Novateur Knows the Cannabinoid Biosynthesis Landscape

Cannabis, medical marijuana, THC, CBD – we hear these terms tossed around just about everywhere – on the street, over social media, in corporate boardrooms, throughout the biotech sector. What’s all the fuss about? The marijuana plant has been exploited for medicinal, agricultural and psychotropic properties for thousands of years but it was only in the mid-1900s that THC (∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) were isolated and chemically defined in their acid forms as the two major cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. Since then many additional minor cannabinoids (at least 60) with untapped medical potential have been isolated and characterized. THC and CBD possess clinically validated, beneficial properties and are approved (FDA, Health Canada, etc) for use in some countries (e.g. THC for anorexia and AIDS-associated weight loss, and CBD for two rare genetic forms of epilepsy). With legalization in Canada and at the State level in USA, R&D is ramping up to define further medical benefits of THC, CBD and the minor cannabinoids in many other disorders and in the general wellness market. The Future is Biosynthesis: Currently, THC and CBD are chemically synthesized or extracted directly from the Cannabis plant. These procedures suffer from drawbacks (see below). They will be supplanted over the next few years by another cost-effective method of preparation – biosynthesis (also known as synthetic biology). Biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed process whereby simple substrates are transformed into more complex products in living microorganisms or cells. Biosynthesis affords the opportunity to revolutionize the industry with highly standardized, pharmaceutical-grade, cheap cannabinoids. In contrast, plant-extracted cannabinoids currently suffer from a number of economic and environmental downsides in production:...

Cannabis In Canada – Sweeping Changes

Yesterday, Health Canada announced their proposed new legalization framework for cannabis in Canada – full proposal is found here – and which is now launching Canada to the forefront of the global cannabis market. I’ve seen many regulatory adjustments and changes to cannabis in the last decade, but nothing quite like this. Most of us are still waking up with a “regulatory hangover” and trying to process all of the changes. As the founder and CEO of the world’s largest and most professional cannabis compliance firm, I’m writing this article to provide my insights on where cannabis is headed. Because this is a game changer. Many of us knew the changes were coming, but none of us predicted in full how far the government would take this. In short, Canada is creating a whole new framework for cannabis production and sales, which will immediately spill into these established industries: health products, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and agriculture. Overnight, cannabis became an ingredient, not a product. Let me explain.     Cannabis Farming Outdoors In the last four years, licensed producers of cannabis had to take on substantial investment (and patience) to become licensed to cultivate; they were also extremely limited in their ability to advertise and sell cannabis, being restricted to B2C sales through online sales. First mover advantage has been substantial in this space – and cultivators have had enormous valuations hardly understandable by any established industry standard. Today there are 74 licensed production facilities – and the patient base has been growing exponentially. A great time to be an LP. But this all changes with these new proposed regulations. Cannabis, like tobacco...