With Canada fast outpacing the world in the cannabis industry, and the United States hot on its northern neighbour's heels, it's little wonder Australian companies are looking to North America to strike up lucrative deals.
Melbourne based nasal respiratory company Rhinomed (ASX: RNO) has locked down a 12-year exclusive licensing agreement of its nasal platform technology with Columbia Care LLC.
Columbia Care is the largest provider of cannabis-based products and services in the United States, making this a significant deal for the Australian group not known for dabbling in medicinal cannabis products.
By teaming up, Rhinomed hopes the agreement will leverage the strengths of both companies; Rhinomed's expertise in nasal medicine, and Columbia Care's dominance in cannabis products.
Product development has commenced already for multiple products with Rhinomed saying there is potential for a product launch in 2019.
Rhinomed hopes the products will be able to alleviate problems currently unmet by a number of already available products including obstructive sleep apnoea, PTSD, pain relief, nausea and other sleep-related conditions.
Initially, the Rhinomed and Columbia Care collaborative product will be distributed via US based cannabis dispensaries.
Michael Johnson, CEO of Rhinomed, says he believes there is serious potential for a cannabis-based version of the group's nasal formulation.
"We believe there is clear medical research support, and a very real and significant commercial opportunity, for nasal stents with medicinal cannabis formulations," says Johnson.
"Nasal delivery of cannabinoids opens up a new and exciting market opportunity and has the potential to set a new standard by providing a better and more reliable and repeatable dosing experience."
Shares in Rhinomed are down 1.32 per cent to $0.38 per share at 10.50am AEST.
AusCann pushes further into Latin America
Looking further south is one of the Australian leaders in medicinal cannabis on the ASX AusCann (ASX: AC8).
The company announced on Monday an agreement with Columbian based Khiron Life Sciences Corp.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see AusCann's Chilean joint venture DayaCann work with Khiron to develop alternatives of medical cannabis for Chilean patients.
AusCann says the parties will engage in cultivation, manufacturing, pedagogical, scientific, commercial and political activities to present cannabinoid medicines as a viable medical option.
Khiron will provide the funds necessary to support these activities, and likely requires the assistance of AusCann as it is the only company with a medical cannabis production licence in the country.
AusCann's managing director Elain Darby says there are mutual benefits to result from the deal.
"We look forward to working with Khiron through our joint venture DayaCann to be supplying them high quality cannabinoid medicines and working together on addressing the needs of the Latin American market," says Darby.
"The MoU will not only expand DayaCann's presence in Chile, but also give DayaCann wider access to the Latin American market."
Additionally, AusCann announced on Tuesday that it has launched online education courses to support Australian health professionals.
AusCann chairman Dr Mal Washer says Australian doctors must get up to scratch with the developments in the fast moving area.
"It is essential that Australian doctors are informed about the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics so that they can make informed decisions regarding treatment possibilities," says Washer.
"Until it becomes part of the medical syllabus, there is a need to provide accessible, references, objective information about cannabinoid medicines that doctors and other health professionals can draw upon to inform their thinking."
Shares in AusCann are up 0.51 per cent to $0.99 per share at 10.46am AEST.
Lifespot completes cannabis vaporiser acquisition
Lifespot Health (ASX: LSH) has completed the acquisition of Germany-based Seng Vital in order to completely own the Seng Vital Company and its smart cannabis vaporiser assets.
Seng Vital has a Bluetooth cannabis vaporising system, which provides a simple, self-controlled method to deliver cannabis-based medicines.
According to BIS Research, the international recreational and medicinal vapor market was estimated to be at $11.43 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow over $86.43 billion by 2025.
Lifespot says the method of ingesting cannabis-based medicines via a vaporiser provides many clinical advantages for those whom swallowing a tablet is not possible or medicines that are extensively metabolised prior to entry into the blood stream.
The company will make the vaporiser interact with its Bodytel technology system, which is not restricted to vaporising but can also input data from edibles and drinks; opening Lifespot up to significant global opportunities in a number of different markets.
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