NewsEuropean Cannabis Round-Up; GW Pharma’s Cannabis Pipeline, Irish CBD...

European Cannabis Round-Up; GW Pharma’s Cannabis Pipeline, Irish CBD In Court, UK Medical Cannabis Price Row, Italian Referendum, Poland And Malta


GW Pharmaceuticals has released further details of its cannabis development pipeline. 

With Epidiolex approved in the US last year it is also expecting approval for Sativex where two phase 3 trials are ongoing. Work is also underway on the use of Sativex in spinal cord injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of spasticity. 

Further cannabinoid products for autism and schizophrenia are in Phase 2 trials, and early-stage programs include the use of cannabis for neuropsychiatric conditions, as well as neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a form of brain dysfunction that can occur in premature babies or those with severe lung or heart disease, reports Fierce Pharma.  

Irish firm Jazz Pharmaceuticals bought GW Pharmaceuticals for $7.2bn in 2021. 

The Irish High Court has set a date for a two-day hearing challenging the Government’s interpretation of European law.

As reported in BusinessCann last week the Little Collins CBD Dispensary, saw its Kilkenny café raided by police in 2021 and warned their products contravened the 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act.

It and fellow retailer Puff N Stuff argue that the European Court of Justice decision in the KanaVape which allows for the freedom of movement of CBD extracts and products across the EU has precedent over Irish law.

At this week’s hearing on Tuesday the court ordered the state to provide evidence – a statement of grounds – to support its claims that CBD has narcotic properties.

The court set a date for a preliminary hearing for February 18, with the two-day, full hearing set to take place on July 14 and 15.

Little Collins is represented by lawyer Sean Action of Sheehan and Co of Galway. Shop owner JP O’Brien told BusinessCann he was ‘very pleased’ to now have a date in the diary for the hearing.

After initially announcing it was implementing a price increase of 40% on February 1, the organisers of the UK medical cannabis access scheme Project Twenty21, say the price rise will be delayed for a further month.

Organised by Drug Science, a not-for-profit charity, Project Twenty21 says the current pricing will now last until March 1.

In a statement to BusinessCann it said: “Further talks are ongoing to see if there’s anything else we can do to help patients and guarantee the sustainability of the project.”

Some 2,000 patients are currently said to be on the scheme with the majority of these accessing medical cannabis for £150, for 30 grammes – £5 per gramme. The new rate was set at £7 a gramme of flower and per millilitre of oil.

However, this caused unrest and opposition from patients, many of whom were using cannabis as a medicine for the first time, or had switched from the illicit market.

The suppliers to the scheme are Khiron, Lyphe, Cellen and JMCC

In its statement to BusinessCann Project Twenty21 continued: “The important thing we need people to understand is that Project Twenty21 was primarily set up not to discount medical cannabis but to gather data to enable NHS funding of medical cannabis. That’s what we need to focus on here, and why a price review has been necessary.”

South African cannabis company Labat Healthcare – which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – says it will use last month’s R300m (£150M) cash injection from California-based GR Global Ventures to expand its global retail footprint.

Labat CEO Stanton van Rooyen said transitioning cannabis from the ‘informal to the formal economy’ is improving the group’s retail business, while also providing a stepping stone to Europe and the US.

“Labat’s responsibility is to ensure that we bring South Africa’s proposition – with its quality raw materials and processing capabilities – to the world by being part of the largest capital markets in Europe and the United States,” he said.

Proposals to allow Poland to develop indigenous medical cannabis cultivation facilities have been rejected by Parliament. A further bill aimed at allowing hemp with 0.3% THC has been referred to a Parliamentary committee.

In an interview with Times of Malta psychotherapist Mareiella Dimech, the newly-appointed first Executive Chair of its Cannabis Authority says the aim of its new domestic cultivation legalisation scheme is ‘harm reduction and ensuring that legal cannabis is sold at a lower price than that of the black market’.

On February 15, Italy’s Constitutional Court will determine whether the country’s proposed referendum on cannabis legalisation will go ahead, reports Newsweed.

Italy’s Supreme Court certified this week that the popular initiative, which has secured 630,000 signatures, and seeks to legalize cannabis has passed the threshold to be put to a referendum, scheduled for next spring. 

Peter McCusker is an experienced news and business editor, who believes it’s time to fully embrace the multiple, proven, medical benefits of the cannabis plant.

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