Australian medicinal cannabis company Creso Pharma (ASX: CPH) has appointed a director of US business development to capture opportunities in the growing market after New York State legalised recreational marijuana last week.
Meanwhile, competitor Cann Global (ASX: CGB) has proposed a new trial to treat Multiple Sclerosis with a new cannabis strain in partnership with Western Sydney University.
Leading cannabis executive John Griese has taken up the new role at Creso, bringing nearly 30 years of experience in consumer package goods and significant knowledge of the cannabis sector to the position.
Most recently, Griese was the chief operating officer at Supreme Cannabis Company (SCC), a Toronto Stock Exchange listed entity with a market capitalisation of CAD$194.9 million.
Creso hopes Griese's experience at SCC and other cannabis companies will give Creso a leg up in the North American market.
As COO of SCC, Griese was responsible for product development, commercialisation initiatives, procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain management.
Prior to working for SCC, Griese was COO of Bloom Farms, a cannabis manufacturer and distributor based in California, where he implemented processes necessary to meet regulatory requirements in the state.
Following recent legalisation of recreational cannabis in New York State, Griese will focus on NY and Vermont to outline a strategy for Creso to begin delivering products into the US.
NY is expected to become one of the largest recreational marijuana markets in the country, valued at US$4.2 billion.
While Creso's ability to export into the US will remain subject to the federal legalisation of cannabis, the company hopes having Griese on the ground may give it an opportunity to be a first mover in the market.
Cracking into the US would build on Creso's presence in North America, with the Australian company already established in Canada via its wholly-owned subsidiary Mernova Medical.
Mernova operates a 24,000 square foot cultivation and growing facility 219 miles from the US border, giving Creso a direct route to service the US once marijuana is legal federally.
"The recent legislative push in New York State highlights the ongoing shift towards the federal legislation of recreational cannabis and John's appointment shows Creso Pharma's commitment to establishing a strong foothold in-country to unlock value for our shareholders," Creso non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal said.
"To already have boots on the ground in the US will provide the company with a key advantage over our competition.
"John has established relationships in the US market through his roles in California and Toronto and we look forward to leveraging his network in the coming months."
Shares in CPH are down 4.76 per cent to $0.20 per share at 11.05am AEDT.
Cann Global to research efficacy of cannabis to slow MS
A new partnership between Western Sydney University and Cann Global (ASX: CGB) will see the pair research the efficacy of a unique strain of medicinal cannabis to slow the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The proposed human clinical trials follow successful research previously undertaken for CGB at the Technion in Israel which identified a cannabis strain stopped the progression of MS in mice, and in some cases significantly reversed the damage caused by MS.
Western Sydney University's NICM Health Research Institute has agreed to design a clinical trial protocol in consultation with Cann Global and clinical specialists in the field.
In addition to implementing the formal clinical trials, CGB intends to make the unique strain of cannabis widely available to patients in Australia during this calendar year via prescription under the special access scheme.
Shares in CGB are up 14.29 per cent to $0.008 per share at 11.27am AEDT.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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