Podcast

AltMed Podcast EP.25 – Importer of Cannabis in Australia Featuring Paul Mavor and David Attwood

In this weeks podcast we are joined by Paul Mavor (Pharmacist at Health House International) & David Attwood (CFO of Canpharma) and we chat about the first importer of cannabis in Australia, Australian exports into Europe, German cannabis market & product formats.

Key Points

1:17 – Paul Mavor is the director ofHealth House, the first company to import cannabis in Australia. Paul began this company after making contact with cannabis industry contacts made at several international events. He also explained that his first international export was a small shipment from Canada.

3:20 – In response to a question, Paul revealed that he talked with health minister to approve his initial shipments. He praised the efforts of the minister who was immensely supportive regarding research via medical avenues. Paul also described research projects as the leading initiatives on importer of cannabis in Australia.

4:32 – Paul clarified that his first shipment was imported to Queensland in 2017 when majority of the health experts had no idea about cannabis. He spelled out that since Western Australia had very strict guidelines for prescription, therefore, the whole process was extremely lengthy. He believed that medicinal cannabis products were best for patients suffering from chronic specific health issues.

6:26 – David expounded on his story in the podcast. He said that he basically came to Australia for studying in MBA programme and ended up staying here. He clarified that he was hired as a chartered accountant in PWC at the beginning. However, gradually he worked in numerous disruptive sectors in regulated industries including renewable energy and vaping. He uttered that he was constantly on a look out for innovative technologies when he started working with medicinal cannabis. Soon, he found out that it could actually work wonders. He expounded upon the details of his company, stating that it keeps insights into the medicinal cannabis market and sets up consulting team. He remarked that he had the honour of setting up first medicinal cannabis consultancy where he educates doctors and patients alike. He elaborated upon the holistic approach of Can Farmer.

10:59 – Paul stated that as compared to Germany, Australia actually passed the cannabis legalisation law in 2016. Here, he outlined an intricate system for cultivation, manufacturing and export licenses, eventually leading to export quality product.

13:04 – In response to a question regarding emerging new companies in German market, David explained that it was an exciting market as it restricted the form of product to only flower and oil for prescription. However, he asserted that medicinal cannabis could not acquire any worthy place till the doctors start prescribing it. He explained that it was still a fascinating, developing industry focusing on insights, data analysis and evaluation of real world data.

16:03 – David agreed that there were numerous obstacles in access to medicinal cannabis. He also believed that an intricate mechanism must be followed to resolve the issues.

17:47 – David remarked that flowers and oral extracts were the only medicinal cannabis related products. He iterated that although vaped products have a place in market but around 70% of prescriptions were pain related. He stated quite clearly that the future of vaping industry depends largely upon innovations within the regulatory restrictions.

19:37 – Paul was of the view that although oils are very popular currently, yet, the future is in capsules as keeping the oil under the tongue did not seem feasible to patients. He described a couple of CBD capsules available in market containing THC. He was excited to share that a number of new medicinal cannabis products are launching in near future.

22:27 – Paul revealed that there was a huge demand of vaping in Germany which set up the pace in Canada. He also warned that such products are not safe for elder people or people whose lungs are compromised in any way or form. He postulated that capsules could do wonders in future.

24:26 – In response to the question of the medical devices for vaping, Paul asserted that some devices were available which could be accessed readily. Nevertheless, these devices need flower based product instead of oil for vaping.

25:37 – Paul believed that it was really surprising for him when he found out that a lot of farmers were looking to replace their crops with medicinal CBD if the market share increased. He expressed that as the cannabis could be grown outdoors as well, thus, there were endless opportunities. Additionally, he declared that Australia has a good record in innovating cultivation process to enhance export process.

28:06 – Paul described that people were learning a lot in this new industry and were gearing up their production supply. He expressed that there was a lot of potential in the skilful quality control and cultivation departments.

29:32 – Paul elucidated that as the demand of oil or capsule would climb, the already nonexistent market for flower based products would soon run out.

30:11 – Paul revealed that the tropical medicines work about 10% of the cases which is pretty disappointing efficacy. He explained that the preliminary medicinal cannabis products produced sensational results for patients suffering from chronic pain.

31:32 – When asked about the future plans for educating masses, David explained that Spain and UK will soon have a program relevant to medicinal cannabis. Thus, Australia could enhance its export market of medicinal cannabis products. He asserted that his company could Leverage rich experience to provide holistic experience as they enjoyed good contacts with all manufacturers. He also explained that since their company was one of the few who possessed GMP license in Australia, it provided an edge to them over all other manufacturers as an importer of cannabis in Australia. He also explored the possibility of medicinal cannabis clinics across Europe and talked about scaling different markets in detail.

34:29 – Paul expressed that despite of different jurisdictions of law in different states, the gradual partnerships with cannabis farmers was really exciting.

35:44 – David expounded upon the 3 years pilot program initiated by France. According to him, the program comprised of evidence-based approach in legalising process where the product would be tested on different patients during the project duration and the data would be collected and analysed. He viewed it as a great opportunity as France comprises of an unserved population of around 67 million people.

37:35 – Paul explained that although medicinal cannabis was not legal yet in Spain, however, only a matter of time.

39:08 – David believed that the competition was only within regulated importer of cannabis in Australia. He clarified that since the Australian system was closer to German system in terms of regulatory registration, quality control standards supervised by TGA and a separate system for recreational products, therefore, there were no negative reviews.

42:11 – Paul agreed with David that Australia had the most amazing model for medicinal cannabis owing to the odourless oil and more customised flower production as compared to Germany, which ensures finest quality product.

Links

Health House International: https://healthhouse.com.au/
Canpharma: https://www.canpharma.eu/

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