INSIGHTS ON THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY FROM REGULATORY BARRISTER MATTHEW (MATT) LAWSON
Matthew (Matt) Lawson, a UK Regulatory Barrister has penned a series of discussion pieces under the rubric “Insights on the Cannabis Industry”.
In the infancy of the legal cannabis industry, the hot area was cultivation, with the key topics being improving yields and maintaining consistency. As the industry matures, the key area will be extraction – improving the science and ensuring innovation. Part 1 of barrister Matthew (Matt) Lawson’s insight into the industry looked at the Stages of Extraction, Part 2 looked at Methods of Extraction, Part 3 looked at the Certification for Extraction and this Part 4 of barrister Matthew (Matt) Lawson’s insight into the industry looks at considerations of “fit for purpose” within the industry.
Based on the targeted segment for which the extract is produced, facilities and companies need to comply with certain quality standards and attain the necessary certification. To use a cannabinoid extract in a medicinal product in Europe, for example, the extraction process must take place under pharmaceutical European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) conditions, in a certified facility. To use a cannabinoid extract to make a CBD cosmetic product for sale in one of the various countries in which its sale is legal and unrestricted, EU GMP certification is mandatory. In the US, cosmetics do not need to be GMP certified however many companies are still compliant to its standards. Despite this, there is a growing trend across segments towards a preference for products containing extracts with high quality certifications, in order to guarantee quality and standardisation of product
To date, only a few cannabis-based medicines have obtained full marketing authorisation by completing all phases of the clinical trial process. No flower products have gained such approval to date. The majority of extract and oil-based medical cannabis products are unlicensed medicines which are available to patients through formal programmes or special pilot schemes in Europe, and available through licences and prescriptions in North American markets.
The market for precise, pharmaceutical-like extracts has been dominated by Delta-9 THC isolate (“dronabinol”), especially in Europe, which it is prescribed primarily used for pain relief. It is expected that the demand for CBD API will increase in the coming years as there are currently clinical trials for CBD investigating its effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis, pain and diabetes.
Matthew (Matt) Lawson is a UK Barrister who has advised Governments and Corporations for over 25 years in respect of human impactors – Food & Ingestibles, Medicines, Medical Devices and inhalation mediums. He provides worldwide Cannabis advice to clients who stem from Governments, to some of the largest multinational CPG corporations, to pharmaceutical giants, through to niche pre-IPO Start-Ups in the CPG and medical fields.