ECS Botanics Holdings Ltd. (ASX:ECS) has seen their share price skyrocket, after announcing plans to acquire medical cannabis company Murray Meds.
Murray Meds is a privately held medical cannabis cultivator operating in North Western Victoria. The company currently works out of a facility near the Murray River, where they focus on a sustainable approach to growing cannabis.
Murray Meds grows and processes cannabis onsite, producing tinctures, oils, and dried cannabis flower that is sold nationally and internationally. The company is one of Australia’s largest medical cannabis cultivators, producing 350 kilograms of cannabis flower in the last season. Another crop is currently in the ground with harvest scheduled for April.
Although this is only the company’s second crop, they are licensed to cultivate and produce 3,500 kilograms of dried cannabis.
ECS Botanics’s acquisition announcement was made on Tuesday this week, causing the companies share price to skyrocket to $0.053 within hours. The company has a license to grow cannabis in Queensland and holds licenses to supply, manufacture and cultivate industrial hemp in Tasmania. ECS also has partnerships with Tasmania Botanics, Medipharm Labs, and TAP Agrico.
ECS Botanics’s decision to acquire Murray Meds is strategic in nature, as the company expects to earn “more substantial revenue” from the arrangement. Murray Meds is well-positioned within Australia’s cannabis market as it was granted a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification last year and follows certain Organic Certification Standards.
The acquisition will see Murray Meds founder and managing director Nan-Marie Schorie (a former chemist) join the ECS Botanics board. She was quoted in an ASX-release as saying: "The opportunities that this deal creates for Murray Meds, its customers and employees is tremendously exciting. "
From humble beginnings, CDA Clinics have now firmly established themselves as one of Australia’s leading cannabis clinics, providing a range of consultations and insightful information for both patients and doctors.
Proving their dedication to providing Australian patients with the finest and most suitable cannabis medications, CDA Clinics were the first in Australia to prescribe THC vape liquid to two of their patients.
On both occasions, the medication was prescribed to treat chronic pain. Patient one was suffering from anxiety and spinal pain, whilst patient two was experiencing endometriosis pain and period cramps.
Liquid form THC is a specific type of concentrated cannabis. The THC compound is first extracted from the cannabis flower, and then processed into a specialised liquid formula which can be inhaled using a vaporiser. This method of consuming cannabis is quite unique, as the effects of the medication can be felt within 10 minutes, lasting for anywhere between 2 to 4 hours
Consuming cannabis medications in THC liquid form is perfect for those seeking relief from acute symptoms, specifically in those with chronic pain issues. If cannabis sounds like a medication that could help improve your life, you can take CDA’s quick 20 second questionnaire to determine your eligibility.
In a wider look, medical cannabis in Australia is currently booming, with a record number of patients being approved through the Special Access Scheme (SAS) in 2020. On its current growth rate, Australia’s cannabis industry is expected to be worth $1.5 billion in the next three years, with the larger Asia-Pacific market to be worth a massive $22.9 billion by 2027. CDA Clinics is in a prime position to hold a major share of Australia’s cannabis clinics market in the years to come.
On top of that, with the United Nations down-scheduling cannabis to the lowest level in the past week, international acceptance for medical marijuana continues to grow rapidly. Local growth will only accelerate with the TGA just making CBD oil available over the counter from 2021 – moving it from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3. The decision makes low-dose CBD oil available for sale in pharmacies across Australia, without the need for a doctor’s prescription.
These recent changes to the legality and acceptance of cannabis in Australia will only bring more and more Australians to accept it as a real and true medicine.
CDA Clinics have built a firm reputation in the industry, providing consultations for more than 15,000 Australians, and receiving plenty of 5-star reviews.
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NSW based pharmaceutical company BOD Australia (ASX: BDA) has closed 2020 with success, announcing a strong increase in sales in the first half of FY 2020/21.
BOD is one of Australia’s oldest and most trusted medical cannabis companies. The company produces MediCabilis, a CBD-based medication available in oil and wafer form. MediCabilis is available in both Australia and the UK after BOD expanded internationally back in May. MediCabilis is primarily prescribed for the management of ongoing health conditions, including anxiety and chronic pain. The drug is only available to Australians on the Special Access Scheme (SAS) but may be available over-the-counter in the coming months.
After a successful year, BOD has announced strong sales growth for MediCabilis. In the first second of 2020 /21 BOD filled a total of 3,941 MediCabilis prescriptions. This is a 91% increase from the first half of the year when the company filled 2,063 prescriptions. According to data released by the company, 62% of the prescriptions BOD filled in this period are repeat prescriptions.
Since July 2019, the company has filled over 8,000 MediCabilis prescriptions – increasing prescription volumes 114% since the second half of 2019.
The company’s CEO Jo Patterson believes that MediCabilis’s recent success is due to the company’s educational initiatives and clinical research: "It is very pleasing to see strong growth and continued support from patients and physicians for our MediCabilis product."
BOD is currently conducting a clinical trial on MediCabilis as a therapy for PTSD, insomnia and anxiety.
As medical cannabis isn’t covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) yet, Australians pay large out-of-pocket fees for cannabis medications. But there is one group of Australians with access to subsidised cannabis medicines: Australia’s veterans.
Australia’s Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) provides funding subsidies for medical cannabis patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and chronic pain. But getting this subsidy isn’t easy.
In order to apply, veterans must already be accepted onto the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme (SAS). According to this checklist, they must then submit:
This is part one of the process.
After an applicant has received initial approval, they must resubmit their application with two more copies of approval from their State/Territory and product approval by the TGA. This is alongside a clinical report on their treatment outcomes and ongoing mental health reports.
While this application may seem understandable, it is bureaucratic and unnecessary, as SAS approval already rigorously accesses someones’ suitability for medical cannabis.
Critics have also pointed out another major problem with the DVA medical cannabis scheme.
According to guidelines on the DVA website, veterans cannot receive medical cannabis funding for any mental health conditions.
Although it is not 100% clear, it appears that this remains the case even if other options have been exhausted and a doctor recommends the treatment.
This means veterans using medical cannabis for mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, insomnia and depression must pay for their medication out of pocket, even in cases where mental health conditions were developed as a result of serving.
Explaining this, DVA argues that they cannot cover mental health conditions because there is “limited evidence” on the effectiveness of medical cannabis.
While the research into cannabis and mental health is still budding, refusing mental health-related applications for subsidised medical cannabis without assessing the situation on a case-by-case basis seems oddly cold for an organisation dedicated to helping Australia’s veteran community.