

Group has gone from ordinary lawyers to industry

experts in an interview with founder Bob Hoban.

CANNABIZ .1

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CONTENTS

28

Hand delivered to various expos worldwide,

executive lounges, Maltese embassies and

government institutions. The magazine is also

delivered by post to 5,000 leading related

companies worldwide.

For information regarding promotion and advertising

kindly call (+356)2700 2836 / 2133 6670

or email laura@sigma.com.mt

www.cannabizsummit.world

16 38

44

61

34

44 Saving Sophie

CEO of CannaKids and advocate

for the medical cannabis industry,

Tracy Ryan shares her story in an

exclusive interview.

61 Growing Pains

We speak to Hannah Deacon, a mother

who spearheaded the campaign that

changed UK law on medical cannabis.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole

or in part is strictly prohibited without prior

consent in writing. Opinions expressed in

Cannabiz are not necessarily those of the

editor or publisher. All reasonable care is

taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but

the editor and publishers cannot be held

responsible for errors or omissions in articles,

advertising, photographs or illustrations.

Cannabiz is published by Viking PC Health Ltd.,

Gaming Hub, Judge Paolo Debono Str., Msida

Skate Park, Msida. MSD2032, Malta.

CANNABIZ .1

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The free blockchain traceability platform

for cannabis.


WHAT TO EXPECT

MEDICAL CANNABIZ

START-UP PITCH

Over 100 start-ups will be selected to showcase their products and initiatives throughout Medical Cannabiz World.

Start-ups based across all verticals of the medical cannabis supply chain will receive advantageous exposure on the

expo floor, with access to a small booth, as well as proximity to top investors and mentors. Each start-up will also be

invited to attend lavish networking dinners and additionally will benefit from online opportunities through the Medical

Cannabiz World website. However, only the judges’ top ten will make it to the pitch stage during the final leg of the

Summit. Expect the competition to be fierce with so many investors to impress!

EXPERIENCE THE EXPO FLOOR

1m booth at Medical Cannabiz World.

PRIZED NETWORKING

Benefit from a chance to mingle with prestigious industry leaders at

premium networking events during and around Medical Cannabiz World.

PRESENTATION TIME

Present your project on stage to the judges and audience. Each

of the 10 finalists will benefit from stage time at the Start-up

Pitch, including an opportunity to meet the investors on stage.

VALUABLE EXPOSURE

Receive invaluable space across Medical Cannabiz World

media. Take part in interviews and share your company

news in our magazines, website and email newsletters.

CONSULTANCY AND ADVICE

Free consultancy and potential leads from leading industry

veterans are much coveted prizes for any start-up looking to make

their mark. Benefit from canny advice and encouragement from

successful stalwarts of the industry.

HOT LEADS

We will personally connect you to potential customers and/or investors.

CANNABIZ .1

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INTRODUCTION

Malta:

Island of

Innovation

PRIME MINISTER OF

MALTA, THE HON. JOSEPH

MUSCAT SPEAKING AT THE

LONDON CANNABIS EUROPA

CONFERENCE THIS YEAR.

“We see the production of medical cannabis as a progression

within the life sciences sector, which already includes the

production of pharmaceuticals, active ingredients, medical

devices, testing and batch release operations, research and

clinical work, dossier building and so much more.

By being the first in most of these areas, Malta is proud to be

Europe’s island of innovation, where ideas are born, tried and

tested, then shared with the whole world.

Since laying the rules in this specific bill, Malta Enterprise

received 46 project applications, of which, 20 projects

have been approved and issued with a Letter of Intent. It

is estimated that the approved projects are investing over

€110M into capital expenditure. Once operational these

projects are expected to create over 700 new full-time jobs

and supplement Malta’s exports by over €900 M by 2022,

mainly to European Union markets. The government is

informed that a number of companies are projected to start

exporting medical cannabis from Malta to Europe as early as

Q1 of 2020.

As a matter of fact, while we have accepted 20 projects, we

have refused another 19 proposals. This shows that we will

only pick the best, most innovative and reputable.

MGC Pharma, Supreme, Aurora, Aphria, Columbia Care,

MPXI, Wayland, Alvit and Panaxia are amongst the renowned

names which have received Malta Enterprise’s approval and

Letter of Intent.

All the applications which were submitted have gone

through a minute evaluation process and a very thorough

due diligence exercise, in order to ensure that only those

applications which met our criteria and shared our vision

were eventually approved. We do not say ‘yes’ to everyone

that knocks on the door. So those of you who make it through

our system know that you are working in an environment

which includes the industry’s elite.”

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INTRODUCTION

CANNABIZ .1

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INTRODUCTION

GETTING THE

GREEN LIGHT

We know from experience that if the climate is right

little ideas will put down healthy roots and thrive,

reaping huge success for those that care to nurture

them. This year we’re investing our energies into the

launch of the inaugural edition of our first Medical

Cannabis World in Malta.

The Maltese government, always on the ball when it comes

to innovation and smart legislation, has thrown open

the doors to this high growth sector, unlocking the huge

potential developing within the medicinal cannabis sphere.

Malta’s visionary stance on regulation is well known to the

global industry, landing it a place on Lattice80’s top 100

list of blockchain influencers and earlier last year - the

internationally-recognised title of Blockchain Island. The

government’s proclivity to support new industry is slated

to engender huge economic benefit for the country and

has already lured a number of investors to our shores.

With all eyes on Malta this November, the summit is

a natural fit for Malta Week, which hosts the Medical

Cannabiz World in the same week as the AIBC Summit.

Here we hope to shine a spotlight on the regulatory

benefits for businesses setting up shop in Malta,

whilst providing a solid platform for investors, medical

researchers, policy makers and entrepreneurs looking

to forage a wealth of opportunities from this sector and

forge lasting relationships with the people that matter.

And of course, there is no doubt that technology,

particularly emerging tech, has a crucial role to play in

any global industry looking for a foothold in the future.

Efficiency and seed-to-sale transparency will be crucial to

refining and producing products of the highest quality, with

AI-driven research an imperative part of the equation.

That being said, Malta is not the only ship in the sea

to chart its course in this direction. A bounty of

business possibilities are flourishing in forwardthinking

countries such as Canada, Israel and Thailand.

People often underestimate the cannabis marketplace;

however statistics show that the global medical market

alone could be a $180 billion industry.

In fact, developing a medical cannabis industry is

among one of the top 10 priorities for Thailand’s

government. While the country has a long historical

tradition of using cannabis to alleviate pain, the

announcement of recent legislation is without

precedent in Asia, making it the first country in the

continent to pursue the medical cannabis market. These

are heady days for a country that relies heavily on the

medical tourism industry, with the green gold rush

already seeping out into neighbouring countries such

as Malaysia.

It goes without saying of course that our ability to

pursue innovation and breathe life into new projects

has been made all the smoother through the support

and encouragement from colleagues and friends, both

old and new.

Enjoy the issue,

Eman Pulis, Medical Cannabiz World founder & CEO

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FEATURE

New Horizons

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FEATURE

OLIVER DE BONO, COO FOR SIGMA GROUP WRITES ABOUT MALTA’S FORAY

INTO NEW AVENUES OF INDUSTRY AS THE ISLAND DEVELOPS ITS REGULATORY

FRAMEWORK FOR THE BUDDING MEDICAL CANNABIS SPHERE.

BY OLIVER DE BONO

In keeping with its trademark approach

to new industry, Malta has opened its

doors to the medical cannabis industry

and the economic boons it promises

to deliver. That being said, most

businesses are now asking what’s next,

with many keen to find out where this

marketplace will go. Looking at what

we have managed to achieve with the

online gaming industry, I believe there is

huge scope for this new market to truly

prosper on the island. Without looking

at the potential medical benefits and the

relief this product brings to so many in

need, there is much to be said for the

other huge benefactor at play – there is

an intriguing success story to be told if

the economy adopts this market.

This creates not only huge potential

revenues but new and interesting

opportunities for persons based

here - with a number of research and

development hubs soon to be setting

up on the island. The ripple effect goes

even further with legal professionals

adopting this new market. Our goal

is to shine a light both on what Malta

is setting out to achieve but also the

industry as a whole and the greener

pastures that await us!

Like any new industry adopting new

regulatory frameworks, we are still

at very early stages; however, looking

out at neighbours currently leading

the pack, such as Israel, we can also

see what huge potential lies in the

not too distant future. It’s not only the

Mediterranean adopting this thriving

market, but many other regions too,

with a very solid North American

market flourishing and even more

unexpectedly South East Asia, a region

that is quickly dispensing of past

conservative notions as it looks to a

future that is open to possibility and

development. For many South East

Asian countries, adoption of medical

cannabis regulations has opened

doors to innumerable benefits and

opportunities, both for growing local

populations and for international

businesses seeking to carve out a

space to thrive.

In a recent initiative, The Malta

Medicines Authority, in collaboration

with the Organisation for Professionals

in Regulatory Affairs (TORPA) initiated

industry-level training in the regulation

of medical cannabis for medical

professionals, industry consultants,

pharmacists and regulatory officers.

The training targets both the local and

international community and is aimed

at research in the three key areas of

safety, quality and efficacy.

Both Malta Enterprise and The Malta

Medicines Authority have taken

huge strides here in creating what is

our current framework, along with

the backing of both the health and

economic ministries. With so many

great people rowing steadfastly in this

direction, I believe it’s only a matter

of time before Malta solidifies itself

as a global hub for medical cannabis

regulation, research, and development.

“We have

managed to gather

some of the great

contributors and

minds from all

over the world with

the intent to not

only question old

ideas but provoke

new ones”

With our Medical Cannabiz World just

around the corner we hope to touch

on both the economical benefits as

well as dive deeply into the future

of this industry and explore what

breakthroughs will come out of the

recent adoption of this huge potential

product with such huge potential. We

have managed to gather some of the

great contributors and minds from all

over the world with the intent to not

only question old ideas but provoke

new ones.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

TAKING THE PLUNGE

MEP DR. MIRIAM DALLI

WRITES ABOUT WHAT

THE FUTURE HOLDS

FOR THE HIGH-GROWTH

MEDICAL CANNABIS

MARKET IN MALTA.

BY DR. MIRIAM DALLI

In March 2018, Malta took the plunge to

tap into the medical cannabis industry

whilst strengthening its research and

development in the area by legalising on

the matter. This paved the way for the

Production of Cannabis for Medicinal

and Research Purposes Act, opening the

door to a new era in one of the fastest

emerging industrial sectors in the world.

Such a decision has the potential

to place Malta at the forefront of

innovation, hitting two targets at the

same time: serving citizens and patients

by increasing research in the public

health sector, and promoting Malta as an

attractive investment destination.

Pushing for progressive and innovative

policies, Malta continues to position

itself as a centre of excellence.

Accountability and compliance remain

key. Considering that Malta enjoys a long

and extensive history in manufacturing

pharmaceuticals, such reputation can

provide more peace of mind when it

comes to producing medical cannabis.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

A robust regulatory infrastructure

is what helps Malta evolve as the

market key player. The regulation is

aimed at maintaining quality standards

whilst placing patients’ safety and

dignity at the forefront. This is where

Malta’s certification as a European

Good Manufacturing Practice gains

relevance. All medical cannabis

products must meet the stringent

European GMP certification standard,

which represent the highest levels of

standards and traceability.

Last year, the European Parliament

made serious requests to the European

Commission in this regard.

I myself urged the European

Commission to start seriously investing

in research and development in the

area of medical cannabis to ensure

safety and provide peace of mind to

medical professionals.

Member States need to encourage

increased knowledge among both

patients and medical professionals

regarding the use of cannabis-based

medicine whilst making sure that

patients have proper and equal access

to medical cannabis products. We

must ensure that medical cannabis is

provided as a safe and equal choice for

patients to cater for their actual needs.

It is education, research and a robust

legislative framework that can ensure

that physicians will prescribe cannabis

for medical use and no longer search

for a compromise between medical

necessity and legislative restrictions.

Fifteen months of enforcing the right

legislative framework for production and

research of medical cannabis have seen

Malta approving 20 project proposals.

From an economical point of view, it

is estimated that this will generate

exports to the tune of €900 million. From

an employment point of view, Malta is

expected to create 700 jobs.

“I urged the

European

Commission to

start seriously

investing in

research and

development

in the area of

medical cannabis

to ensure safety

and provide peace

of mind to medical

professionals”

With good governance and progressive

legislation such as blockchain, Malta has

an added value. We are open to utilise

multiple technologies ranging from the

Internet of Things (IoT), to blockchain, in

our path towards digital industrialisation.

Blockchain can offer solutions in the

medical cannabis industry by regulating

medication and conducting research.

Blockchain can also contribute to the

functioning of IoT. It can be used to

track data measurements and prevent

duplication. Put simply, blockchain

technology can assist licensed

producers to fully comply with quality

assurance, privacy, transparency and

other regulatory requirements.

The so-called ‘cannatech’ is the

innovative side of digitisation. With

efficient legislative framework that

demands a seed-to-sale system, the

focus is on the lifecycle of the product.

In this way, authorities can guarantee

high quality and safety in use.

This is just the beginning.

The way forward between blockchain

and medical cannabis should be

focused on research. Research on

medical cannabis received no direct

support during the current EU research

programme and there is very little

coordination about research projects on

medical cannabis in Member States.

Further investment in research and

development can help provide and

disseminate new evidence to medical

professionals and the public, ensuring

that what is being put on the market

is safe.

Scientific research will allow more doctors

and medical professionals to prescribe

medical cannabis, but will also help policy

makers to re-evaluate, improve and adapt

practices related to prescription and

production of medical cannabis.

Cooperation and sharing of best

practice is key for the future, creating

a far-reaching legislative framework

that encourages research, access to

this beneficial treatment and further

growth in this market.

CANNABIZ .1

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SAVE THE DATES


WHAT THE VIPS

HAD TO SAY

BEN GOERTZEL

FOUNDER AND CEO OF SINGULARITY NET &

CHIEF SCIENTIST AT HANSON ROBOTICS

“This is the beginning of an AI revolution. We are

going to usher in a new era where AIs and

humans live together peacefully.”

DAVID GUNKEL

FOUNDING CO-EDITOR - THE INTERNATIONAL

JOURNAL OF ŽIŽEK STUDIES

“The question is whether we can tie liability and

accountability to a human being when you have

machines enabling independent decision making.”

BOBBY LEE

CRYPTO ENTREPRENEUR

“Even though Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and

people can use it in their daily lives, I think for

the next 10 years its primary use should be as

an investment.”

LORD MARLAND

CHAIRMAN COMMONWEALTH ENTERPRISE &

INVESTMENT COUNCIL

“Regulation has got to be handled carefully,

where the framework for malpractice is prevented

but the industry is allowed to develop”

BROCK PIERCE

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD -

THE BITCOIN FOUNDATION

“In 2017 the cockroaches came out, the market

was infected and we had all of the wrong people

doing things for the wrong reasons.”

NOEL SHARKEY

COMPUTER SCIENTIST

“AI can work really well a lot of the

time, but when it makes a mistake,

boy does it make a mistake. ”

AIBCSUMMIT.COM


WHAT TO EXPECT

MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD CONFERENCE 1,

4 TH NOV - Regulation, Legislation and Research

As the industry continues to produce

impressive figures predicting rapid

economic growth for the medical

cannabis sphere, the question of

legalisation finds itself at the top of the

agenda – all the more surprising when

you consider many of the countries

involved had clear, non negotiable policies

against the therapeutic use of cannabis

only a year or two ago. Nonetheless, the

cannabis landscape remains complex,

full of challenges and contradictions that

regulators must navigate if they want to

capitalise on the benefits this emerging

market has to offer.

With no global strategy in place,

those trading and operating in the

international sphere face an uphill

battle as they steer their way through

a patchwork of legal requirements and

contradictory policies.

The US is a great case in point: the

FDA licensed medical cannabis back

in 2018 for the treatment of severe

epilepsy, yet the Drug Enforcement

Agency considers cannabis to have no

accepted medical use and to have a

high potential for abuse and misuse – in

fact it is listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

This is despite a 2019 recommendation

from WHO that the UN remove cannabis

from their most restrictive category

– Schedule IV. The recommendation

itself has faced its own challenges, with

rulings on amendments to cannabis

guidelines continually put on hold.

As the Cannabis Legal Report notes,

without “international agreement,

regulatory arbitrage is common given

the myriad approaches taken by

regimes looking to boost state finances

by growing, selling and taxing the drug.”

Initiatives like the SAFE Banking Act

offer some respite to the twists and

turns of the legal system. Aimed

at safeguarding the interest of

international banks from persecution,

the act is a crucial step for the health

of international trade when it comes to

medical cannabis.

Additionally, the adoption of technology

such as DLT can help define an uneven

legislative landscape.

The benefits of operating on a

blockchain offers jumpy legislators

a sense of security by mitigating

unpredictability through seed-to-sale

tracking and tackling the threat of black

market operators.

The benefits to patients suffering from

chronic and painful illnesses have also

been a strong motivator, especially

when young children are involved.

It is undeniable that the media has been

key in bringing their stories to wider

audiences, and in many cases swaying

the court of public opinion.

In some cases, such as in the UK, this has

provided crucial leverage against more

conservatively minded governments.

Take in the conference on Regulation,

Legislation and Research at the

Medical Cannabiz World.

HON. DEO DEBATTISTA

Member of Parliament,

Malta Medicines Authority

MIRIAM DALLI

Member of the European

Parliament

TRACY RYAN

CEO,

CannaKids

CANNABIZ .1

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WHAT TO EXPECT

MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD CONFERENCE 2,

4 TH NOV - Investment Opportunities

As more countries catch on to the

economic benefits, a favourable global

framework for the legal production and

sale of cannabis derivatives is starting

to take shape. With growth rates being

compared to the dotcom boom, even

conservative estimates are projecting a

market worth billions of dollars.

Expectations for the medical cannabis

industry are high and stock market

prices for a number of medical cannabis

producers have shown a growth rate

much higher than that of traditional

sectors or new technologies over the

past year, despite their volatile nature.

This economic success story has

also been a boon for farmers facing

a declining demand for certain

products such as tobacco, along with

unfavourable market prices for once

profitable crops such as soybean and

maize. This diversification of products

reduces the pressure on other areas

of farming by easing the tightening

competition in what have become

increasingly cramped quarters.

Cannabis production offers small

agricultural businesses facing an

uncertain future a real life line.

Of course this is not without its

challenges. Restrictions around funding

means some investors cannot invest

their capital in cultivation, limiting them

to technology and services that are not

directly related to the plant itself. How

investors navigate this obstacle will play

a large part in the enabling this industry

to take off properly.

As well as shoring up existing business,

the medical cannabis industry also

favours start-ups looking to enter

the industry by offering international

expansion through the diversification

of business currently being offered by

existing companies in the field.

In Canada for example, it is estimated

that up to 125,000 new jobs will

become available in the sector – that’s

twice the number of jobs going in

Silicon Valley.

In other quarters, the scientific

community are set to benefit greatly from

research development brought about

by an increased economic interest in

medicinal and therapeutic products.

This investment into academic

activity will most certainly lead to a

greater understanding of the effects

of cannabis and the therapeutic

applications of its extracts to a number

of chronic illnesses.

Only time will tell whether this budding

sector will fulfil its promises and

produce a bountiful harvest. It is

undeniable however that the onset of

flexible legislation, applied technology

and increased research has been a

turning point for the cannabis sector.

From policy makers to farmers, this

is a new era of opportunity and good

fortune for all involved.

BRIAN SHENG

CEO,

Asia Horizon Group

VLADUS SNIECKUS

COO & Chief Medical Officer,

Hempfy

MARK HAMADE

Partner,

Stealth

CANNABIZ .1

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123, St. George’s Road, St. Julian’s, Malta

2000 sq.m of New, Highly

Finished Office Space

...in the Heart of St. Julian’s

Offices finished to the highest standards and equipped with all necessary

services and systems creating a modern, cutting-edge office space

environment.

Located in the central part of St. Julian’s/Paceville area, this office block sits

right opposite Mercury Tower, overlooking planned piazza. This property is

located just 2 minutes away from bus stops, 5 minutes away from closest taxi

stand and within walking distance from prime renting localities such as

Swieqi, Pembroke, Ibragg and Sliema. These offices are within Malta’s prime

entertaining/nightlife hub.

Project Completion: 2020


WHAT TO EXPECT

MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD CONFERENCE 3,

5 TH NOV - Social Impact and Education

When it comes to medical cannabis,

education and public awareness have

been a driving force in bringing new

legislation to the fore.

Hannah Deacon, a speaker at the

Medical Cannabiz World in November,

has been a key figure in Britain’s

changing laws on medical cannabis

after spearheading a motion to

introduce medical cannabis licences to

UK law.

Following the decline of her son’s

health due to severe seizures, Hannah

was instrumental in campaigning for a

fresh perspective to the way the health

care system in Britain sees medical

cannabis as a treatment option.

In 2018 she eventually secured a

change in law and worked closely

with the Home Office to fine tune the

prescription application process.

Prior to the change, medical cannabis

was classed as a schedule one

drug under the Misuse of Drugs

Regulations 2001, which meant it was

not recognised to have any therapeutic

value. Nonetheless, medical cannabis

is still not widely available in the UK.

Patients must meet very specific

criteria in order to be eligible for a

prescription and costs associated with

the process remain high.

As she and others will tell you, one

of the biggest challenges has been to

combat negative public opinion. Stigma

around the drug, including from those

in the medical industry has made it

an uphill struggle for those seeking

acceptance and support.

In fact many still view it through

long-held stereotypes, labelling it a

dangerous gateway drug. Tracy Ryan,

who is also scheduled to speak at the

summit, recalls her fear that despite

acting within the boundaries of the law,

she would still face censure.

An additional struggle has been

bringing the medical profession on

board. A lack of training and clarity

from the law means many are hesitant

to involve themselves, even if the law

allows them to do so. UK guidelines

published in October 2019 by the

National Institute for Health and Care

Excellence will help mitigate some of

the apprehension felt by doctors, by

providing them with the information

they need to feel confident in

prescribing medical cannabis.

How the industry navigates these

hurdles along with non-governmental

associations and patient advocacy

groups will be crucial if the healthcare

industry is to adequately service

the needs of patients suffering from

chronic and painful illnesses.

The third Medical Cannabiz World

conference on Social Impact and

Education will take place on the 5th

of November.

HANNAH DEACON

Campaigner

for medical cannabis

MIKE BARNES

Chair, The Medical Cannabis

Clinicians Society

MAYA ELISABETH

CEO,

Whoopi & Maya

CANNABIZ .1

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THE FUTURE

OF CANNABIS

Alvit is constructing a 14,000 sqm, state-of-the-art EU-GMP

production facility in Malta

alvitpharma.com


WHAT TO EXPECT

MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD CONFERENCE 4,

5 TH NOV - Technology and Security

As CBD markets surge and countries

ease into new regulatory frameworks,

industry stakeholders and policy

makers are now looking to ensure

newly built foundations are backed up

by the right infrastructure.

Emerging technologies such as

blockchain are by nature perfectly

designed to enable crucial production

methods such as seed-to-sale tracking

to function. Supply chains find their

home on the blockchain, leveraging the

transparency and security the tech

provides to enable an industry plagued by

trust issues, scaremongering, and black

markets, to thrive, despite naysayers.

Utilising the blockchain ensures a

number of key qualities for supply

chains. Certainty of provenance offers

users peace of mind: being able to

trace ingredients from seed-to-sale

ensures a high quality end product

and reassures to producers that their

product is sold through reputable

channels. Being able to guarantee the

provenance of ingredients has been

a crucial step for the regulation of

cannabis as a medicinal product.

Smart learning has also made an impact

in the agricultural sphere. A game

changer for medical cannabis growers,

smart technology is revolutionising

growing practices, fine-tuning

greenhouse conditions and providing

producers with valuable data on the

health of their crops. Crop irrigation is

one such practice which has benefited

immeasurably from AI – controlled

remotely, more exact standards of

irrigation can be exerted, reducing

labour, producing a higher yield and

reducing waste of precious resources.

Crop sensors can also convey more

accurate climate conditions to

farmers, allowing them to control and

adjust as necessary – managing light,

temperature and nutrients – all crucial

to high quality production.

More than 300 different cannabis

strains have highlighted the need for a

more personal approach to cannabis

treatments. Artificial Intelligence has

helped reduce prescription and dosage

errors whilst matching symptoms and

ailments to available strains. Taking

the guesswork out of the equation has

also been a boon for nervous doctors,

being able to prescribe more accurately

has increased their confidence – and

their likelihood of considering medical

cannabis as a suitable treatment option.

As medical cannabis markets gain

more significance as drivers of strong

economies, this meshing of verticals

continues to remain at the forefront of

international markets looking for a leg

up in what is becoming an increasingly

competitive sphere of business. There

is no doubt technology will continue

to support the development of the

cannabis industry, offering innovation

and opportunity to investors and

market leaders.

ALEX SHAH

Founder,

solo*

JACQUIE COHEN ROTH

Founder & CEO,

CannabizMD

ADAM SHUSTER

Co-Founder & CEO,

BH Synergy Group

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

Around the world

in 150 billion

THE GLOBAL CANNABIS MARKET IS THOUGHT

TO BE WORTH $150 BILLION TODAY

NORTH AMERICA –

estimated cannabis market

by 2030: $80 billion

(recreational & medical)

SOUTH AMERICA – estimated

medical cannabis market value

by 2028: $8.5 billion

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

ASIA – estimated medical

cannabis market value by

2024: $5.8 billion

EUROPE – estimated medical

cannabis market value by

2024: $58 billion

AFRICA – estimated

medical cannabis market

value by 2023: $0.8 billion

Key statistics from prohibitionpartners.com

CANNABIZ .1

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COVER STORY

THE FUTURE

OF CANNABIS

ALVIT PHARMA IS BUILDING ONE OF

EUROPE’S LARGER EU-GMP CERTIFIED

CANNABIS MANUFACTURING

FACILITIES RIGHT HERE IN MALTA.

CANNABIZ MAGAZINE MET UP WITH

CEO YONA LEVY, FOR AN EXCLUSIVE

INTERVIEW ABOUT WHAT ALVIT’S DOING

TO BRING CANNABIS INTO THE FUTURE.

CANNABIZ .1

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COVER STORY

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...


COVER STORY

CAN YOU BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHAT

ALVIT DOES?

At its core, Alvit researches and develops

pharma-grade cannabis products,

helping cannabis communicate in a

language doctors understand. We are

currently constructing a very impressive

EU-GMP certified cannabis cultivation,

extraction and production facility in the

EU in Malta and will be launching our

flowers, oils and pharma-grade products

into Europe in the beginning of 2020.

WITH BUSINESSES JOSTLING FOR

SPACE IN THE NASCENT CANNABIS

INDUSTRY, WHAT IS ALVIT DOING

THAT DISTINGUISHES IT FROM OTHER

COMPANIES IN THE INDUSTRY?

WHAT MAKES IT THE FUTURE?

In order to elaborate on what

distinguishes us, I need to provide you

with a drop of background information.

Our company was founded by Nachshol

Cohen. Nachshol has been involved

with the medical cannabis markets

long before their inception, both in

Israel and internationally. In Israel,

he is recognised as one of the true

visionaries in the field. He has always

been a trendsetter and his name has

become known globally throughout the

cannabis industry.

So when medical cannabis started

being legalised in more and more

jurisdictions around the world, and a

mad rush to secure cultivation licenses

in the US, Canada, and other locations

ensued, Nachshol recognised that the

future of medical cannabis did not end

with flowers and oils, and that the true

market growth for the industry would

come from pharma-grade products that

doctors recognise, understand, and are

accustomed to prescribing.

So while the rest of the market was

trying to learn how to grow flowers,

Nachshol signed on Yoram Sela, the

founder of Teva Pharmaceuticals

drug delivery unit, who went on to run

it for 9 years. Six years later we’ve

already created a full line of pharmagrade

cannabis products that we will

be producing in 2020 in our EU-GMP

certified facility in Malta. So I guess

that’s what distinguishes us. We’re

the ‘future’ and we’re also the ‘now’

because we started six years early with

a clear vision. We have what doctors

want to prescribe.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FACILITY

YOU’RE CONSTRUCTING IN MALTA?

WHAT WILL IT BE ABLE TO PRODUCE?

We’re constructing a massive seed-topharma

facility that will be the heart of

our European operation going forward.

We will have our own nursery under

“We’re constructing a massive seed-to-pharma facility that

will be the heart of our European operation going forward”

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COVER STORY

“Why Malta? It’s very simple. While other countries around

the world slowly test the waters of legalising cannabis,

Malta did the opposite and instead aggressively sought

out the best companies in the world to set up operations in

Malta and made it easy for them to do business”

EU-GMP conditions with hundreds of

mother plants that produce the clones

we require for our cultivation operation

extraction department featuring CO 2

,

Ethanol and cold press technologies.

We have EU-GMP certified production

RECOGNISE, WHAT DOES THAT

MEAN? WHAT KIND OF PRODUCTS

DO YOU HAVE?

in Malta. Our cultivation will occur in

an eco-cultivation rooftop facility that

is also under EU-GMP conditions and

we project to produce over 14 tons of

cannabis flowers annually.

We have a drying, curing and packaging

department for flowers also under EU-

GMP conditions. We have an EU-GMP

rooms for tablets, liquids, gel-capsules,

vapen, semisolids like creams,

suppositories and cosmetics with more

on the way. We also have an in-house

QA/QC lab, warehousing, admin and

logistics. It’s an impressive facility.

WHEN YOU SAY YOU HAVE PRODUCTS

THAT DOCTORS UNDERSTAND AND

We have many different types of

products based around the needs

of the patient. Some patients need a

product delivered a certain way, or to

a certain location, or within a certain

amount of time, or to last longer in the

body. We have a full line of products

that meet all of these various needs.

...

CANNABIZ .1

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COVER STORY

For example, for a patient that requires

immediate relief, we can offer our

sublingual tablet, our spray, or a

suppository. Because we use a self

nanoemulsifying oil in our products, all of

these methods will bring relief within 10-

15 minutes. Epilepsy patients may want

to take an extended release CBD tablet.

And of course we have super high

quality flowers and oils for the more

traditional medical market.

I am not aware of any other companies

in the market that have the kind of

broad line of cannabis-based products

that we do. Others might be developing

them, but they’re not out there yet.

YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT

YOUR CANNABIS-BASED PRODUCTS

SPEAK ‘IN A LANGUAGE DOCTORS

UNDERSTAND’. CAN YOU ELABORATE

A LITTLE ON WHAT THAT MEANS?

At present, there are many doctors

who are not comfortable prescribing

cannabis because they do not

understand it. What do they prescribe?

Two puffs three times a day? Drip

a few drops of magic oil under your

tongue after eating? There are too

many strains available with varying

percentages of THC and CBD etc., but

doctors don’t necessarily have the

information they need, to know what

effect a particular strain will have on

a particular patient. They simply have

to trust that the cannabis available to

the patient will help in the right way.

But of course, doctors are not in the

business of trusting. They are in the

business of knowing.

Alvit provides the information doctors

need in order to feel comfortable

prescribing cannabis-based products,

for instance, details on APIs (active

pharmaceutical ingredients), such as

bioavailability, onset of action, duration

etc. Perhaps the most important thing

we do is to carry out clinical trials to

prove that what we say is correct and to

provide extra reassurance to doctors.

“There are many

doctors who are

not comfortable

prescribing cannabis

because they do not

understand it”

SO DOCTORS ARE CURRENTLY

MISSING FROM THE EQUATION?

Yes, we are talking about probably the

biggest revolution since the internet,

and at the moment we’re missing the

most important players - the doctors.

They are the ones who are supposed to

drive this industry forward and bring in

the patients. Right now however, it isn’t

working like that. It’s still the patients

who are insisting on getting access to

medical cannabis.

So the big question becomes how do

you do it? How do you get the doctors

more involved? I think there are 2

elements to it. First is education.

It’s obviously an important aspect.

Companies like ours need to organise

efforts to educate doctors about

cannabis, its properties and how

to prescribe it. And we will do that.

Second is to give the doctors cannabis

products they understand: tablets,

suppositories, sprays, mg,

clinical trials and so on. This

is the most important thing

doctors need to get on board en

masse. It’s the critical missing

element to making the doctors

the drivers of the industry.

Our company will help make

that flip back to getting the

catalyst to be from the doctors

themselves, which we believe

will make the current cannabis

market estimates that everyone

thinks are so high look

astoundingly low.

YOU WERE ONE OF THE FIRST

10 LICENSE HOLDERS IN MALTA.

WHY MALTA?

I want to take this opportunity to say

that Malta has one of the most business

friendly environments in the world.

Malta Enterprise, the organisation

responsible for economic development

in Malta is one of the most amazing

organisations we’ve ever encountered.

They help. They advise. The are

thorough and careful. Very competent.

Very friendly. Thoughtful.

CANNABIZ .1

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COVER STORY

Just amazing people. And we’ve seen

the same thing in the government.

Why Malta? It’s very simple. While

other countries around the world

slowly test the waters of legalising

cannabis, Malta did the opposite and

instead aggressively sought out the

best companies in the world to set up

operations in Malta and made it easy

for them to do business.

They actively sought out companies

like ours that can deliver the future,

and they made it easy. Grow, import,

process, export, whatever you need.

Just do it right and make us proud. Be

a success.

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE

ALVIT’S PRODUCTS IN EUROPEAN

PHARMACIES?

We’re expecting to begin shipping our

products into Europe during the first

quarter of 2020.

SHIFTING GEARS, WHY IS IT THAT

ISRAEL HAS SUCH A STRONG

REPUTATION WHEN IT COMES TO THE

MEDICAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY?

Cannabis falls perfectly into Israel’s

comfort zone. Israel is known

for agritech, biotech, technology,

innovation and sophistication in its

products, and we have one of the

oldest medical cannabis programs in

the world.

On top of that, the body within the

health department that is responsible

for granting cannabis licences is a very

professional body, and Israel has the

right manpower to deal with innovation

in a new market. When you add all that

together, that makes for a very strong

foundation on which to succeed.

I HEARD A RUMOR THAT THERE MAY

BE AN IPO IN THE FUTURE FOR ALVIT?

All I can say regarding a potential IPO is

that we are evaluating our options like

any company that has a responsibility

to its shareholders. However, what’s

“Perhaps the

most important

thing we do is to

carry out clinical

trials to prove

that what we say

is correct and

to provide extra

reassurance to

doctors”

really important here is being part of

helping to meet the unmet needs of

many patients in the EU that deserve no

less than the patients in Israel, Canada,

or anywhere else in the world.

We’re building a real asset that can help

real people. That’s what we’re doing

in Malta and we’re super excited that

our company will be leading the way in

Europe and around the world.

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FEATURE

Robert Spiteri -

Co-founder and Director of

Brown’s Pharma Limited

Dr Angele Azzopardi -

Managing Director

Starpharma Limited

Mr Andrew Grieve -

CEO of Zenabis Global Inc.

From Seed to Sale

ZENPHARM, A ZENABIS SUBSIDIARY, IS A PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY FOCUSED ON

DELIVERING MEDICINAL CANNABIS TO PATIENTS. AT ITS CORE, ZENPHARM IS AT THE

FOREFRONT OF DEVELOPING CANNABIS-BASED TREATMENTS, AND IS ALSO EMBARKING ON

EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS WITH PRACTICING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS. DR. ANGELE

AZZOPARDI, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT STARPHARMA WRITES ABOUT HOW ZENPHARM IS

LEADING THE PACK IN EUROPE BY MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS OF QUALITY IN THE SECTOR.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

The art of medicine consists in amusing

the patient while nature cures the

disease. – Voltaire

Arguably this is not the best quote with

which to promote the pharmaceutical

industry. Without a doubt, syntheticallyderived

medicines have improved

Homo Sapiens’ ability to survive

diseases. But there is something to be

said about some of the major medical

advances discovered throughout the

ages. Vaccines, penicillin, stem cell

therapy, and immunotherapy all have

one common denominator: a naturally

occurring living entity. Cannabis

derived treatments, albeit still in their

infancy stages, are next.

As a pharmaceutical company,

ZenPharm focuses on delivering

cannabis-based treatments that

are rooted in the fundamental

medicinal standards of safety, quality

and efficacy. For that reason, the

Company’s Research and

Development department is driven by

patient requirements and accessibility.

Formulation, product design, and

perfecting the traditional delivery

systems, while introducing new ones

all depend on understanding cannabis’

biochemical properties and its

pharmacological effects in

disease treatment.

ZenPharm, a subsidiary of Zenabis

Global, is the result of the founding

partners’ collective expertise in

creating vertically-integrated supply

chains that consistently ensure a

high standard of quality from seedto-sale.

This was recognised from

the very beginning by Robert Spiteri,

co-founder and director of Brown’s

Pharma Limited. “Our vision for

ZenPharm is to become a leading

pharmaceutical company for medicinal

cannabis products in Europe. We are

formidably positioned to achieve this

goal by leveraging our competencies

to cultivate, develop, manufacture

and distribute pharmagrade Zenabis

products, thereby making them easily

accessible to patients across Europe,”

explains Robert. From its inception,

ZenPharm has been seeking to further

facilitate patient access to cannabisbased

treatments.

“From its

inception,

ZenPharm has

been seeking to

further facilitate

patient access to

cannabis-based

treatments”

Malta has established itself as a

pioneering European member state

in setting up medicinal cannabis

legislation that encourages commercial

trade and foreign investment. This

mandate has been successfully

executed by two key government

entities working in tandem. The Malta

Enterprise is an agency focused on

attracting foreign investment and

providing potential partners with any

necessary guidance and support. The

other entity is the Malta Medicines

Authority, which assists companies

in applying for the pharmaceutical

standard of Good Manufacturing

Practices (GMP) to cannabis-based

treatments. This can be a complex task

given cannabis is a novel medicinal

treatment with unprecedented

regulatory requirements.

“Malta has strategically put in place

the regulatory gold standard for the

European medical cannabis industry.

It is not a coincidence that reputable

Canadian licensed producers are

choosing to set up their European

operations in Malta. Zenabis is ecstatic to

be part of a venture with an exceptional

team of Maltese pharmaceutical experts

committed to both the medical market

for cannabis and strict compliance with

European regulations.”

– Andrew Grieve, Zenabis Global CEO

Medicinal cannabis has been used in

the treatment of patients suffering

from a number of indications, including

intractable childhood epilepsy, muscle

spasms in patients with multiple

sclerosis and palliative care for

cancer. Many healthcare professionals

remain cautiously apprehensive of

recommending medicinal cannabis

given the lack of empirical evidence

available. ZenPharm believes that

education is a key catalyst in bridging

this gap, which can be facilitated

through the creation of synergistic

partnerships with healthcare

institutions, universities and nongovernmental

organisations. These

partnerships will in turn facilitate

providing patients across Europe with

another option for pursuing a better

quality of life. This is what ZenPharm

seeks to ultimately achieve: to go

beyond convention whilst keeping

patient care at the heart of everything

we do.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

Bringing

Cannabis

in

from

the

Cold

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

LAURA TABONE, EVENTS DIRECTOR FOR MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD WRITES ABOUT THE FAST-

EVOLVING MEDICAL CANNABIS MARKET, THE OPPORTUNITIES DERIVED FROM NEW LEGISLATION AND

THE PROMISING APPLICATIONS OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, SUCH AS BLOCKCHAIN.

BY LAURA TABONE

The numbers forecast for the future

value of the European medical

cannabis industry vary, but one

thing is for sure, they are huge. One

report by Prohibition Partners sees

the market reaching €58bn by 2028.

Other estimates are more conservative

but the overall impression amongst

analysts is that the next decade will see

enormous growth.

One of the key drivers behind

legislative changes has been activism

by individuals who have used medical

cannabis purchased on the black

market to relieve various health

problems. This transition from the

black market to the mainstream is

something that has been fought for

and supported by people from many

different quarters including private

individuals, medical researchers,

doctors and lawyers. But there is

a bitter sweet sentiment in having

achieved this goal.

Firstly, there are concerns about how a

natural treatment is to be regulated and

priced without making it inaccessible

to those who need it and without taking

away its authenticity as a plant-derived

product. Secondly, legalisation has

attracted a lot of small businesses to

the industry. There are worries that

complex regulatory frameworks and

licensing fees will make it difficult for

them to sustain a market presence

against large corporations.

All parts of the supply chain, from

investment and cultivation to patient

education and product marketing, raise

issues which need careful thought

and discussion. With demand often

outstripping supply in Europe, there’s

a lot that needs to be done to maintain

momentum and capitalise on this exciting

market. Whilst certain legislation needs

to be implemented at the EU level, the

varied sociological characteristics of

each country must not be ignored when

it comes to other decisions.

“With demand often

outstripping supply

in Europe, there’s

a lot that needs to

be done to maintain

momentum and

capitalise on this

exciting market”

The level of confusion around

medical cannabis is also not to be

underestimated. Public awareness is a

significant factor in its future success.

Patients or future patients with limited

knowledge of medical cannabis need

to understand the basics: Which strain

is most suitable for which conditions?

Are there any side effects to medical

cannabis? Where’s the evidence for its

benefits? Is it available on the public

healthcare system?

It’s also important to consider the

effect that the industry will have on

ancillary products and services since

medical cannabis will have a broad

impact on the European economy,

touching on many different business

sectors. Future revenue and job

creation projections need to take this

into account.

The medical cannabis industry

isn’t just about the legalisation

of a new product, it’s about

shifting perceptions, creating

an environment that caters to

small and large businesses and

integrating medical cannabis

into other business areas. Since

medical cannabis is a young

industry in Europe, there’s not

only an opportunity to look at

more established markets for

guidance, but also to explore and

incorporate new technologies

and ideas. The next couple of

years are crucial in developing

a solid foundation for the future

development of the industry.

Since the ‘Production of Cannabis for

Medicinal Use Act’ came into being in

2018, Malta is one European country

that has positioned itself as an up and

coming player in the Medical Cannabis

World. A thriving business sector is just

around the corner.

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CATAGORY Q&A

New Frontiers

AFTER OPENING THE FIRST DISPENSARIES IN DENVER AND UP AND

DOWN THE WEST COAST, THE LAW FIRM SPREAD ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

TODAY THE BUSINESS HAS AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUS, OPERATING IN

AT LEAST 10 COUNTRIES. KATY MICALLEF SAT DOWN WITH FOUNDER

AND PRESIDENT OF HOBAN LAW GROUP, BOB HOBAN, TO DISCUSS THEIR

TRANSITION FROM ORDINARY LAWYERS TO INDUSTRY EXPERTS.

Like most of the stories in this magazine, Bob Hoban’s

journey into the cannabis industry is a deeply

personal one. For Bob it was watching his mother’s

deal with painful cancer treatment back in 2005 that

led him to seek answers for her pain management

that lay outside of the traditional sphere.

TO BE CONSIDERED INDUSTRY EXPERTS, THAT’S

QUITE A RESPONSIBILITY...

I’m very confident that if you’re a government, an

investor, or someone trying to develop a business plan

to operate in this space that there’s no better people

to talk to, to understand objectively the current status

of the cannabis industry marketplace and to look at

different entry points and opportunities. Over the

years our clients have made a lot of mistakes. We’ve

made a lot of mistakes with them. We’ve helped them

get through a number of challenges, so we speak from

experience and are ready to take on that responsibility.

Sometimes our job is to save people from themselves

- they think they understand the industry, they think

they understand a good investment, they think they

understand what a good market-based business plan

is; more often than not they don’t. We help build world

class cannabis businesses.

It’s the nature of being a professional, you have an

obligation both legally and ethically to do things for

your clients that are appropriate and if that leads to

things that are a bit broader than traditional legal

services and you find out that you’re good at it, you

just do it. It’s that approach to this whole thing that

has made a difference, that’s what’s created us and

put us here to stay. We’re not out to make a quick

buck, we’re not out to take advantage of our clients –

we’re out to build an ecosystem and nearly 10 years

later I’m proud to say we’ve built the world’s largest

cannabis industry network.

HLG IS THE FIRST US-BASED LAW FIRM TO EXPAND

ITS CANNABIS INDUSTRY SERVICES ACROSS THE

GLOBE, WITH ATTORNEYS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION,

LATIN AMERICA, AND BEYOND. WHAT’S NEXT FOR

2019 – ARE YOU LOOKING TO EXPAND INTO ANY

NEW MARKETS?

This year has been about making sure we have the

right calibre and quality of professionals to service

our clients in more diverse regional areas and to be

able to offer more expertise and top-notch service

across the board.

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CATAGORY Q&A

“This year has been

about making sure

we have the right

calibre and quality

of professionals to

service our clients

in more diverse

regional areas and

to be able to offer

more expertise and

top-notch service

across the board”

CANNABIZ .1

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...


Q&A

“Sometimes our job is

to save people from

themselves - they think

they understand the

industry, they think

they understand a good

investment, they think they

understand what a good

market-based business

plan is, more often than

not they don’t”

Our focus as a law firm has been to

expand and backfill our operations in

the US, especially around the financial

elements of the marijuana market and

the burgeoning industrial hemp side

of the industry. Next year our focus

will be to further build our footprint

internationally and to focus more on

marijuana licensing work. The backbone

of our work is large scale business

consolidation, national/international

M&A, and helping build sustainable

canna-businesses. They cannot do it

themselves because they lack context.

IN YOUR OPINION IS THE LACK

OF CONSISTENT REGULATION

HAMPERING THE DEVELOPMENT OF

RESEARCH INTO MEDICAL CANNABIS?

Every country, every political jurisdiction,

whether it’s a city state or province -

when they decide to legalise commercial

cannabis, they almost always do it for

different purposes. Sometimes it’s

economic driven, where they want to

create economy and jobs, many times

it has to do with patient stories – the

medicinal element of the industry,

oftentimes its social justice driven.

WHY HAVE SOME JURISDICTIONS

CAUGHT ON QUICKER TO THE BENEFITS

OF CREATING A STRONG LEGISLATIVE

FOUNDATION FOR CANNABIS?

Does inconsistent regulation create

an opportunity for businesses or is

CANNABIZ .1

40


Q&A

it a detriment? Lawyers believe that

ambiguity and inconsistency create

economic opportunity. I largely think

it’s an opportunity for those that know

how to operate in this marketplace. If

you have good guides you can navigate

those regulations and use them to your

advantage. This industry grows every day

and has so many participants around the

world – it’s only a small fraction, less than

50% that can actually succeed because

they understand how to navigate the

different regulatory structures.

It does impact research unfortunately,

if you look at cannabinoid research

with different treatments in different

jurisdictions, it has limited it.

It sets us back as a global society when

we can’t get things done in a uniform

way. It perhaps brings the best out of

people who really want to study these

components and are equipped to do

it the best because they are driven

from within not just from financial

motivation. So that’s a pretty good

environment for innovation, for those

that understand the global market

place, for those that want to move

within this patchwork of regulation.

THE US MEDICAL CANNABIS

MARKET IS GROWING FAST. WHAT

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES IS THE

MARKET HEADING TOWARDS OVER

THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS?

As we have increased access across

the board, we have increased tech

showing different delivery systems,

increased information out there

available to mainstream America about

what cannabis products can do.

I think the biggest driver for medical

cannabis in the US is that it can

go out and get formulas based on

cannabinoids that will treat their

condition holistically and nonpharmaceutically,

without having

a psychoactive impact – that’s the

biggest innovation and the biggest

component of the US-based medical

marijuana market.

If not for the stories that these brave

parents come out and tell about their

children we wouldn’t have had the

progress we’ve had in the US.

In less than 10 years we’ve taken

state governments that would never

in a million years pass regulation,

but when they see the children and

they see the veterans that have come

back from wars with PTSD, and they

see how this helps them, that really

changes the story, you can’t deny

that. It’s been that narrative that

pushes it over the edge.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON

HOW EMERGING TECH, SUCH AS AI

AND BLOCKCHAIN CAN CROSS OVER

WITH THE MEDICAL CANNABIS

MARKET?

We’re already seeing blockchain

implemented in a variety of different

ways, from commodity platforms and

trading platforms to as you pointed

out seed-to-sale or track-and-trace

inventory systems that are government

required – and it is advancing it

tremendously. That helps give the

public confidence and helps protect

the policy makers. Unfortunately,

sometimes blockchain is confused

with digital currencies and digital

currencies around cannabis have done

nothing more than give the industry a

bad name – a lot of people have been

taken for a ride by bad actors.

As it relates to AI, I represent a

company called The Drone Farmers, I

get to see where AI is used on a daily

“When you

bring tech to the

industry, you also

bring mainstream

business to an

industry that

is otherwise

controversial – and

if you can do that

you’re starting

to bridge that

gap between the

mainstream and an

emerging industry”

basis to help improve what industrial

hemp farming can do. We see the same

thing within marijuana cultivation

where you can use AI systems to do

things better, to identify problems with

plant material, to identify problems with

processes and to just standardise the

way products are being produced.

When you bring tech to the industry,

you also bring mainstream business

to an industry that is otherwise

controversial – and if you can do

that you’re starting to bridge that

gap between the mainstream and an

emerging industry.

CANNABIZ .1

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SPACE TO GROW

Join over 2,000 delegates at the inaugural

Medical Cannabiz World to discuss legislation,

education, investment, and technology in this

exciting business sector. Showcase your

products at the expo and network with top

global industry professionals. Malta may be

small in size, but it’s big on potential.

Next stop Asia!

We’re launching Medical Cannabiz World Asia

in 2020. Join us in Bangkok on 22-23rd June

and explore the huge potential this

up-and-coming marketplace has to offer.

MALTA

4-5 NOV 19

BANGKOK

22-23 JUN 20

www.cannabizsummit.world


FEATURE

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

Saving Sophie

KATY MICALLEF SITS DOWN WITH TRACY RYAN - A WOMAN ON THE JOURNEY OF

A LIFETIME. NAVIGATING LIFE’S OBSTACLES WITH GRACE AND DETERMINATION

SHE HAS CHARTERED A FRESH PATH OF OPPORTUNITY, NOT JUST AS CEO OF

SUCCESSFUL COMPANY CANNAKIDS BUT AS AN ADVOCATE FOR THE MEDICAL

CANNABIS INDUSTRY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, FOR THE PEOPLE IT HELPS. TRACY

WILL SPEAK AT THE NOVEMBER MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD.

Tracy is not the kind of woman who gives up easily. She is

a self-professed optimist whose nature has always been

to ‘look for the silver linings’, but when her daughter

Sophie was diagnosed with a low-grade Optic Pathway

Glioma brain tumor in 2013, the news hit her and her

husband hard.

A chain of events on social media helped her find her

way, leading her to television personalities Ricki Lake

and Abby Epstein who had just begun filming their Netflix

documentary, now titled Weed the People. There had

been promising cannabis research going on for years,

but for some reason no one was talking about it.

Tracy explains that while Sophie’s type of tumor has a

90% survival rate it unfortunately has an 85% recurrence

rate, which is why you have children with this diagnosis

still in chemo many years later. And because it follows

the optic tract it also causes a lot of children to go blind.

They were able to successfully maintain Sophie’s vision

up until this year.

With a future of continual chemotherapy rounds and

declining health being the likely outcome for Sophie, they

CANNABIZ .1

45

threw themselves into looking for clinical studies. They

were shocked when they couldn’t find anything.

“Clinical trials are not typically done for these types of

tumors because they’re not considered deadly. It was

because of that, and because there was a lack of research

into medical cannabis, despite the clear results it was

showing as a treatment option, that we decided to shut down

the media agency that we had at the time. We realised that

maybe there’s more to this than just helping our own child.”

Despite support from Sophie’s team of oncologists there

was still a fear around using cannabis. The stigma runs

so deep that even though they were following the law to

the letter they still worried that someone might try and

stop them.

“We were afraid that even though we were doing things

right and doing things by California law that we would

get a knock on the door and have someone try and take

our kids away. Many people had that fear. We needed a

safe place to talk to each other. It was challenging, back

then we couldn’t look things up online, we hadn’t been to

medical school – we all just had to figure it out.”

...


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EMD - Vaults 13-15, Valletta Waterfront, FRN 1914, Malta

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www.emd.com.mt


FEATURE

At just nine months old Sophie took her first dose of Cannabis

Oil in what was to become an important and memorable

scene in the documentary. Alongside the chemotherapy, the

medical cannabis treatment has helped to shrink Sophie’s

tumors up to 85% to 90%, protocol after protocol – a rate that

is generally unheard of.

“Working on this and being able to help other parents is

something that fills my heart and brings me joy in what is

otherwise a very joyless situation. Maybe there’s a reason

that this is all happening to us, perhaps there’s a bigger

purpose for it. We all have a purpose, we just have to figure

out what it is and maybe mine is to help others,” she says.

The result was that she set up CannaKids, a Californiabased

brand that supplies medical cannabis oil tinctures

and cannabis products to patients of all ages, with a focus

on pediatrics. The company is unique in that their customer

support doesn’t just stop with a sale, the company has a team

of medical professionals that patients can book calls with to

help them understand what medicines they should be taking

and how. For Tracy this is more than a business – it’s personal.

As well as sitting on the board of Cure Pharmaceuticals,

Tracy is currently engaged in a research project which looks

at the effect of medical cannabis on Natural Killer Cells in 16

cancer patients in varying stages of disease. Along with the

renowned scientist who discovered the field over 30 years

ago they have already submitted over 100 pages for patent.

“Sophie’s tumor is growing in humanized mice and we have

now discovered why she has this tumor. We have multiple

scientists who are some of the top animal model surgeons in

the world working on her cure as we speak. We also hope to

bring non-toxic cancer treatments all the way through clinical

trials with the goal of FDA approval so we can get patients the

medicines they need that will be covered by insurance.”

“Working on this and being

able to help other parents

is something that fills my

heart and brings me joy in

what is otherwise a very

joyless situation”

As she writes on the CannaKids website: It’s not enough that

we believe this is working, we need to know that is it working

and the only route to that answer is research.

“We have such a focus on the science, and truly strive to provide

protocols based on our patient data we have tracked for years,

and published research science from renowned researchers

around the world. The research has to happen.”

CANNABIZ .1

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CATAGORY

GALLERY

CANNABIZ .1

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GALLERY

MEDICAL CANNABIS

MEETS BLOCKCHAIN INVESTORS

IN TEL AVIV

CANNABIZ .1

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GALLERY

CANNABIZ .1

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GALLERY

CANNABIZ .1

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GALLERY

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

Flux

&

Flow

GREEN GOBLIN VENTURES

IS A MALTA-BASED LEGAL

AND CORPORATE SERVICE

COMPANY SPECIALISING IN THE

EUROPEAN MEDICAL CANNABIS

INDUSTRY. CO FOUNDERS

CHRIS EMMS AND GIANLUCA

CARUANA CURRAN EXPLORE

MALTA’S ROLE IN FACILITATING

INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION

WITHIN THE MEDICAL

CANNABIS MARKET.

Gianluca Caruana Curran - Co-founder

Malta has wasted no time in positioning itself as

a pioneer in the regulation of medical cannabis

in Europe. There are very few countries in

the world with such a hunger for developing

innovative industries as strong as Malta’s. As

such, Malta’s innovative drive has made the

island an appealing destination for investment

to be able to enter the European market. Malta

is turning heads not only in Europe but also

further afield, for its willingness to embrace the

medical cannabis industry and create a highly

regulated market with levels of compliance in

line with the highest standards of the global

pharmaceutical industry.

The Maltese Government alongside Malta

Enterprise, the agency responsible for promoting

and facilitating international investment in Malta,

have warmly welcomed this opportunity to not

only produce cannabis-based products locally

but to also allow for the exportation of cannabisbased

products, which makes for a thriving

medical cannabis ecosystem.

Malta has enacted the most progressive

legislation on medical cannabis in Europe which

has resulted in over sixty international medical

cannabis companies applying for a licence in

Malta in under one year.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

At Green Goblin, we have played an

instrumental role in assisting several

international companies to be awarded a

medical cannabis license. One of the most

notable companies being MPX

International Corporation.

Medical cannabis legislation in Europe

is still in its early stages; as a result, the

current landscape is in flux and changing

rapidly. The fact that different laws apply to

different territories results in uncertainty

for many cannabis companies. However,

we pride ourselves in being able to

circumvent and tackle these issues thanks

to our nimble approach to navigating the

legislation and regulation.

Green Goblin offers a turnkey solution for

companies who are planning to apply for

a licence in Malta. We are a Malta-based

legal and corporate service company

specialising in the European medical

cannabis industry. We offer a wide array of

professional corporate, legal, and regulatory

services to companies looking to expand

their operations in the EU market and the

surfacing medical cannabis industry.

With speed-to-market being at the heart

of our clients’ needs we are proud of our

ability to find and secure suitable industrial

premises for conversion into medical

cannabis facilities. This coupled with a

team of qualified persons able to offer full

project management and European GMP

compliance is very advantageous to a

prospective client.

Another pain point in the medical cannabis

industry is accessing financial services.

Green Goblin helps companies and ancillary

businesses obtain the banking and financial

services they need to be successful. This

has allowed the firm to uniquely position

itself as the most holistic service provider

for the medical cannabis industry.

“The fact

that different

laws apply

to different

territories

results in

uncertainty

for many

cannabis

companies”

Chris Emms - Co-founder

Having been the first to launch a company

specifically focused on the industry in Malta

and the EU has allowed for the growth of a

network of high profile industry players which in

turn has fostered the creation of mutual utility

and cooperation between medical cannabis

companies with different specialisations and

local businesses interested in investment or

partnership in taking definitive steps to the

Maltese gateway into the European medical

cannabis market.

CANNABIZ .1

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Q&A

In Sync with

Success

BH SYNERGY GROUP IS A COMPANY FOUNDED ON A RICH, HIGH

TECH, SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN

THE VACCINE WORLD. CURRENTLY BASED IN ISRAEL WITH ACCESS

TO OVER 25 YEARS OF LEGAL PATIENT USE, INCLUDED CLINICAL

TRIALS, THEY HAVE BEEN ACTIVE SINCE 2013. THE BH SYNERGY TEAM

HAS BEEN WORKING TOGETHER FOR OVER 20 YEARS, GIVING THEM

THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE FIRSTHAND THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL

BENEFITS FROM THE USE OF CANNABIS. CANNABIZ MAGAZINE SAT

DOWN WITH CO-FOUNDER AND CEO ADAM SHUSTER FOR A DEEPER

LOOK AT THIS EMERGING, GLOBAL INDUSTRY.

CANNABIZ .1

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Q&A

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES DEFINING THE

GLOBAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY AT THE MOMENT?

There are a number of issues, such as regulatory

challenges, which are very different in every country

and jurisdiction, a change in patient awareness,

and the shifting standards when it comes to medical

practitioner’s perception of cannabis.

We are beginning to see good things when it comes

to standardisation, especially the standardisation of

growing, extraction, packaging, distribution processes

and consumption. Protocols such as EU GAP/GMP/GDP/

GLP/GSP are a great start.

I believe the standards that have been set in place in

Israel after more than 25 years of patient use and

experience with IMC (Israel Medical Cannabis) by the

Ministry of Health of Israel, are both leading and setting

the standards for other countries.

IN TERMS OF REGULATION, COUNTRIES LIKE CANADA

AND ISRAEL ARE CURRENTLY LEADING THE PACK,

WHICH MARKETS ARE EXPECTED TO JOIN THEM IN

THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

Being based in Israel I can attest that over a dozen

different delegations from different countries around

the world, some of whom we have met, have shown

tremendous interest in learning of Israel’s experience

and protocols.

We are aware of course of the current status in Canada,

the US, and Israel as leaders in this industry, we believe

that countries that develop proper regulatory practices

for responsible medical cannabis use, will be ripe to take

the lead and follow their burgeoning success.

We’re also closely following what is currently happening

in Africa, we are particularly impressed by Lesotho

and South Africa. In Asia we see fantastic traction

with Australia, Thailand, and even good things in South

Korea. In Central America we are aware of developing

regulatory processes in Mexico and Columbia.

Of course tremendous strides are also taking place

in Europe, specifically in Germany, Luxembourg,

England, and Switzerland. BH Synergy Group has been

approached by business leaders in these countries for

assistance in the regulatory sphere, vertical operation

build out and joint ventures with B2B and B2G.

WHEN IT COMES TO INNOVATION AND MARKET

DISRUPTION, WHERE DO YOU THINK THINGS ARE

HEADED FOR THE MEDICAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY?

The most influential market disruptions will, at this stage

be a regulatory process. Meaning that as barriers to

entry come down, international cross-marketing will

take place in order to include quality GMP and most

importantly EBM (evidence-based medicine), which is

something we are currently working on sourcing here at

BH Synergy Group.

BH Synergy is currently aware of over 150 pre-clinical/

clinical trials taking place in Israel. We also have CRO

agreements in place and JVs with some of the trials. We also

believe that EBM will improve quality patient well being - the

opportunity to the pharmaceutical world is tremendous.

SPEAKING OF REGULATION, HAS THE LACK OF A

GLOBAL CONSENSUS/SYNERGY ON LEGISLATION

IMPACTED THIS SPHERE?

We know that there are a lot of challenges as mentioned

above. We are happy to see standardisation and

regulatory processes starting to align. However,

we at BH Synergy believe that every country has its

own unique culture and challenges which need to

be addressed and attuned to. We can see that the

sharing of information of responsible medical cannabis

consumption is helping bring down the barriers.

CANNABIZ .1

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...


Q&A

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW EMERGING

TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS BLOCKCHAIN AND AI

CAN INTERACT WITH AND SUPPORT THIS

DEVELOPING INDUSTRY?

We see the positive evolution and tremendous growth of

blockchain technology, which provides us with a system

that records transactions using cryptography to include

timestamps and transaction data. All of this gives the

regulatory authorities and private businesses more security

and confidentiality.

At BH Synergy we are aware of cutting-edge technologies

exploiting AI. For example, the patient use and consumption

of medical cannabis as well as DNA data mining will teach us

to give better personal patient-based medicine. Sharing this

information with qualified, controlled medical organisations

will hopefully lead to accurate patient care.

BH SYNERGY HAS QUITE A FEW STRINGS TO THEIR BOW;

TELL ME ABOUT THE SERVICES YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENTS.

Our experience in the design and construction of turn-key

cultivation facilities across North America gives us access to

advanced technologies, including but not limited to agro, bio

and medical devices for the industry.

Amongst other things we offer dynamic cultivation systems,

where the primary focus is prefab shipping containerbased

cultivation facilities and hybrid indoor/greenhouse

cultivation facilities.

The management team has extensive experience in the

pharmaceutical and cannabis industries in Israel, the

United States, Canada, and Europe. The DCS team has

completed over a dozen cannabis cultivation facilities

across North-America.

“We can see that the sharing of information of

responsible medical cannabis consumption is

helping bring down the barriers”

CANNABIZ .1

58


Q&A

We also focus on design & buildout, equipment

sourcing and fulfilment, branding and

marketing and operational management,

where we help you develop and cultivate best

practices that optimise space, maximise yield

and deliver a consistent quality end product.

Our goal is to reduce capital and operational

expenditures by providing low-cost access

to equipment and supplies. We also develop

effective strategies for branding and

marketing plans, from crafting engaging

content to designing amazing campaigns.

HAVE YOU ANY PLANS TO ADD TO THIS LIST?

BH Synergy is establishing a first-class

Israeli-based seed-to-sale cultivation,

processing, export and R&D facility complying

with IMC-GAP, IMC-GMP, IMC-GDP highest

standards, and utilising Israel’s existing

ecosystems to become a recognised name

brand in the industry.

WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING YOU

SPEAK AT THE MEDICAL CANNABIZ WORLD

IN NOVEMBER, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS

ON WHAT MALTA IS DOING IN THIS SPACE

AT THE MOMENT?

We are excited to come to this event in

November. We know that Eman Pulis and

his team know how to put together fantastic

networking events on an international scale.

When he came with his team to Israel

in April, he brought a team of strong,

diversified people, including some of Malta’s

top-level government officials. We at BH

Synergy Group, on the one hand were very

impressed by the professionalism and

thoroughness, while on the other enjoyed the

personal, family feeling. Malta’s government

authorities have put medical cannabis at the

forefront of industry development. We know

Malta is a great place to do business and an

ideal gateway into Europe. We at BH Synergy

are excited and privileged to be part of this

great opportunity.

CANNABIZ .1

59


FEATURE

GROWING

PAINS

KATY MICALLEF SAT DOWN WITH

HANNAH DEACON, A MOTHER WHO

SPEARHEADED THE CAMPAIGN TO

CHANGE UK LAW AND BRING IN

MEDICAL CANNABIS LICENCES.

AFTER SUCCESSFULLY ENSURING

HER SON ALFIE COULD BE

TREATED FOR HIS EPILEPSY

SHE HAS CONTINUED HER

CAMPAIGNING EFFORTS AND

IS A PATIENT ADVOCATE FOR

MEDICAL CANNABIS CLINICS.

Born healthy, no one could have anticipated how seriously

ill Alfie Dingley would become just 4 months later. By the

age of 4 Alfie and his parents found themselves coping

with severe seizures every 3 weeks. Eventually they

were in and out of hospital every week and the only thing

which worked to stem his seizures were high dosages of

intravenous steroids.

CANNABIZ .1

61

Hannah Deacon tried to get Alfie onto a trial for Epidiolex,

an FDA approved prescription cannabidiol treatment used

to treat seizures in young children, but Alfie didn’t fit the

criteria, so she had a conversation with his paediatrician

and suggested taking him abroad for treatment. His doctor

threatened to refer her to social services. In the end the

relationship broke down and she changed doctors.

...


FEATURE

“I think this is

the big problem;

they’re trying to

put cannabis in a

pharmaceutical box”

“The doctor kept saying to me if the seizures don’t kill him then

the steroids will – steroids can eventually cause organ failure

and psychosis, they’re not good things to give to anyone, let

alone a child and he was having up to 25 doses a month. At

that point I felt there was nothing to lose because the doctors

were as much in the dark as I was.”

“A lot of doctors in the UK are extremely ignorant of it and

when you’re ignorant of something you’re frightened, which

is why he was very threatening to me. Luckily the doctor we

moved to was very supportive and he had Alfie in hospital for

a month to try and stop his seizures. His main concern was

that we were using far too many steroids and that that is

what would kill him, not the condition.”

“He said that if I found a paediatric neurologist from a

children’s hospital in The Netherlands he’d be happy to work

with them. He [Alfie’s doctor] said I didn’t have a choice,

because if I don’t - Alfie will die.”

In 2017 they went off to Holland for 5 months and what

happened was, as Hannah says, ‘nothing short of a miracle

really.’ After being put on an extract of CBD for 5 weeks, he

went for 17 days without a seizure. They carried on and after

3 months added in a small dosage of THC. He went for 41 days

without a seizure – and explains Hannah, when he did have a

seizure it really improved the presentation.

That’s when they decided to come home and fight their cause

in the UK.

“I’m not a campaigner. I haven’t got any sort of background

like that at all. I knew what I wanted to do; I knew we needed

to get a licence for Alfie to be prescribed CBD and THC on the

NHS - that was the goal. I was put in touch with a campaign

group called End Our Pain. They have good links with

Westminster and the media.”

Within a week Hannah was on BBC Breakfast and what was

to be the first of many interviews. She was terrified, but she

needn’t have been. The reception from the public and the

media was incredibly warm and supportive.

They went on to meet Prime Minister May in March 2018 and

handed in their petition. The result of that meeting went on

to transform the British medical landscape. They received

permission to apply for a personal medical cannabis licence

for Alfie, a first for the UK. They then worked closely with the

Home Office for 3 months to create a licensing program for

the individual, an admittedly difficult process.

CANNABIZ .1

62


FEATURE

It was hard work but at the end of it

Alfie was issued the first permanent

medical cannabis licence in June 2018.

They proceeded to set up a panel

where doctors could apply for licences

to prescribe in the interim. Then on the

1st November the law changed.

“In my opinion they didn’t manage basic

expectations at all, I think they just

said we’re going to change the law and

every patient in the country thought:

great I’m just going to go to my doctor

and get cannabis-based medicine.

That’s not the reality, there’s not been

one new NHS prescription issued since

the law changed.”

WHY HAVE DOCTORS BEEN SO

RELUCTANT TO PRESCRIBE

MEDICAL CANNABIS?

“Doctors have been trained for years in

prescribing pharmaceutical drugs that

have been approved by randomised

controlled clinical trials. An evidencebased

system may be true for some

drugs in adults but when we’re talking

about little children with epilepsy, most

drugs they give them are not evidence

based, or are based on data from adult

patients. I think this is the big problem;

they’re trying to put cannabis in a

pharmaceutical box.

“Yes there needs to be more research,

yes there needs to be more evidencebased

testing, but cannabis is nearly

500 compounds and works on the

endocannabinoid system, you can’t

effectively randomised control trial

500 compounds. Every individual

is different, every endocannabinoid

system is different.

“There are a lot of doctors showing

great interest in prescribing cannabis

but I think it will be slow as guidelines

are extremely restrictive”

“The problem is at the moment is that

you have a very conservative group of

clinicians in the UK. When they say they

don’t know the long-term impact for

cannabis they also don’t know the long

term impact for other drugs, such as

the bendiazapene they give to babies. I

think it’s because they’ve been trained

to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs and

cannabis doesn’t fit into that mould.

“It’s putting them completely out of

their comfort zone, there are a lot

of doctors showing great interest in

prescribing cannabis but I think it will

be slow as guidelines are extremely

restrictive. I think we need to take

away the complete responsibility on the

doctor because its frightening doctors,

they’re in fear of their career.”

Hannah also believes that there needs

to be a much broader approach,

with healthcare providers tapping

into resources and expertise from

abroad, especially with many doctors

in countries like Canada prescribing

regularly and seeing great results.

Alfie was costing the NHS nearly 200

thousand pounds a year when he was

in hospital every week; he costs the

NHS far less on a medical cannabis

treatment plan.

At least half of that money is the home

office licence and the importation fees -

the home office make every person who

wants to import medical cannabis do it

on a name-to-name basis. If those rules

changed, there could be bulk import. It

could save millions if not billions for the

NHS. If you look at it financially it’s a no

brainer.

“My feeling is now education is really

important. They changed the law and

did not roll out any education for

doctors. I think doctors are in a very

difficult situation at the moment where

they are being bombarded by patients.

The cannabis movement is a patient-led

movement and doctors don’t like that.

“This is why I think the opening of

private clinics like the medical cannabis

clinic is really good because it will bring

expertise and availability. I know some

people won’t be able to afford it but it’s

a start.

“I’d very much like to see

compassionate access schemes for

patients who cannot afford the costs.

Once the industry builds, prices will

come down considerably for private

prescriptions, which will make it far

more accessible.”

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

THE

MEDICAL

CANNABIS

REVOLUTION

ELAINE CAREY IS MANAGING

DIRECTOR, GLOBAL RISK

AND INVESTIGATIONS

PRACTICE AND CO-LEAD FOR

FTI CANNABIS PRACTICE.

SHE WRITES ABOUT HOW

THE MEDICAL CANNABIS

REVOLUTION IS DEFYING

GOVERNMENT OBSTACLES

AS IT MOVES IN ON THE

GLOBAL CANNABIS MARKET.

BY ELAINE CAREY

Aspirin, the most widely used

medication in the world, is facing

a new and unlikely rival: cannabis.

This historically stigmatised drug is

now being touted as the new wonder

treatment, despite being in the early

stages of medical research.

The growing exuberance over the

drug’s potential medical uses is

driven largely by patients. Most

governments remain out of step with

the sea change in public opinion,

particularly among those suffering

from arthritis, anxiety, PTSD,

glaucoma, chronic pain, and the like.

Millions of people today self-medicate

using some form of cannabis, with or

without their doctors’approval.

As of 2019, there are an estimated

263 million cannabis consumers

globally, according to New Frontier

Data, one of the leading independent

cannabis data analytics firms. 1.2

billion people have ailments for

which cannabis has shown to provide

some therapeutic value. The global

market now exceeds USD 344 billion,

according to New Frontier Data’s

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

Global Cannabis Report: 2019 Industry

Outlook. Cannabis is rapidly becoming a

major economic force with the potential

to stimulate growth in stagnant sectors

including manufacturing, retail, and

agriculture. It will also turbo-charge

the pharmaceutical sector.

Medical cannabis is legal in some form

in more than 50 countries and 34 U.S.

states plus the District of Columbia,

Guam, Puerto Rico and The US Virgin

Islands. At the beginning of 2018,

even those working in the U.S. medical

cannabis business believed that the

market would expand gradually until

the U.S. government formally legalises

it. But everyday Americans have

pressured their states to legalise or

decriminalise cannabis even in states

known for their hardline drug policies,

such as Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Canada fully legalised the drug in 2018,

thereby igniting a global race to cash

in on cannabis products and attracting

early American investments in what

is expected to become the largest

(medical and recreational) cannabis

consumption market in the world.

The headlines often emphasise the

recreational use of cannabis—getting

high. Already cannabis “bars” are

opening everywhere to satisfy demand

for the drug in a familiar setting, an

indicating of just how “mainstream” it

has become. In the case of Oklahoma,

one tiny, religious, conservative town

of 8,000 residents just opened its third

cannabis shop. This trend will no doubt

continue for decades to come.

However, in the near-to-long term, our

attention should also be directed at the

medical innovations that are expected

to emerge within the cannabis industry.

Already there are signs of cannabis’

potential to revolutionise the domain

of medicine. However, research into

cannabis to date has been prohibited in

most places—notably in the US—with

Israel taking center stage as the world

leader in cannabis research.

“Already there

are signs of

cannabis’s

potential to

revolutionise

the domain of

medicine”

The US Drug Enforcement

Administration (DEA) was ordered three

years ago to overhaul its regulations

against cannabis research, though a

major policy shift has yet to occur. At

the same time, the US Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) is flooded with

applications to produce cannabis

products for medicinal purposes.

Despite the rigorous government

approval process, many companies

are going to market with untested and

unapproved products that are flying

off the shelves. American researchers

are left trying to develop medicine

using a single, very old strain that has

been cultivated at the University of

Mississippi since the 1960s, rather than

adopting the many newly developed

strains already available to the general

public. The private sector is doing it on

its own—consequences be damned.

Medical cannabis is already a crossborder

industry. It is being exported,

for instance, from Canada and Latin

America into Europe. The corporate

behemoths in the pharmaceutical,

agricultural and beverage sectors

are beginning to overtake the market

with abandon. And once the US federal

prohibition is dropped, the industry will

be awash in enormous investments and

relentless innovation.

The clearest indicator of what will

happen when the Americans enter

the game full-force is exemplified by a

major deal signed last spring involving

Canopy Growth, Acreage Holdings

and Constellation Brands. Canopy

Growth, one of the leading Canadian

cannabis companies, announced it had

bought the right to acquire one of the

largest multi-state operators in the US,

Acreage Holdings, when the US federal

ban is finally lifted.

Constellation Brands, an international

producer and marketer of beer, wine

and spirits and the largest beer import

company in the US, bought a stake in

Canopy in order to position itself for

both US legalisation and the booming

international cannabis trade. This

move positioned all three companies

to benefit enormously from the global

cannabis mergers and acquisitions

market that has steadily been heating,

especially in Europe, Israel and Latin

America. The pace will only accelerate

in 2020.

It is a terrific time for non-US players to

fast-track research, build companies,

and achieve recognition as cannabis

global leaders before full US legalisation

occurs and the mega-companies vault

into action to dominate the burgeoning

global cannabis market.

CANNABIZ .1

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CATAGORY

OPINION

POT LUCK

AS MORE RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDICAL CANNABIS TREATMENTS

EMERGES, A HUGE RISE IN FAKE CBD PRODUCTS, OR LESS THAN KOSHER SYNTHETIC ONES

ARE FINDING THEIR WAY ONTO THE MARKETPLACE. AFTER DECADES OF STEREOTYPES

AND AN UNDESERVED REPUTATION AS A GATEWAY DRUG, CANNABIDIOL OR CBD AS IT IS

OTHERWISE KNOWN, IS CURRENTLY ENJOYING ITS DAY IN THE SUN.

BY KATY MICALLEF

The travelling snake oil salesman is

back in fashion and his caravan is

packed with a confusing concoction of

cure-alls, ranging from the intriguing

to the ridiculous – packaged as a

panacea for all ills. From massage oils,

yoga classes offering CBD-assisted

meditation and CBD-infused pillowcases

there is certainly something to be

said for getting your money’s worth of

entertainment.

The hilarity of this circus act masks

a sinister undercurrent. It’s no one’s

lucky day when they buy one of these

CBD products in the hopes of alleviating

a serious medical condition such as

cancer or diabetes only to discover

their purchase offers at best a pleasant

placebo and at worst a dangerous

concoction of ingredients.

Sellers are of course careful not

to claim medical benefits for their

products, marketing them instead

as supplements for wellbeing. This

is not to say that CBD and THC do

not have genuine medicinal value.

Research being carried out in countries

with a broader perspective on the

opportunities of medical cannabis, such

as The Netherlands, Canada, and Israel,

are propelling compelling evidencebacked

case studies into the fray.

A recent study from the Canadabased

University of Guelph, which was

published in the journal Phytochemistry

has uncovered how marijuana plants

produce pain-killing molecules that

are 30 times stronger than aspirin

– revealing how the molecules,

cannaflavin A and cannaflavin B

cut down on pain by fighting off

inflammation but without exhibiting

psychoactive properties.

The 2018 Alfie Deacon case is also

particularly notable. The campaign

behind it led the UK government to

change its position on allowing doctors

to prescribe medical cannabis to

licensed patients after the 5 year old

showed a remarkable turnaround

following treatment in the Netherlands

with CBD and THC extracts for an

extremely severe epileptic condition.

Despite this change in legislation, the

circumstances in which doctors in

the UK can prescribe cannabis are

extremely limited – patients must have

exhausted all other treatment options

but even then are not guaranteed a

licence. There is also a reluctance from

doctors themselves - conservative

mindsets prevail and stereotypes of

long-haired teenagers illicitly smoking

“The problem then is that while many

know and believe that cannabis has a

lot to offer the medical industry, they

remain unable to access it easily”

CANNABIZ .1

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CATAGORY

OPINION

weed in their bedrooms heighten a

fear of the unknown. A lack of training

and knowledge makes many wary of

issuing prescriptions. Years of negative

propaganda taints their perspective,

making them reluctant to pursue the

latest research data.

The problem then is that while many

know and believe that cannabis has

a lot to offer the medical industry,

they remain unable to access it easily.

A fawning media industry peddling

miraculous cures and Lazarus tales

has only added to the allure of the

wellness industry, making the promise

of a remedy to their ailment appear

tantalisingly close.

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis

predicts that the CBD market in the UK

could be worth a staggering £1 billion by

2025, a figure which is almost certainly

helped by an industry cashing in on

desperate people.

The CMC report also highlights the

worrying findings that more than half of

the popular CBD oils sold on the British

high street do not contain the level of

CBD promised on the label and that the

concentrations are so low as to render

them ineffective. Sugar pill products,

while certainly a thorn in the side of

a fledgling medical cannabis industry

striving to be taken seriously, are the

least of anyone’s worries.

Clinical Toxicology, a US-based journal

reported a disturbing case where one

family dosed their child with what they

thought was CBD oil but which turned

out to contain the synthetic cannabinoid

receptor agonist AB-Fubinaca – better

known as an ingredient in the synthetic

cannabis product “Spice”.

The psychoactive substance is banned

in numerous countries and can lead

to difficulty breathing, rapid heart

rate, severe panic attacks, numbness

in limbs, and nausea and if used for a

prolonged period – violent psychotic

episodes which can last for weeks.

Without proper regulation, situations

like this will almost certainly become a

regular occurrence. The truth is that

most countries are too bogged down

with specious moral arguments to

conduct proper research.

They thus find themselves unprepared

to deal with legislating the fastchanging

CBD and THC sectors. This

has resulted in millions of patients

stuck in a foggy limbo. Perhaps they

can have a cup of CBD-infused tea

whilst they wait.

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

CROSSING THE

FRONTIER

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FEATURE

FOLLOWING A JANUARY 2019 ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY

AUTHORITY (EFSA) NOW CLASSIFIES CANNABIDIOL (CBD) PRODUCTS AS UNAUTHORISED

NOVEL FOODS, THE EUROPEAN CBD INDUSTRY APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PUT ON NOTICE

THAT ITS GREY MARKET DAYS ARE NUMBERED. RICHARD SHARP, CO-FOUNDER OF

COBIDOL GROUP AND MOUNTAIN VALLEY MD WRITES ABOUT THE TRANSITION TO A

REGULATED MARKET PLACE FOR CBD. JUST HOW QUICKLY THIS REGULATION WILL OCCUR

AND IN WHICH FORM IT WILL TAKE REMAINS AN OPEN QUESTION.

The EFSA’s move to a regulated CBD market sits within

a powerful global cannabis regulation trend. The stakes

are high, as European players stand to be leaders in this

emerging global industry.

From Canada to Colorado to Africa and beyond, restrictions

on cultivation, processing and marketing of cannabis products

are easing their pace, driven by consumer demand, increasing

social acceptance and the promise of an economic opportunity

not seen in generations. A recent report by Prohibition

Partners projects Europe as the world’s largest cannabis

market by 2023 with sales reaching £123 billion by 2028.

Seen as a driver for economic renewal, hemp cultivation for

CBD production is booming in low cost producing regions such

as South America and Africa. In Europe, predictive market

intelligence firm Brightfield Group estimated that the CBD

segment of the cannabis market would grow 400% over the

next 4 years to £1.5 billion. Regulators and industry will still

face many important challenges during this transition. Let’s

look at some of the market conditions and key challenges.

HOW WE GOT HERE

Before January 2019, governmental agency EFSA allowed

CBD to be used in foods without the novel food classification

so long as the CBD concentration did not exceed the level in

the source material. On January 17th, a new entry for CBD

changed that stating, “products containing cannabinoids are

considered novel foods as a history of consumption (before

1997) has not been demonstrated.”

As a result, CBD went from being permitted for food in Europe

to being considered a fully unauthorised novel food. Individual

member states are now left to decide on the legality of CBD,

and some are blocking sales based on the classification.

While arguments have been made that CBD should not be

classified as a novel food, as it has been present in food

for over 2000 years, the EFSA sees the CBD ingredient as

an extraction of cannabis sativa that has not been used in

foodstuffs pre 1997.

THE MARKET

Given the use of CBD ingredients’ in multiple regulated market

segments, getting the regulatory balance right will be critical

for the emerging industry sectors and require dialogue and

co-operation from all players in the supply-chain.

After decades of prohibition, deep understanding of the

scientific, medical, social and economic complexities

surrounding cannabis are in short supply, increasing

the risk that key regulatory decisions are made based

on poorly informed opinions rather than on facts. Clear

policy objectives around product safety, ease of access,

and pricing are needed to ensure regulations work. The

risks of over-regulating and/or over-taxing can undermine

policy objectives, leading to reduced access and high prices,

perpetuating an entrenchment of the grey market.

“Prohibition Partners projects

Europe as the world’s largest

cannabis market by 2023

with sales reaching £123

billion by 2028”

...

CANNABIZ .1

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FEATURE

“Given the use of

CBD ingredients’ in

multiple regulated

market segments,

getting the

regulatory balance

right will be critical

for the emerging

industry sector”

CONSUMERS

In spite of the uncertainty surrounding

CBD products conforming to

compliance standards, consumers

across the EU are purchasing in

droves. Attracted by high margins

and surging consumer demand, many

brands have proliferated, but as the

market outpaces regulatory changes,

confusion abounds for consumers

unable to differentiate which brands

adhere to quality assurance and

labeling standards commonly

observed in food supplements and

pharmaceutical product categories.

One key challenge consumers face

is being able to trust the labels on

products. A 2017 study by the FDA

in the US and more recently by the

Centre for Medical Cannabis in the

UK found a majority of products are

inaccurately labeled for the amount

of CBD they contain. Beyond potential

misrepresentation, product mislabelling

becomes a safety issue as well.

Without accepted uses based on

clinical trials, manufacturers are

unable to make claims or share

information relating to dosing, or the

treatment of conditions. Consumer

education is a gap that will need to be

addressed eventually.

THE INDUSTRY

Since a majority of CBD manufacturers

appear to be engaged in inaccurate

labeling, this stands out as a major

issue for the industry. Due to the lack

of standardisation in cannabis testing

among labs, it is well known that the

same sample sent to 3 different labs

can yield 3 very different results.

Furthermore, the wholesale market for

CBD is still in its infancy, and without

regulations, confidently sourcing

certified ingredients is a challenge.

Since manufacturers are able to

retail CBD at 100 times or greater the

ingredient cost, these kinds of margins

can attract a wide variety of industry

players, some of whom do not have

a longer term focus on consumer

interests. For example, it is well known

in the industry that some ingredient

certificates of analysis are fraudulent

and cannot be relied upon.

REGULATORY

The challenges faced in Europe’s

CBD industry are similar to other

jurisdictions and solving them will

require open dialogue between

regulators, healthcare professionals,

industry and consumers, in order to

reach balanced outcomes.

It’s important for regulators to realise

that the emerging CBD market is not

a fad – it’s a trend with millions of

consumers across the EU, and it’s the

leading edge of the global cannabis

legalisation trend. Furthermore, CBD

is not THC, and for maximum social

and economic impact they need very

different regulatory pathways. The

industry calls for a balanced approach

based on contemporary scientific facts.

To bring confidence to consumers,

systems that support product

traceability for recalls, information

on product use and accurate labeling

are needed. For manufacturers, a

system to support verifiable ingredient

provenance, testing standards and

certification are essential.

THE FUTURE

The global CBD industry is set to surge

over the next few years. Driven by

consumer demand and high profit

margins, the supply-chain from

cultivation through processing, labs,

manufacturing and retail will continue

to grow and mature. Through open

dialogue among industry stakeholders,

a well conceived regulatory framework

can serve as a platform to set a world

standard, drive economic prosperity

and propel Europe’s industry into

global leadership.

Such a regulatory framework would

be well served to utilise a common

technology-based infrastructure,

leveraging blockchain’s inherent ability

to enable complex supply-chains,

bringing trust into the CBD market.

Blockchain’s custodianship features

assure provenance of batches of

ingredients as they move through the

supply chain, passing from one entity

to another, enabling traceability and

information veracity.

Through open dialogue and common

sense approaches, the future looks

bright for CBD in Europe.

CANNABIZ .1

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WHO’S WHO

CANNABIZ .1

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WHO’S WHO

DR. AARON BENSIMON - CEO & PRESIDENT

www.genomicvision.com

Dr. Aaron Bensimon discovered the DNA “molecular combing”

procedure. With unique expertise in this technology and how it is

applied to molecular diagnostics he has contributed significantly to

the development of the discipline and published numerous articles in

prestigious scientific journals (Science, Nature, Cell, etc.). He is the

author of over twenty patent filings concerning molecular combing.

ALEX SHAH - FOUNDER

Alex is the Founder of solo*, the culmination of Alex’s first-to-market

solutions and his wide-ranging expertise in IP, licensing, consumer loyalty,

couponing and payment technology, category management, data analytics

and AI. While applicable to all consumables, the cannabis industry allowed

solo* to better connect product manufactures and consumers.

www.solosciences.com

YONA LEVY - CEO

www.alvitpharma.com

Alvit is a vertically integrated cannabis company that researches

and develops pharma-grade cannabis products and is currently

constructing a state-of-the-art EU-GMP certified cannabis

cultivation, extraction and production facility in the EU in Malta.

Alvit anticipates beginning to ship its flowers, oils and products

into Europe in the beginning of 2020.

ARNAUD DUMAS DE RAULY - CO-FOUNDER & CO-CEO

Arnaud is currently the co-founder and co-CEO of The Blinc Group, a company founded to

innovate, manufacture and distribute safe, consistent vaping products. Arnaud leads and

evaluates operations of the company through international marketing, communication

and public relations. Arnaud also serves as the Chair of the ISO Standards Committee on

Vapor Products and the CEN Standards Committee on Vapor Products.

www.theblincgroup.com

DR ANDREW AGIUS - MEDICAL DIRECTOR

www.painclinic.com.mt

Dr Andrew Agius is the founder and medical director of The Pain

Clinic, a team of professionals for the holistic management of

chronic pain. He worked as a family doctor for more than 15 years

and trained in pain management for the last four years. He has

recently attained a European Diploma in Pain Medicine.

MIRKO KLEES - FOUNDER & CREATOR

Antheia is a device that helps the beginner grower to grow their

medicine. Customers can connect their devices (light, exhaust

fan, fan, water pump, mister etc.) to the Antheia Box. The Antheia

software (designed by a UX Designer for easy use) with all its

sensors helps control all conditions. Our goal is for everyone who

cannot afford to buy medicine to be able to grow their own.

www.antheiagrow.com

BASIA ZIENIEWICZ - CO-FOUNDER

www.families4access.com

Basia is a co-founder of Families4Access and is involved in a range of creative and cooperative

initiatives in Canada, USA and the UK. She is also a part of the founding team for

the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. As an advocate for access to cannabis for medicinal

use, (post exploring various cultures at different stages through reform) Basia has decided

to dedicate her attention to patient advocacy and public education – she has recently

become a founding director for both CannPASS and CANNTalks to tackle these initiatives.

CANNABIZ .1

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WHO’S WHO

MARK ATTARD - PARTNER & CEO

Forming part of BDO’s Global Network, BDO Malta is an end-to-end corporate

services and business advisory firm assisting companies in accelerating growth

through exceptional client service. We make the time and effort to understand our

clients’ businesses. Our partners and staff are specialists in their fields and have

a pro-active approach to helping companies overcoming the challenges they face

through solid technical expertise and deep market insights.

www.bdo.com.mt

ANTHONY WOLCH - PARTNER & CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER

www.beyondmg.com

As Beyond applies creative by the numbers to the cannabis industry,

it allows us to create, reinvent, and birth brands that people are

magnetically attracted to. Beyond Marketing developed a proprietary

Science Of Branding in the cannabis space - invaluable for any cannabis

innovation company. Additionally, it applies this specifically to medical,

indoor, greenhouse, tech, tissue culture, and distillate brands.

VIOLA BRUGNATELLI - CEO & SCIENCE DIRECTOR

Cannabiscienza is an education company which disseminates the latest

knowledge in the field to the wider public and teaches both via online and

offline solutions to graduating and post-lauream healthcare professionals.

They are currently expanding towards the introduction of the first multidisciplinary

medical-cannabis inspired clinic in Italy and to licensing their

e-learning courses in several other languages.

www.cannabiscienza.it

DAVID CARVAJAL - CEO

www.cannvest.co

Cannvest collects field data through the use of sensors and cameras which

are encrypted and stored in a permissioned blockchain. The analysis of this

data provides an estimate crop valuation which is used to offer financial

services through crowd funding to the producers. As the data is stored

on the blockchain, it creates a chain of trust and traceabiltiy between

regulators, growers, investors, clients and consumers.

CARLY BARTON - DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Carly is an advocate for patient access to Medical Cannabis as the Deputy

Director of the United Patients Alliance. Carly was the first person in the UK

to receive a prescription for herbal cannabis privately since the law change

in 2018. She is working tirelessly with government organisations in order to

convert this to an NHS prescription, with the hope of setting a precedent for

other patients to follow.

www.upalliance.org

CATHLEEN GRAHAM - CEO & FOUNDER

www.cannabisnurse.com

Cathleen is a Certified Hospice Palliative Care RN, Regional Service

Ops Manager for one of the nation’s largest hospice programs. She is

founder and CEO of Cannabis Nurse Holistic Education and Consulting

Company, specialising in cannabis information. Cathleen is also founder

and CEO of Michigan Cannabis Education Network - a community-based

cannabis education company that is state funded.

RICHARD SHARP - CO-FOUNDER

Cobichain is an advanced blockchain platform, delivering trust and

integrity to supply chains. Designed with industry-leading knowledge,

our blockchain platform is built to cater to the needs of regulators and

members of the CBD supply chain alike.The Cobichain platform enables

traceability throughout the entire supply chain, validated automatically

and without corruption by our blockchain.

www.cobidol.com/products/cobichain

CANNABIZ .1

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THE UK’S LARGEST HEMP & CBD EXPO

BIGGER

BETTER

EXPANDING WITH SUCCESS

We at the Hemp & CBD Expo are proud to

announce our second UK show, off of the

back of our sold out March edition.

With major take up and interest from

potential exhibitors that missed the

opportunity to exhibit at the first event, we

have expanded into a bigger Hall 17 for our

September show.

The professional environment coupled with

the opportunity for both education and

enjoyment at our March event has exceeded

many a visitors expectations and we are

looking forward to delivering an even bigger

and better show next time round in a bigger

Hall 17 of the NEC for September.

Our show will again look to balance a majority

B2B attendance with B2C attendance still an

important aspect of our planning after our

massively popular seminar stage was well

attended and appreciated from a public

looking to educate themselves.

SEPT ‘19

PROJ. NUMBERS

160 8000 7200 60

exhibitors visitors sqm hall speakers

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

WWW.HEMPANDCBDEXPO.COM


WHO’S WHO

RICHARD SKAIFE - CEO & CO-FOUNDER

Cobidol Group Inc. (Cobidol) is a technology and premium health product

company with decades of experience in tech and CBD. Headquartered in

Canada, Cobidol operates its European business from Malta. Cobidol is

mobile first and its Spectra app serves as a gateway to discovering high

quality, customised CBD products.

www.cobidol.com

TOM BLOOR - HEAD OF GAMING

www.cryptopay.me

Cryptopay is a global payment gateway that allows merchants to accept

bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Using Cryptopay, merchants can

settle in digital assets, or traditional fiat currency. With an additional suit

of reporting and risk management tools to offer, Cryptopay is the leading

gateway provider for cryptocurrency payments.

DANI GORDON - VICE CHAIR

Dr. Dani Gordon is a world-leading expert in medical cannabinoids, medical

cannabis, physician training, and education, CBD wellness. She creates

education for physicians, health professionals and members of the public

and works with cannabis companies across the value chain with an

extensive background in clinical medicine and clinical research.

www.ukmccs.org

DANIEL SAX - FOUNDER & CEO

www.sensiproperties.com

Daniel Sax is the founder & CEO of Sensi Properties, Canada’s first cannabis

real estate investment company. He is actively involved in the acquisition,

development, construction, and finance of facilities for cultivation,

manufacturing, and distribution. He has a background in many facets of

real estate finance and investment. He also has a background in angel and

venture investing and is a strategy advisor to several companies.

DYLAN KENNETT - SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Dylan is a Senior Associate in DLA Piper’s corporate team. His practice

focuses on venture capital, private equity and M&A (both domestic and

cross-border) - as well as advising companies on how to ‘go global’. He

acts for high-growth businesses, investors and other stakeholders. He

focuses on the cannabis, tech, media and sport. He is a co-lead of the

firm’s Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice.

www.dlapiper.com

PIERRE MIFSUD - PARTNER

www.emd.com.mt

EMD is a multi-disciplinary firm based in Valletta, Malta, servicing a

number of local and international clients in a number of niche areas

including the pharma and medical industries. EMD has assisted a

number of Medical Cannabis Producers and related service providers

with structuring their business or joint venture in Malta and applying

for the necessary regulatory authorisations.

GRAHAM DE BARRA - FOUNDER

Having been awarded a traineeship in the Council of Europe, Graham

de Barra co-founded Help Not Harm with Paul Birch. Previously

Graham served as secretary to the board of Students for Sensible

Drug Policy for two-and-a-half years and founded Students for

Sensible Drug Policy Ireland which is currently present in five Irish

colleges, providing drug policy and harm reduction education.

www.helpnotharm.org

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WHO’S WHO

DIMA CHERNOBILSKY - CEO

www.growdirector.com

GrowDirector is an Israeli company in which a team of experienced

agriculturists and a team of IT developers work together to make cultivation

easy and fun for everyone. We aim to provide unique technology with an

extremely easy-to-use interface, enabling every grower to handle it. We are

committed to developing high quality systems at an affordable price.

HANNAH DEACON - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Hannah Deacon is a campaigner and Executive Director for The Medical Cannabis

Clinicians Society. Hannah was responsible for ensuring her son Alfie was issued

the first medical cannabis license in the UK to enable him to receive Dutchprescribed

medical cannabis treatments. Following a Home Office review into

medical cannabis in 2018, the law was changed so full extract cannabis oil can be

prescribed on the NHS. Alfie now has the first legal NHS prescription in the UK.

www.ukmccs.org

IAN MCAFEE - CO-FOUNDER & CEO

www.shiftmarkets.com

At Shift, Ian enables clients to increase market penetration, build global

business development strategy, increase conversions at each stage of the

marketing-sales cycle, and integrate new products and services. He manages

and optimises large marketing budgets and advises on sales, marketing, and

operations. He also established Shift’s Start a Brokerage program, working

with many clients to plan, launch, and grow forex and CFD brokerages.

JACQUIE COHEN ROTH - FOUNDER & CEO

Jacquie Cohen Roth is founder/CEO of CannabizMD (CBMD) and Tea

Pad. CBMD delivers education-focused events, consulting services and

medical cannabis patient advocacy. Tea Pad is focused on breaking down

barriers to entry into the cannabis industry and on enpowering entry

into the industry - no matter race or gender - via education.

www.cannabizmd.com

JAMIE ROLLINS - FOUNDER

www.truehealthconsulting.com

Jamie Rollins RN, BSN, CYT is a practicing hospice and cannabis

nurse in Florida, USA. She has a small clinic in her home town

and offers private cannabis consultations and lectures. She was

recently a featured speaker at the CWCBExpo in NYC where she

spoke on “How to Become a Cannabis Nurse.”

JOE ROGOWAY - CEO & MANAGING ATTORNEY

Joe Rogoway is the CEO and Managing Attorney for Rogoway Law Group.

Widely recognised as a thought-leader in the cannabis industry, Joe has

dedicated his academic and professional career to cannabis law reform,

regulation, and the representation of businesses. As a political advocate,

Joe was the author and co-proponent of several state ballot initiatives

seeking to end cannabis prohibition in California.

www.rogowaylaw.com

JON LIEBLING - CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR

www.cannpass.org

Jon has dedicated the last 5 years as political director for a patientcentred

volunteer organisation providing support for medical

cannabis patients, whilst lobbying and campaigning for legal

access. Currently he is Research Lead for the Centre for Medicinal

Cannabis and co-founder and Director of Cannabis Patient

Advocacy and Support Services – CannPASS.

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WHO’S WHO

JONATHAN TICK - FOUNDER & CEO

Jonathan has more than 15 years of leadership experience building brands

through strategy, marketing, and public relations. As founder & CEO of DECK

Agency, his vision and expertise in business performance has driven notable

enterprise growth for the businesses he runs and advises. Jonathan has

played an active role in developing some of Canada’s most notable cannabis

brands and has commercialised over 12 brands in the sector thus far.

www.deckagency.com

KATIE PRINGLE - CO-FOUNDER

www.marigoldpr.com

Katie Pringle is the co-founder of Marigold Marketing & PR and

Canndora. Marigold has developed a reputation in Canada as a top

cannabis marketing firm. Canndora engages women and builds cannabis

brands through activations, community and events. Katie has extensive

experience developing brands, with a focus on women’s insights.

KRIS KRANE - FOUNDER

Kris Krane founded 4Front in 2011 and now serves as president. Prior to

forming 4Front, Kris served as director of client services for CannBe, a pioneer

in developing best practices within the medical cannabis industry. He has

also served as associate director of NORML from 2000 to 2005 and executive

director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy from 2006 to 2009. He currently

serves on the National Cannabis Industry Association board of directors.

www.4frontventures.com

STEPHEN DEBONO - FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

www.labo-pharm.com

With over 10 years of experience Labopharm has grown to cater for a diverse

range of industries. From conceptualisation, through design and installation, to

excellent after-sales service, we at Labopharm seek to offer a complete solution to all

laboratory needs. The main company objective is to facilitate the interplay between

organisations and the rapidly changing world of laboratory technology through our

core values of adaptability, competence, integrity, accountability, and above all, quality.

MANIT PATEL - CEO & CO-FOUNDER

Since 2014, Manit has been involved with the medical marijuana

industry, including his leadership role in medical cannabis research at

Akseera. Manit is a Pharmacist with an MBA in finance. Under his lead,

Akseera became the first and only company in the world to hold a licence

to research cannabis in India and Canada.

www.akseera.com

MARIJA OBRADOVIC - SENIOR REGULATORY ANALYST

www.cbd-intel.com

Marija has experience in different policy areas acquired in non-profit organisations

in Spain and the Balkans. She built a system for financial restructuring of

commercial non-performing loans (NPLs) for the European Bank for Reconstruction

and Development (EBRD), and implemented a program for the US State Department.

Focused on the international market, Maria’s work includes analysing legislative

efforts and monitoring law enforcement in respect to CBD products.

MARK GOLDHAR - PARTNER

As strategic advisor to Civilized Worldwide, Mark has secured millions in

capital investment. Mark was also CFO for Panag PharmaInc. As CFO for

Robinson’s Cannabis, he executed $3M in debt financing and helped secure

its acquisition by Auxly. Mark is a partner in Lit Capital, a strategic advisor to

Thalys (SHA: 603716), advises iCAN investment advisory board.

www.cambridgefinancial.ca

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WHO’S WHO

DAMON BOOTH - FOUNDER

www.melabis.io

Melabis has both a tech and a farm department in the medical cannabis

space. Melabis focuses on AI, Big Data collection and working with the

Maltese authorities on the tech side, while also producing CBD on a mass

scale for global bulk sales on the cultivation end of the business. Melabis

aims to be a major player in the emerging canna-tech and CBD sphere.

PROF. MIKE BARNES - CONSULTANT NEUROLOGIST

Professor Mike Barnes is a neurologist who has focussed on cannabis

medicine for several years. He was instrumental in changing UK law

to allow cannabis to be prescribed by UK doctors. His focus now is on

education of medical practitioners on cannabis medicine and in assisting

with the development of the cannabis industry in the UK and Europe.

www.ukmccs.org

MICHAEL PATTERSON - CEO

www.uscprd.com

Healthcare Executive with over 25 years’ experience in the following areas:

Cannabis/Hemp/CBD Investment, Management, Operations, Laws, Regulation,

Compliance, and Management, Skilled Nursing, Pharmacy, Laboratory, and

Healthcare Analytics. Michael is a subject matter expert in the global cannabis

industry with Gerson Lehrman Group and Guidepoint.

MONICA VIALPANDO - FOUNDER

Dr. Monica Vialpando founded Vialpando, LLC, and is a provider of innovation

consulting for the cannabis industry in San Francisco, CA. She is an adjunct

professor at Loyalist College, Canada and brings over a decade of international

pharmaceutical formulation experience and four years development experience

in vaping of nicotine. Her development portfolio includes tablets, dry powders and

nebulized solutions for inhalation, vape products, topicals, and beverages.

www.vialpando-llc.com

ALEX POMBO - CEO

www.nerumpharma.com

Nerum Pharmaceuticals AG is a pharmaceutical start-up based in

Switzerland. We focus on innovative ingredients and products with a

pipeline that spans multiple therapy areas in the phyto-pharmaceutical

and bio-pharmaceutical space. We work in close collaboration

with consumer product companies to bring new functionalities and

therapeutic benefits to their final products.

LINUS MAXIMILIAN WEBER - FOUNDER & CEO

Nimbus Health is an independent wholesaler of medicinal cannabis products in

Germany that uses their own warehouses. Use our own warehouses to distribute

products to pharmacies in Germany. We are also building a platform where doctors and

pharmacists can seek advice and discuss therapies with medicinal cannabis as well

as providing education and exchange through events. We are actively building bridges

between producers, doctors and universities to create the best therapies for patients.

www.nimbus.health

OLIVER FENECH - GENERAL MANAGER

www.ptmatic.com.mt

A mechanical engineer by profession, Ing. Fenech is specialised in

waste management and treatment of hazardous waste. Throughout his

professional career he has been involved in a number of positions in the

environmental sector and has executed jobs and led projects in the field,

ranging from water treatment for aquaculture, to the supply and operation

of Waste-to-Energy and Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs).

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WHO’S WHO

PREET MARWAHA - CEO

Preet Marwaha’s life mission is to create a paradigm shift in how

people live, starting with food and the systems that produce it. Preet has

spoken at various venues including the UN. Today, as the CEO of Blue

Sky Biologicals, Preet is focused on spreading the message of hemp and

the power that lies within the plant for food, fibre, and medicine.

www.blueskybiologicals.com

RACHEL COLIC - CHIEF STRATEGIEST

www.yisforyou.com

Rachel is a frequent writer and speaker on strategic branding, marketing to

women and using cannabis as medicine. As Chief Strategist for YCREATIVE,

a brand strategy and design agency specialising in the cannabis industry,

Rachel works closely with established producers, cannabis start-ups, and

ancillary businesses throughout Canada and the United States to develop

thoughtful brands that deliver bottom line results.

ROBERT SPITERI - CO-FOUNDED

Robert has over 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, excelling in

quality assurance and regulatory affairs. He has co-founded Brown’s Pharma,

Malta’s largest retail pharmacy operator and has other director level appointments

in various pharmaceutical retail and wholesale multinational organisations. Robert is

a qualified pharmacist and holds a masters degree in business administration. He is

responsible for the European operations of Zenabis.

www.brownspharmacy.eu

MICHAEL STEEN PEDERSEN - CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

www.sohomalta.com

SOHO Office Space is Malta’s largest serviced office and co-working

network, housing more than 4500sqm of office space. SOHO’s third

unique office location features a member’s café, lounge bar, and topof-the-range

event space. Join us on our rooftop terraced bar and

experience the prime SOHO community feel.

SRINIVASA REDDY - COO & CSO

Mr.Srinivasa Reddy has served as board of director, CEO, CSO, COO in

various companies. He is a member of ASABE and a global leader in the

cannabis industry ASHS. His vision of sustainable, low cost, and high quality

plants includes vertical farming in a scientifically optimised and controlled

environment. He has 13 years of experience in medicinal plant-use-cases.

www.leafcross.com

STEELE CLARKE - CHAIRMAN

www.c3internationalinc.com

Steele C. Smith, III is a native Californian and entrepreneur of natural

& complimentary medical therapies, as well as a national advocate for

safe patient access to holistic medicine. He is the founding Chairman

of C3® International, Inc., the manufacturer of the patent(s) pending

Idrasil, the world’s first & only naturally derived, non-synthetic,

pharmaceutical grade cannabis in discreet tablet form.

PETAR SAVIC - FOUNDER

Supreme Factory is a London-based end-to-end digital enterprise

providing virtual acceleration for startups. Super-connecting

International Ecosystems with curated networks of startups,

scaleups, founders, tech talents, students, investors, corporates,

incubators, accelerators, universities, and communities.

www.supremefactory.net

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WHO’S WHO

TRACY RYAN - CEO

www.cannaKids.org

Tracy Ryan is the CEO of CannaKids, a California-based medical cannabis

company, and founder of the SavingSophie.org. After her daughter’s brain

tumor diagnosis in 2013, Tracy dedicated her life to helping patients who

suffer from life-altering ailments, with a focus on children. She is working on

pre-clinical human & humanised mouse model trials with one of the world’s

leading cancer immunologists.

JOSHUA GREEN - CO-FOUNDER

Veriheal is a medical marijuana network that helps everyday people

find cannabis physicians that will recommend them for medicinal

marijuana treatment and get certified within their state to use

cannabis legally. Our team works closely with patients, clients,

medical providers, and dispensaries to ensure that all of our

patients receive discreet, safe, and sophisticated care.

www.veriheal.com

WILL STEWART - SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

www.harvestone.com

A well-known strategist, media spokesperson, and advocate, Will has spent

almost 20 years in public affairs in Canada and is currently the Senior Vice

President of Harvest One Cannabis. Will spent over a dozen years as Managing

Principal of a leading public affairs firm. Will has been awarded the Queen’s

Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian public policy.

YANOR YAZMA - AGRONOMIST

Yanor Yazma is an agronomist trained in Agro-ecology and Plant Health

at the Hebrew University with experience in cultivation and disease

prevention in diverse agricultural crops. At DryGair, she advises medical

cannabis growers globally on how to achieve high quality yields through

innovation, optimal indoor climate, and energy-efficient practices.

www.drygair.com

ZEID MOHAMEDALI - CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

www.zenabis.com

Dr. Mohamedali has over 8 years of Medical Cannabis pain management

experience. He has a large practice of patients with chronic pain, insomnia,

anxiety, gastrointestinal disease, and other ailments. Dr. Mohamedali recently

joined Zenabis Global as the Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Mohamedali, his grad

students, and his research team are responsible for several science research

projects, clinical trials, education, and policy reviews for medical use of cannabis.

ANDREW GRIEVE - CEO

Andrew Grieve is the CEO of Zenabis Global Inc. He is an experienced financial

executive, entrepreneur, principal investor, and officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

In his role as CEO, he has successfully developed the company’s strategy as it strives

to become one of the largest licensed producers of medical and adult-use cannabis in

Canada. Andrew continues to propel the growth of Zenabis with the help of his extensive

experience in organizational leadership and the execution of complex transactions.

www.zenpharm.eu

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Cutting-edge

phytocannabinoid

medical products

Seed to Pharmacy

Pipeline

Global R & D

Patient Focus

MGC Pharma is happy to be bringing our global Seed to Pharmacy

agenda to Malta, which will soon become our central manufacturing

hub for delivering phytocannabinoid based medical products

to patients around the entire world.

mgcpharma.com.au

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