An ambitious medicinal cannabis startup has forged an exclusive relationship with the world’s leading producers of research and remedies which can deliver substantial health benefits. In its quest to provide the most consistent, high quality and trusted organic cannabis products possible, Auckland-headquartered Nature’s Answer has partnered with Medicine Man Technologies (OTCQX: MDCL) and MedPharm Holdings of Denver, Colorado.
“We’ve been impressed with the science-based research, processes, formulation and testing MedPharm has completed on various applications for medicinal cannabis products,” says Nature’s Answer Managing Director Angela Calver.
"This relationship will accelerate the introduction of certified, exhaustively researched products for people in need as soon as the law allows, says Calver. Owing to the legal status of cannabis in New Zealand right now, we’re in a situation where introducing a full range of pharmaceutical products isn’t yet possible. However, our exclusive partnership with Medicine Man Technologies and MedPharm provides access to their intellectual property and formulations for the creation of products which can be made available to patients as soon as the legislation changes.”
Calver adds that Nature’s Answer presently holds a license to cultivate for research.
The recently introduced Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act, says Calver, is a step in the right direction. The law passed in late 2018 provides an exception and statutory defense for possessing and using cannabis for individuals who require palliative care. It also renders the non-psychoactive product of cannabis, cannabidiol, no longer a controlled drug.
Calver believes more needs to be done to destigmatise and legalise a product widely used in New Zealand and generally sourced on the black market, and for which research suggests multiple medical applications. These include nausea reduction in those undergoing chemotherapy, improving appetite in HIV/AIDS sufferers, alleviation of chronic pain and muscle spasms, and relief for severe forms of epilepsy.
Medicine Man Technologies itself has expressed a keen interest in New Zealand, “Our market is attractive predominantly because it doesn’t have the multiple layers of government and bureaucracy which can limit the pace at which new pharmaceutical products can be brought to market,” Calver notes.
MedPharm has a license in Colorado to conduct research to include clinical trials. Medicine Man Technologies recently announced MedPharm as an acquisition target and the companies regularly consult in several markets in the US and abroad.
“We have found, though, that the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council are doing the right thing and making sure legislative developments are sensible and fit for purpose. Getting licenses to cultivate cannabis, even for research purposes, is an enormous task, and of course the security requirements are unlike the production of any other crop.”
Through its relationship with Medicine Man Technologies and MedPharm, she says, Nature’s Answer can quickly put products within reach of patients who are suffering. “The minute the law allows it, we’ll import while at the same time gearing up our own facilities for local manufacturing, leveraging the companies’ proven business model.”
It’s an exciting industry with substantial potential not only for earnings and job creation, but also to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with pain and other medical challenges. “We’re making sure that the healing properties of the cannabis plant will be put to use safely but also, with the help of overseas investment, rapidly for those who need it,” Calver concludes.