Podcast

AltMed Podcast EP.32 – Peter Crock, CEO of Cann Group & Chair of MCIA

In this week’s podcast we chat with Peter Crock, CEO & Chair of Cann Group & MCIA about the Cannabis and “Big Pharma,” GMP and changing regulations, Cannabis companies and their interface with the regulator, Cann’s future product focus, Genomic sequencing and Accelerated cannabis breeding.

Key Points

1:15 – Peter Crock has been working in cannabis industry for the past five years. With a background in new farm and agriculture chemicals along with 28 years of professional career, he joined Cann group in its early days, focussing on licensing and product development.

3:17 – Peter talked about setting up industrial body MCIA so as to provide a voice to regulators.

4:00 – Peter revealed that Cann’s production facility was the most visited cannabis farm by drug control authority. He explained that 6 license holders integrated to provide feedback to regulators without any undue influencing effort and gave a set of guidelines to new entrants for ensuring transparency.

6:10 – Peter spelled out the key achievement in last 12 months relevant to the scheduling of CBD and S3 pathway opening up. He talked about his contribution in increasing TGA daily consumption limit. He also explained that MCIA was working hard to make medicinal cannabis accessible. He was of the view that owing to the diverse nature of medicinal cannabis, a conductive and trustworthy environment for doctors and patients.

9:09 – Peter explained that legislations only provide an overview and give a framework to work as well as the services which need to be delivered. He agreed that there were some gray areas in the legal process which needed to be sorted out.

10:36 – Peter believed that the only way to ensure long term access to patients was to allow its growth in domestic environment. He iterated that GMP gives confidence to doctors and patients by standardizing the products.

11:59 – Peter appreciated the GMP standards implemented in Australia. He was of the view that ensuring continuity of supply is the main focus, therefore, globally competitive and cost effective mechanism need to be implemented for making cannabis accessible to patients in Australia.

14:05 – Peter explained the manufacturing practices of EUGMP and CGMP and asserted that journey of quality control is continuous. He explained that apart from certain areas, Australian requirements are largely based on world standards.

16:35 – Peter asserted that TGA 93 was merely an interim measure for regulator. He elucidated upon the necessity to test imported products so as to categorise it according to the international quality standards of medicinal cannabis.

19:04 – Peter spoke in favor of the pragmatic approach followed for compounding medicines and explained that it should be brought under some review process to ensure quality. He believed that in order to avoid mass production, compounding medicines should be considered in special access program.

21:23 – Peter described the involvement of Cann group in providing medicinal cannabis to local consumers as well as exporting it. He talked about top-notch production facility and research program in genomics and accelerated breeding programs.

23:55 – Peter showed enthusiasm for taking the research on an industrial level. He was of the view that instead of talking about THC and CBD only, the focus should be on the entourage effect. He was of the view that pharmacists should be able to trace the effects of medicinal cannabis on every individual patient.

26:17 – Peter talked about the role of accelerated breeding program in cloning plants based on their impact on healthcare system.

28:02 – Peter made it clear that his company was moving rapidly in the direction where the cannabinoid or terpenes expected from a plant could be predicted early during the plant cycle.

28:56 – Peter clarified that his company was trying to establish a legal and medical pathway where people could consume medicinal cannabis without the presence of any toxins.

30:46 – In response to a question, Peter agreed that vaporising could speed up the absorption of medicine in bloodstream.

32:28 – Peter spoke about the need to provide the access to authentic information, especially to doctors. He threw light on the efforts of MCIA to provide a more conductive environment for informative dialogue. He spoke against the prohibition on advertisement of medicinal cannabis products and believed it should be sorted out quickly.

37:13 – Peter appreciated the work of regulators who are working in the background with limited resources.

39:08 – In response to a question, Peter talked about the difficulty to control black market producers.

40:15 – Peter clarified that despite of frequent Covid related lockdowns, his company was working on setting up cultivation facility, commissioning up extraction capabilities and actively employing in parallel.

42:41 – Peter believed that recreational usage would be a mere distraction and could complicate the legalization and access matters. He was of the view that it was neither included in the business model of industry nor present in federal appetite.

Links

Cann Group: https://www.canngrouplimited.com/

MCIA: https://mcia.org.au/

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