Privateer’s Tilray Becoming Global Cannabis Juggernaut
Author & Editor – Jon Russell
Canadian medical marijuana provider Tilray, a subsidiary of Privateer Holdings, has announced that they have negotiated a new export deal to provide medical marijuana to New Zealand. This announcement solidifies their position as the largest global cannabis exporter, providing cannabis and cannabinoid products to four continents.
“Cannabis is a rapidly developing industry around the world,” says Brendan Kennedy, Tilray president. “We see enormous opportunity to expand distribution of our products globally. Right now, we are in the process of exporting Canadian products to Australia and Germany. We see additional export opportunities on the immediate horizon elsewhere in Europe as well as in Latin America.”
Tilray’s story began when they announced that they received approval from the EU to transport cannabis capsules to a pharmacy in Croatia in June, 2016. Two products are currently exported to Croatia: The first contains 5.0 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and 5.0 mg of cannabidiol, or CBD, per capsule, while the second contains 2.5 mg of THC and 2.0 mg of CBD.
Next, they secured approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Queensland Department of Health to begin providing medical marijuana for patients down under. The trial begins with one patient and Tilray hopes to expand this to other patients in the near future. This is additional to the research partnership they already have in place with New South Wales government, University of Sydney and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse hospital to study the effects of cannabis-derived medicines in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
In February, 2017 Tilray added Latin America as the third country it exported cannabis to. Tilray announced that they had secured the permissions and regulatory approvals to begin exporting medical cannabinoid products to Chile. Partnering with Alef Biotechnology SpA for distribution of their products, the first of which should be available to the countries more than 88,000 medical cannabis patients by the end of February.
In New Zealand, Tilray will supply Middlemore Hospital in Auckland with precisely formulated medical cannabis oil containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). This shipment is supposed to be shipped when the Chile shipment goes out. No other details are available at this time.
Tilray is the only cannabis manufacturer in North America who has received Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMP certification, something that they say allows them to conduct more research and provide better medical products to their customers. Tilray currently supplies pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products for three different clinical trials in partnership with world-leading hospitals and universities:
- The first trial is being conducted in partnership with the University of British Columbia to examine the safety and tolerability of medical cannabis for Canadian military veterans and other patients suffering from PTSD.
- The second trial is being conducted in partnership with the University of Sydney, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and the New South Wales government to study the safety, tolerability and efficacy of cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
- The third trial is examining safety and tolerability of cannabinoids in children with Dravet Syndrome (a severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy) at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
While Tilray isn’t the only cannabis manufacturer who exports cannabis (GW Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingom & oPen Vape in Colorado both have export contracts), they are definitely poised to corner the global market. The New Zealand agreement puts Tilray products in 4 corners of the world and it will be hard to dislodge their grip on the market any time soon.