As the pharmaceutical cannabinoid market continues to develop, countries in the EU are beginning to change their legislation regarding the growth and extraction of cannabinoids. Following a similar pattern to the US, the European market is expected to develop over the next 10 years.
In the US, Solaris Farms grows cannabis plants onsite to provide the raw materials needed for products including pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile in Europe, Somai Pharmaceuticals is a company focused on the extraction of cannabinoids from the plants to make formulations for the EU market. Michael Sassano from Solaris Farms and Somai Pharmaceuticals spoke to explain the future of the market.
Sassano started by explaining how Solaris in the US grows and extracts the required compounds from cannabis plants, concentrating on the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich plants and terpenes plus other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD). He emphasised that when doing so, it is important to raise the plants in a good agricultural and collection practice (GACP) manner, especially when the cannabis plants are grown specifically for their flower rather than extraction.
Close-looped hybrid greenhouse systems are the latest process used to grow these plants to ensure their quality and fullest spectrum, Sassano said. He explained that this also protects the environment by using less energy and the natural power of the sun. Since the plants are not grown in the natural soil directly, hydroponic methods decrease contamination and produce high-quality flowers that are compliant with pharmaceutical standards.
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