Medicinal cannabis provider Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) Chairman, Boaz Wachtel, discusses the market for medicinal cannabis and hemp-based products.
Carolyn Herbert: Hello. I'm Carolyn Herbert from the Finance News Network, and joining me from medicinal cannabis company Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) is Chairman Boaz Wachtel. Boaz, welcome back.
Boaz Wachtel: Thank you, and good morning.
Carolyn Herbert: Now, Boaz, the regulatory environment for medicinal cannabis is changing quite rapidly. Can you tell us what's going on there?
Boaz Wachtel: Yes, there are ten countries around the world today with national medical cannabis programs in place, and access for patients is advancing also here in Australia. And, overall, there's a global move toward medicinal cannabis as an option for very sick people to address what conventional medications cannot address. So, we are confident that Creso, with its global reach, could help patients access cannabinoids through food supplements rather than through medical cannabis, as is happening elsewhere, and we are leading the pack in that sense.
Carolyn Herbert: So, Boaz, with the regulatory changes, a lot of new entrants have come onto the market, so what sets Creso Pharma apart from other medicinal cannabis companies?
Boaz Wachtel: Creso is unique in that medical cannabis space because we fuse the big pharma experience into the medical cannabis segment for the first time. Our CEO, Dr Miri Halperin Wernli, left Actelion, which is a $30 billion company, to join Creso, so, with her leadership, we are developing now six products, three for the animal market and three for the human market. So, that sets us apart because we have a two-pronged approach into the market. We're actually advancing our development plans ahead of schedule. We have revenues coming in early on into the company. So we are a different animal, so to speak, in the medical cannabis space on a global scale, not just here in Australia.
Carolyn Herbert: Boaz, Creso Pharma is based in Switzerland, so what are the advantages of being based in Europe?
Boaz Wachtel: Switzerland is a hub of both nutriceutical and pharma development, and food supplements is a huge business in Europe. So, we are physically close to our markets, and we use local talent in Switzerland to address regulatory requirements across Europe. And we are very happy to work in a hub that allows us to tap into talent, professional talent, and helps us expedite our development plans across Europe.
Carolyn Herbert: Boaz, you're obviously here in Australia this week, so can you tell us about the agreement you've recently signed with Western Australian group Health House?
Boaz Wachtel: Yes. The group received the first federal licence in Australia to import medical cannabis from a North American country, and Creso Pharma is a facilitator of that due to our international standing. And through that group we will access other pharmaceutical chains across Australia and allow access for patients to medicinal cannabis until the local production capacity will be available for local consumptions.
Carolyn Herbert: Now, the other part of the Creso Pharma business is Hemp Industries, so can you tell us a bit about your hemp products, and what are the growing plans for hemp?
Boaz Wachtel: We are expanding our coverage, growing fields of hemp into the Czech Republic. We've just signed a distribution agreement to 400 pharmacies with new products. These new products are without THC completely, which is a really technical feat that we have achieved. And we're looking at other distribution networks across Europe to expand it. There's demand also for the proteins that are made by Hemp Industries. So, overall, we are very positive on the expansion and the revenue streams coming from Hemp Industries.
Carolyn Herbert: And finally, Boaz, what's your focus for the next six months and your long-term ambition for Creso Pharma?
Boaz Wachtel: We are launching our first animal product that received EU registration. We are the first company in the world that received such an approval for marketing. We are expanding and accelerating our development plans of our three animal and three human products in development right now. And, overall, we are ahead of schedule and we are very optimistic in terms of our revenue streams coming from Hemp Industries, and the deal flow that is coming our way internationally.
Carolyn Herbert: Boaz Wachtel, thanks for the update.
Boaz Wachtel: Thank you very much.