Medcolcanna is a new company, but they haven’t wasted any time in making their mark in the cannabis industry.
In the short time since their founding, Medcolcanna have been busily networking with other companies all around the world and are on track for continued success and expansion
Medcolcanna is a Canadian integrated medical cannabis company listed on the TSXV as MCCN. The company is positioned this way because it combines the best of both worlds: Canadian business acumen and experience in growing techniques combined with Colombia’s favourable climate for foreign investment and optimal conditions for growing on a large scale. Medical cannabis as well as research using psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids has recently been legalised in Colombia, which makes it the first and only country with these types of growing conditions to invest in at this time.
The company plans to keep its current course of growing steadily due to good practices and plans to continue taking an increasingly prominent role in the medical cannabis industry.
Ahead on every stage of the value chain, Medcolcanna has progressively accomplished the necessary steps to become a leader in the medical cannabis industry. With over 2.5 hectares currently under cultivation, the company expects to expand to 7 hectares by year end and has already commenced the construction of its extraction and post-extraction facilities with GMP EU eligible standards. The company has developed global joint ventures in Europe, North America, and Latin America, and its worldwide footprint includes agreements for distribution in more than 8 countries that are currently under negotiation, with sales expected to begin by the end of 2019.
The company’s history
The company was founded by Felipe de la Vega (the current CEO at the time of writing) in June of 2018. De la Vega had previous business experience as the founder and CEO of a company which specialised in commodity trading, growing it into a company with revenues topping $800m (~€729m), but after meeting Harm Hids, he knew it was time for a new chapter to be written.
Hids’s son Vital had been suffering from Crohn’s disease since he was fourteen years old and had tried the standard medicine to treat it, but after three years the medicine started to rapidly lose its effectiveness in treating the symptoms. A common option at this point is to undergo surgery, with resulting long recovery times and potential complications. The Hids family wanted to avoid this and started doing extensive research to find a better course of action than traditional medicine. This led them eventually to cannabis.
They discovered that large quantities of THC could be excellent for treatment of this disease, but for legal reasons among others, it wasn’t feasible at the time for Vital to be doing this. However, Hids carried on with his research, and discovered that very small quantities of THC mixed with CBD (allowing the substance to be classified as non-psychoactive) would be effective. The mixture was then packed in specially designed capsules and included some additional components to improve the benefits according to causes and symptoms of this disease, allowing it to reach the inflamed part of the intestines. It has since proved to be every bit as effective as the Hids family could have hoped. De la Vega and Medcolcanna heard about this development and immediately seized the opportunity to buy the rights to various CBD formulations Hids had developed:
- Crohn’s Disease formulation;
- Insomnia formulation;
- Oral fast CBD formulation;
- Rectum inflammation formulation;
- Super endocannabinoid formulation; and
- Systemic cannabidiol formulation.
In all cases, the products proved incredibly effective in treating different conditions, perhaps beyond even the most positive of expectations.
Today, by many estimates, as much as 1% of the European population has been diagnosed with Crohn’s, and this number is expected to significantly rise worldwide with improvements in healthcare and diagnostic techniques, which will identify the disease more effectively and earlier in patients. The number of people suffering from non-Crohn’s inflammation is perhaps three times that number.
Insomnia is a condition which affects perhaps as many as 25% of the world at one time or another. The opportunity to effectively treat these people at a very low cost with almost zero or zero side effects is truly incredible. As well as boding incredibly well for Medcolcanna as a company, this is also a huge step forward in humanitarian terms. Of course, these products are only the beginning of a long story which truly spans the globe and will massively impact human health in a positive way. This makes it very easy for us to see the potential of this industry, and the incredible potential of Medcolcanna along with it.
Of course, the uses for medical cannabis are far from being confined to those three types of conditions. These products, in various forms, have been shown to be successful in treating an incredible array of diseases and conditions, including among them anything having to do with any sort of inflammation or auto-immune response, as well as mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia or PTSD.
There’s also great potential for medical cannabis products to be used in cancer treatment, both as an analgesic used for palliative care as well as to even potentially treat the cancer itself. Medcolcanna is perfectly poised to be at the vanguard of all this exciting and probably game-changing research. We are expecting a lot of new products from Medcolcanna and they are wasting no time in working towards these goals. In the rest of this article we will visit some of the specific ways in which Medcolcanna is marching forward with people all over the planet in this quest.
Co-operation and clinical trials
Medcolcanna has just recently agreed to perform joint research with University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), located in the north eastern Netherlands near the German border. The medical centre is ranked among the top 100 in the world and it hosts 1,000 medical doctors, 800 residents, 1,400 beds, and admits approximately 34,600 patients per year. They have consulted on over 815,300 cases and employ a total of 12,000 people. In addition, the University of Groningen is one of the largest educational hubs in the EU. This makes for a near-perfect partnership between the two entities.
Medcolcanna and the UMCG have just begun to undertake a truly massive research project, studying the potential therapeutic effects of medical cannabis for twelve different conditions, including Crohn’s, Eczema, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis and Autism, among others. These trials commenced in July 2019 and will run through until January 2022.
The goal of this mega project is to develop the exact formulations and methods of administering the medicine for all of the above-mentioned conditions. Medcolcanna and the University as a matter of course plan to develop products which will easily meet the strict requirements of the pertinent regulatory bodies worldwide, including the Canadian and US FDAs (Food and Drug Administrations), the EMA (European Medicines Agency), and INVIMA (Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos, the Colombian regulatory agency at the national level).
We can easily expect a few dozen or more new products to come from this project, and these will be products that are safe, reasonably priced, and effective like the world has never seen before. Medcolcanna and the University plan to set a new gold standard for quality for a whole new round of these cannabis-based medicines.
An exciting new partnership
In an exciting new deal, the Company signed a licensing and profit-sharing agreement with Herbolea Biotech, an Italian based firm. What interested Medcolcanna most was Herbolea’s patent-pending technology process for the extraction and preservation of cannabis from newly harvested or dried material.
This process allows for the rock-solid production of a full complement of oils, distillates and crystals of varying strengths, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive. It’s also worth noting that it’s incredibly powerful to be able to equally use wet or dry raw material for this process in such a flexible way.
This deal allows Medcolcanna not only to use the product (called Bio-Herbolysis™ at this time) for their own purposes, it also gives the company the rights to offer services using this product to other Colombian cannabis companies, which diversifies the company tremendously and further expands its scope.
Furthermore, the company will be able to strike its own profit-sharing agreements with other companies in Colombia. This increases the company’s diversity, flexibility, and is a great indicator for potential economically favourable conditions for Medcolcanna. This agreement specifically puts the company in the very powerful position of being the gatekeeper for a very useful and exciting new technology. We can imagine the rest of the industry reacting favourably to Medcolcanna as word gets out about this technology and its value to the industry.
Medcolcanna has shown promise as a new up and coming company in the cannabis industry. It’s likely that this company will continue to grow steadily, considering how it has established itself firmly in such a short time, with a clear view to the future. With its innovative technology and worldwide pharmaceutical network, we will be watching this company for future developments. We expect to be hearing a lot of big news from Medcolcanna in the days and years to come.
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Additional information about Medcolcanna can be found on its website at www.medcolcanna.com
Medcolcanna Organics Inc
+57 (1) 642-9113
This article will appear in Health Europa Quarterly Issue 11, which is available to read now.