KANABO announced the launch of two new additions to its range of VapePod formulas this week, in what is expected to be the first in a flurry of announcements due in the coming months.
The launch of two new high-THC formulas, which represent the second generation of its vape products, form part of Kanabo’s aim to focus ‘more and more on medical cannabis’.
In parallel, Kanabo itself is now in its second iteration following a 2022 dominated by a shift in strategy away from cultivation and production towards ‘last mile assets’, driven by its £14m acquisition of The GP Service in February 2022.
With lessons learned and thousands of potential cannabis patients already using its service, Kanabo is preparing for a year in which clinics will no longer compete to have the best product but instead provide the best service.
Two new medical cannabis formulas
The London-based and LSE-listed company launched the two new ‘single strain formulas’ earlier this week (January 17).
Until now, Kanabo’s ‘generation one’ products used pure distillate extracted from a blend of flowers, but the two new strains will, for the first time, be extracted from a single strain, including all the terpenes from the respective strains.
According to Kanabo’s Founder and CEO Avihu Tamir, they are based on ‘two very popular strains’, sativa-dominant Blue Dream and indica-dominant Champagne Kush, at the same price point as Kanabo’s previous products.
Furthermore, these products are thought to be the first in the market extracted from indoor cultivation grown with no radiation and no treatments.
The formulations have been launched in partnership with Lyphe Group, and they will be available next week through Lyphe’s Dispensary Green pharmacies and through ‘Kanabo’s existing channels for prescription products’.
Alongside this announcement, Kanabo said its new platform aimed at increasing access to medical cannabis in the UK, which it is developing with its recently acquired digital healthcare platform The GP Service, and had now been granted ‘all the regulatory approvals’ and moved on to the testing stage.
Lessons learned from 2022
This new platform will prove crucial to Kanabo’s new ‘last mile’ strategy, in which it aims to bring onboard ‘cannabis naive’ and more ‘mainstream’ patients.
Mr Tamir told BusinessCann that one of the key issues he saw within the medical cannabis sector right now, especially in the UK, was that the ‘majority of existing patients were already self-treating with cannabis’.
He added that one of the biggest lessons learned during Kanabo’s first year as a clinic and dispensary-focused company in the UK was that access to cannabis is much more of a challenge.
“Many of us (in the industry) assumed, ourselves included, that the UK’s patient growth would happen naturally. In Germany and Israel, you saw the market start to pick up very naturally, and doctors felt comfortable with prescribing. Obviously, the national health systems in both of these countries are supporting cannabis.
“In the UK, the situation is different. And I believe it will not change without us pushing forward. The NHS is still not even close to starting prescribing or supporting, and maybe because of the bureaucracy we don’t see many independent doctors prescribing.”
Due to the UK’s relatively slow growth in medical cannabis patients last year compared with the previous two, Mr Tamir says the country’s biggest clinics suddenly saw competition and a subsequent decline in sales for the first time.
To fix this, he believes patients require a ‘seamless experience’ in which they can ‘get a prescription and get the medicine on the same day’, talk to a doctor whenever they want and have their ‘medicine, support and knowledge’ all in the same place, a service he believes Kanabo will soon be able to provide through The GP Service.
Battle for service in 2023
This focus on seamless service for patients is something Mr Tamir believes will dominate the market in 2023.
“I’m estimating 20 new products will come in the first half of 2023, including many new strains of flowers coming from Canada, alongside other new products as well.
With the market flooded with quality products, prices will come down and the focus will shift to patient care.
“Many people believe patients are going to the black market just because it’s cheaper or that it has better strengths. Many people forget that in some cases the service you get today in the black market is still better than the service you’re getting from a clinic in the UK, and that’s just bizarre.
“You can connect to WhatsApp or Telegram; you can order cannabis that will be in your house in a few hours – no clinic can serve you at that speed. In 2023, this will start to change.”
This year, Kanabo hopes that it can begin to convert sections of the roughly 40,000-50,000 patients currently using The GP Service, a ‘big chunk’ of which are getting appointments for pain and mental health but have never tried cannabis treatment.