PRIME TIME: A View From the Top

By: Marys Medicinal |
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CannaTech is a global education and networking company headquartered in Israel. In October the company traveled to Australia for CannaTech Sydney 2018 and the results were spectacular. 

Global cannabis is a reality and CannaTech is taking full advantage of that fact. In Sydney there were 500+ attendees with about half from the Oceana region (Australia, New Zealand, etc) and the others from places around the world with heavy contingents from Canada and Israel. Australia’s 2-year-old medical cannabis program has lagged because of a complicated arrangement between federal and state governments. Nevertheless, cannabis fever is high Down Under with over 100 cannabis-dedicated companies. In some respects, the CannaTech Sydney meeting was reminiscent of a cotillion, with Australian cannabis debutantes being presented to the world.

CannaTech began the two days of presentations with a half day business symposium that included a who’s who of major cannabis players including New Frontier Data, Organa Brands, MGC Pharmaceuticals, MJBizDaily, MediPharm Labs, Mary’s Medicinals, AusCann Group Holdings, TheraCann International and a slew of capital investment companies spearheaded by Arcview.

The featured keynote address was presented by Bruce Linton, Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of Canopy Growth, the mega-cannabis company headquartered in Canada. Linton has the relaxed air of a man who sits atop a global giant that will only grow larger in coming years. His presentation had an intimacy that was well received by the packed room of attendees.

Canopy is focused on four areas: 1) sports, 2) medical and geriatric care, 3) beverages (with a specific mention of beer), and 4) pets. Their medical brand is Spectrum and the company  has also established Canopy Health Innovations (CHI). It recently named Canadian physician Mark Ware to head the effort. Ware brings a 20-year resume of cannabis research, most recently at McGill University.

Linton’s stated goal is to “perfect and disrupt.” Like so many involved in the cannabis movement, Linton views the re-emergence of cannabis as a culturally-altering event. He notes that push back from established companies in the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and alcohol is inevitable because, “It’s not about the plant. It’s about disruption.” 

Data from New Frontier back him up. In a survey of cannabis consumers, the researchers found that 73% have used cannabis in place of conventional medications. Among cannabis consumers who use both cannabis and alcohol 46% prefer the plant and 74% believe cannabis is safer than alcohol. 

Particularly pleasing to this writer was Linton’s commitment to medical cannabis and his emphasis on education. That was echoed by Ron Lipsky, Vice President of Australian-based MGC Pharmaceuticals and will be the focus of our next blog. ❖