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Global interest grows in the Aussie cannabis market

Article from Dopamine (June 7th) – Australia’s premier online cannabis lifestyle title and features everything from weed culture to music, gaming, food and more.

We caught up with founder Chris Bolton at the Hemp Health and Innovation Expo to talk about TheraCann and the future of the Australian cannabis industry,

So, what is TheraCann, and why does the team care about Australia?

Essentially, it’s a consultancy service specifically tailored for the cannabis industry:

“TheraCann provides full turn-key solutions to anyone looking to enter the cannabis space in an industrial scale,” explains Chris, “so being able to ensure all quality of production, right through to regulatory compliance.

“We provide the plans, the design, we implement [including building the facility], bring in all the equipment, provide all the training, then we provide all the ongoing support.”

In other words, they handle the nitty gritty side of running a cannabis business (medical or recreational) so that you don’t have to worry about the tedious elements such as licensing and regulatory compliance.

What strikes me most when talking to Chris, however, is his interest in and enthusiasm for the Australian medicinal market: one that – for all appearances – is in total infancy.

“We’re here at this fantastic trade show in Australia because we see this as the next opportunity globally,” he says. “We operate in five countries worldwide that are licensed and Australia is at the tipping point in our personal opinion.”

What makes him say that of a country who only just implemented the barest of medicinal policies?

“Well, we look at the number patients purportedly consuming on a daily, weekly schedule. Australia outpaces Canada at a factor of 1.5 for that. So you have more users right now in Australia than we do in Canada which has a full, thriving, medical community.”

It might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that – it did to me – and it means that the need for our medical industry to grow is even more pressing. 

“If we look at the patient, they just want to get well, but they have to find a doctor knowledgable enough to prescribe what they need – the right cannabis strain, or mix of THC/CBD or other constituent products in the cannabis stream that will make them well.”

Right now we don’t have that. So, although we already have the patient base, there are still a few steps left before we’re in the position we need to be: a few official boxes to be ticked and a few frameworks put in place.

The value of talking to somebody like Chris is that he’s seen it all before with the growth of the Canadian cannabis industry and knows what needs to happen.

The first stage is a functioning and reliable medicinal industry:

“Obviously you need the final approval at a state-wide level … but you also need to have a consistent, cohesive plan how doctors can comfortably prescribe product to patients … There’s always been a gap in most regulatory frameworks that connect the right patient to the right doctor, the doctor to the right producer, and the feedback loop between the patient and the producer … That dialogue has to be a tri-way discussion, and in markets that are successful, that’s the missing part. Once that comes together you’ll find that it blows the door open.”

The second step, according to Chris, is to prepare for the advent of a recreational market.

“You have to now start to think of the day when recreational becomes legal. You’re going to use the same licensed producers, under the same framework, for quality assurance, record keeping, traceability and whatnot to provide a recreational market which is often a hundred times the size of your medical market … not having that in place in the forethought of how you’re going to manage that is the number one hurdle of any jurisdiction.”

What we want to avoid in setting up our cannabis industry is jumping the gun like Uruguay did in going from full prohibition to full legalisation without the proper preparation.

“They went full legal for medical and recreational but they cannot meet demand,” says Chris. “They can’t produce enough, so what’s happening is illicit product is coming in through the back door which is dwarfing the growth of the industry. There’s no quality assurance and their losing the tax opportunity.”

When it comes to the medicinal side of things, mistakes like this are a massive concern as they limit the patients ability to get the proper treatment and a consistent product. For the recreational smoker, this isn’t as severe considering the degree of criminality in the current prohibition market, but for overall social well-being it’s better that it’s done right. Ensuring the proper systems are put in place for patients to access medicinal cannabis is our first priority, and from there its a short walk to the development of a functioning recreational market.

How is Michigan doing with its new Medical Cannabis Laws?

For those looking to get into this “Green Rush” it is critically important that one understands that this business is not designed to accommodate the novice Medical Cannabis entrepreneur and investor.  

The Michigan Medical Cannabis Industry is being regulated by LARA the Department of Licensing and Regulated Affairs. LARA has created a special unit for the regulation of medical marijuana called the Bureau of Medical Marijuana. The Bureau of Medical Marijuana regulates the Michigan’s medical marihuana facilities and licensees, including growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers and safety compliance facilities.  The bureau also oversees the Michigan’s patient registry program and administers the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

For those looking to develop a career and invest into Michigan’s Medical Cannabis Industry it is important that you are aware that the new Michigan Medial Cannabis laws have designate five classes of licenses that will be available for qualified Michigan applicants:

  1. A growers license with three classes of growers
    • Class A – people who can grow up to 500 plants,
    • Class B – people who can grow up to 1,000 plants,
    • Class C – or up to 1,500 plants.
  2. A processor license
  3. A safety compliance facility license (Lab)
  4. A secure transporter license
  5. A provisioning center license (Dispensary)

Back in January 16, 2017 a well written article “New laws in Michigan shake up the marijuana industry” by Christian Sheckler South Bend Tribune sharing with Michigan’s Medical Cannabis Patient, Caregiver, and General Public that BIG changes are coming.  These changes are important as Michigan’s registered Medical Cannabis Patients are above 2oo,ooo and climbing.  This large number of register patients drives the logic behind rolling out this Medical Cannabis Industry in a cogent and regulated way.  

In theory, depending of course on many other factors that can be considered as basic “business 101” knowledge, the current Michigan Cannabis Caregiver should have some advantages in dealing with LARA’s medical marijuana regulations.  Provided  with the proper council and advise, assuming they follow the complex and ever changing laws, this new legislation could transform the former Caregivers learned skill set into a BIG Business. If you are qualified and acquire any of the 3 proposed classes of growers licenses this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It does indeed appear the grass is greener on the other side!

The Canadian Cannabis Act

The Canadian Federal government today announced the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.

The stated objectives of the Cannabis Act are to “prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.”

The full Act can be viewed here.

Canadian cannabis legalization bill: “An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Subs… by Ben Adlin on Scribd

MYM Nutraceuticals to develop the cannabis “gold standard” for product testing process and technology in Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada / TheNewswire / April 5, 2017MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (CSE : MYM ) (OTC:MYMMS)(FRA:OMY), (the “Company” or “ MYM ”) is looking to lead the Canadian market by establishing the gold standard in quality assurance testing of its cannabis products. MYM has hired TheraCann Canada to implement its full suite of services including ISO 17025(2005) compliance to ensure repeatable and reliable data stands behind each product label. TheraCann Canada is also providing TheraCannSYSTEM software to MYM which directly captures all testing and analysis data to better control regulatory compliance concerns and future audits by Health Canada.

With the recent announcement that the Canadian Provinces to be able to decide how cannabis will be distributed within their borders, the federal government will oversee all medical and recreational marijuana cultivation. MYM is planning to jump ahead of the curve on future legislation to focus on in-house quality assurance testing laboratories and analytics.

Brent McNiven, President of, TheraCann Canada commented:   With the recent flurry of dangerous recalls in the Canadian market due, in part, to a lack of tighter government control on standards, we expect Health Canada will finally be moving to a stronger and more regulated testing procedure in advance of recreational legalization. TheraCann’s “gold standard” process build on ISO 17025 (2005) will meet or exceed all future regulations and ensure MYM is ready to excel in this rapidly expanding market.

Jonathan Fiteni, MYM CEO, commented :   MYM is looking to build the industry standard in all-inclusive cannabis facilities to meet the demands of the Canadian consumer. With the anticipated start of recreational legalization coming online in the summer of 2018, MYM will be positioned to provide the safest products in the market.

ABOUT MYM

MYM Nutraceuticals Inc. (CSE:MYM)(OTC:MYMMS)(FRA:OMY) is a public company trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange whose primary focus is developing high-end organic medicinal marijuana supplements and topical products. MYM also has an interest in the development of high-density farming facilities and technologies that allow MYM to expand its brand into the global market.

ABOUT THERACANN CANADA

TheraCann Canada Benchmark Corporation offers a one-stop, full-service solution for the Canadian cannabis marketplace. From regulatory applications, planning, facility design, cultivation, marketing and communications, TheraCann provides cannabis-related businesses with solutions to fit their regulatory requirements. TheraCann Canada is subsidiary of TheraCann International Benchmark Corporation. More information about TheraCann is available at www.theracanncorp.com.

 

Kingsley DDA supports TheraCann International medical marijuana project

BY MATT TROUTMAN mtroutman@record-eagle.com Mar 9, 2017

 

KINGSLEY — Laughter echoed across a Kingsley village meeting when Gay Travis said she never had anything to do with marijuana.

But Travis, a 71-year-old resident and retired first-grade teacher, told village downtown development authority members on Wednesday she supported a proposed $20 million medical marijuana growing facility in her community.

She spoke softly, but firmly, about how Kingsley needed jobs after Pugsley Correctional Facility’s recent closure. The project could also raise tax dollars for its schools, she said.

“I’ve always been about making Kingsley stronger and I see this as a way to do that,” she said.

Travis’ positive comments weren’t just echoed by most other speakers at the meeting. DDA members closed it with a 5-0 symbolic vote of support for the project proposed by TheraCann International, a cannabis service company.

“(It) couldn’t have gone better,” said TheraCann USA President Richard Goodman, who attended the meeting.

The proposal sprouted about six months ago, and TheraCann representatives have quietly made their case to village representatives and at public meetings.

DDA member Marc McKellar told the packed room inside the village’s library the vote focused on the project’s economic benefits. He said the volunteer board spent hundreds of hours researching the company and the proposal.

He outlined a fact sheet that will be sent to Kingsley’s council and planning commission, which have the final say in whether the project can go forward.

“The point was to gather information that we could determine were facts, through due diligence and a mutual agreement between TheraCann and our board on what the understanding was going forward,” McKellar said.

TheraCann representatives hope to build a 100,000-square-foot medical marijuana growing facility in the Kingsley Industrial Park near M-113 and U.S. 131. They plan to initially hire about 100 workers, including 20 medical marijuana licensees who will grow the drug under new provisions in state law.

McKellar said company representatives, who planned to break ground within 90 days of approval, weren’t seeking tax breaks or incentives. Information distributed at the meeting stated the facility would generate about $527,000 in taxes for the area.

Audience members expressed support for the project, though some had specific questions about its impact on local infrastructure and the quality of marijuana that will be grown for patients.

Goodman said the company bears responsibility for infrastructure impacts and would grow plants under the highest specifications. He said it had a proven track record in Canada.

Some speakers acknowledged the facility’s product carried social questions, but others praised its potential benefits. Travis recounted how medical marijuana helped control a friend’s child’s seizures.

She said marijuana is no different than the plants in her garden or the willow bark that creates aspirin.

“It’s all in how you govern its growth and its use. And I guess we have to depend on our community, our leaders to be good strong leaders and make sure that we get protections that we need so we have this opportunity,” she said to applause.

The vote sets the stage for TheraCann representatives, if they choose, to present the project to village council members and planning commissioners.

National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Cannabis Study

 On January 12th, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a study detailing their recommendations on the use of cannabis and cannabinoids. The study was based on a comprehensive examination of more than 10,000 research abstracts published after 1999 covering the effects of cannabis on 11 categories of health topics and concerns, including therapeutic; cancer incidence; respiratory disease; prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes; psychosocial and mental health concerns. The full study can be found here (link).

One of the major concerns from the research committee was that there are specific regulatory barriers, including the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, that impede the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid research. However, the study did detail several positive results on the impact of cannabis and cannabinoids for therapeutic usage including;

  1. Conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of treatment for chronic pain in adults, antiemetic’s in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral cannabinoids) and for improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (oral cannabinoids).
  2. Moderate evidence of the effectiveness of improving short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis (cannabinoids, primarily nabiximols (Trade name Sativex)).
  3. Limited evidence of the effectiveness of increasing appetite and decreasing weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS (cannabis and oral cannabinoids), improving clinician-measured multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (oral cannabinoids), improving symptoms of Tourette syndrome (THC capsules), improving anxiety symptoms, as assessed by a public speaking test, in individuals with social anxiety disorders (cannabidiol) and improving symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

The committee had determined that “conclusive” in this case represented evidence with many supportive findings from good-quality studies with no credible opposing findings. “Moderate” evidence being findings from good- to fair-quality studies with very few or no credible opposing findings and “limited” relating to supportive findings from fair-quality studies or mixed findings with most favouring one conclusion. Even with the Committee’s concerns on the regulatory barriers limiting proper access and information, these findings represent a major step forward for an industry still searching for wide spread legitimacy.

The NASEM committee added a number of recommendations on the advancement of research and understanding the long-term effects of cannabis including;

  1. To develop a comprehensive evidence data base on the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use (both beneficial and harmful effects) that addresses key gaps in the current evidence.
  2. To promote the development of conclusive evidence on the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use.
  3. To ensure that sufficient data is available to inform research on the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use.
  4. The development of a committee of experts tasked to produce an objective and evidence-based report that fully characterizes the impacts of regulatory barriers to cannabis research and that proposes strategies for supporting development of the resources and infrastructure necessary to conduct a comprehensive cannabis research agenda.

Basically the committee has concluded that there is conclusive evidence to show the use of cannabis and cannabinoids has tremendous therapeutic results but the total impact and long terms results are not yet known due to a lack data, insufficient research and regulatory barriers.

Health Canada Marijuana Testing: Transparency or Hypocrisy?

Testing procedures

A report published by the Globe and Mail this week once again called into question the ethical and practical standards to which Health Canada operates their medical cannabis testing programs. During a random screening by Health Canada, the Toronto based Licensed Producer, Mettrum Ltd. was found to be using the pesticides Myclobutanil and Pyrethrin. Myclobutanil is deemed so dangerous that Washington, Colorado and Oregon all moved very quickly to ban its use in cannabis grow operations due to potentially fatal hydrogen cyanide emissions when heated. Though Mettrum issued a recall on November 1st, the public and consumers were never informed of the findings by the company or Health Canada.

This is not the first time that Health Canada has withheld information from the public on the use of dangerous chemicals in tested cannabis. In September of this year a Globe investigation revealed that nearly 60% of samples tested in unlicensed Vancouver dispensaries in 2015 also contained pesticides, fecal bacteria, yeast and mold, and were not safe for human consumption. Despite the legal vacuum in which these dispensaries operate, it was nevertheless surprising that Health Canada did not act to protect Canadian citizens from harm. Now that they have once again failed to act in the best interests of the people they are sworn to protect, hard questions need to be asked of the decision makers who are putting large swaths of our populous at risk of disease or death.

There are hundreds of ACMPR applicants currently held up in the licensing process with Health Canada. Many of these newer applicants recognize the need for the highest quality ISO 17025 testing standards for cannabis, but are languishing – some for years – in the Health Canada queue. The government appears to be protecting existing LP’s from the legal consequences of using illegal and dangerous substances in their cultivation practices, while simultaneously excluding higher quality competition.  At best this is a double standard, and at worst it brings the entire ACMPR mechanism into disrepute and smells of willful blindness. This is a critical period of rapid expansion for this industry and as companies work towards legitimacy they should not be let down by the very mechanism which governs them.

It is time to reexamine the process from within. Health Canada and the LP’s it regulates must begin to operate in a transparent manner, with the safety of the Canadian public being the highest priority. This requires not only full public disclosure when cannabis containing hazardous substances are released to the public, but testing programs that identify these substances before they are released. The following protocols and principals should be adopted by all LP’s and strictly enforced by Health Canada:

  • ISO17025(2005) laboratory data must be the standard to which all testing laboratories are held.
  • At the present time, LP’s are permitted to submit samples to a variety of unaccredited 3rd party Mom and Pop labs, and cherry pick the results that are most favorable. This practice is dangerous and must stop.
  • Health Canada must act in the best interests of the Canadian public, and not be seen as acting in concert with the largest producers to conceal the presence of toxic substances in the cannabis they sell.
  • Whenever Health Canada finds instances of contaminated cannabis being released to the Canadian public, be it through an LP or otherwise, this information must be disclosed immediately and not years later through a freedom of information act order.

Mulieboom Organics License Producer Robbed!

port_corlborneIn the blink of an eye you could lose it all. It’s an incredibly humbling and violating feeling to be robbed and even more tortuous to know that it could have easily been prevented.

Police scoured the sunny streets of Pinecrest Road on Monday September 19, 2016 trying to locate five missing suspects in the midafternoon robbery at the Mulieboom Organics licensed medicinal cannabis facility located in Port Colborne, Ontario. With an operation such as this, it begs me to question what preventative system was put in place that could have allowed for such a serious breach.

Why does this industry continue to take unnecessary chances and gamble their money and time invested when it comes to having an effective security strategy in place for these facilities? Within this market in particular, there is a higher degree of risk and susceptibility to theft which will not only cost you revenue losses in product, inventory, damage and replacement fees but it could also put many innocent lives in danger. This is an industry that’s under great scrutiny and it’s going to continue to be an uphill battle if these businesses don’t start implementing stronger security planning and technology to detour any aggressive and often unpredictable assaults on the people or property involved. The fear will outweigh any benefit and it’s imperative to get on top of it immediately.

By weaving in effective elements using high quality analytical video surveillance, you can easily redirect any ill-intent and preserve the integrity of your precious investments. The 1080P HD video cameras that we use predominantly in our Section 8 Securty designs, capture at a minimum of 30+ frames per second and are capable of establishing virtual barricades for high security areas and high traffic areas that you will want covered 24/7 year round. By offering high resolution imagery, it reduces the amount of false alarms triggered and obtains crisp video footage that preserves the detail that you need for identification or observational purposes.

We specialize in helping simplify the process for you. We provide you with knowledge by assessing any security concerns; we pair the latest that IP-based and High Definition video technology offers with an innovative and tactical access control and integrated alarm system strategy that has passerby’s second guessing ever stepping foot on your property. Our systems are scalable so they can grow with you and your business’s needs.

Whether you are at the beginning of a new building phase or have an already existing facility in place, it’s certainly worth having a conversation about how you could enhance and protect what you’ve worked so hard to breathe life into. Life is full of choices, so be sure you cover your assets so you aren’t brought to your knees by the weight of regret and remorse. We’re here to help you see what’s possible today and tomorrow.

In working with our Strategic Partner Tri-West Technoloigies we would be happy to provide you with a Complimentary Strategy Session to avoid the above issues!  Let’s work together to lock out losses!

Please contact us to schedule your Complimentary Strategy Session.

Benchmark Labs Rebrands!

Theracann-Logo-largeOn September 11, 2016 Benchmark Labs officially rebrands to TheraCann International Corporation.  According to Chris Bolton, Chief Operating Officer “Benchmark Labs had a long and established history but as our core business focus has changed and now that we are operating internationally it was time to relaunch under a new brand that also properly identified our new lines of business.”

The 5 lines of business that Mr. Bolton referred to include BenchmarkACT, BenchmarkBUILD, BenchmarkGROW, BenchmarkMARKET, BenchmarkINSIGHT to provide a TOTAL SOLUTION to its clients.

20160907-TheraProducts-SG-v01TheraCann International Corporation is also taking this opportunity to relaunch its secure ERP software as TheraCannSYSTEM.

 

 

20160907-TheraProducts-SG-v01In addition TheraCann is launching its new air cleaning solution as TheraCannAIR.

Health Canada Meets Federal Court Deadline!

HC-signature v2On August 11 Health Canada (HC) announced that they will meet the court imposed August 24 2016 deadline for revising the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) . The regulations are now called the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). These new regulations will replace the MMPR as of August 24, 2016, and are being implemented as a result of the Federal Court ruling in the case of Allard v. Canada. Health Canada has issued a fact sheet – http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1110409 – with the complete set of regulations to be published on the HC website August 24, 2016.

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