The past 12 months have been a banner year for medical cannabis research, development, and recognition. The market is indeed emerging with force and professionalizing quickly. We wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year and celebrate some of the progress that made in medical cannabis around the globe.
Here are some of CannaTech’s top picks for “The Greatest Hits in Cannabis” for 2017:
Medical use of cannabis in Germany was legalized by the parliament in March 2017. Physicians may prescribe for cancer, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. Greece legalized cannabis for medical use July, and Poland followed suit in November.
Business and medical developments
CannaTech expanded its reach in the medical cannabis community by holding its first conference outside of Israel. In October 2017, CannaTech held a two-day conference in London, UK. With attendees from over 42 countries, it was a wild success, garnering major media attention and revitalizing the cannabis conversation in Europe. The next CannaTech event will be in Tel Aviv this March, 2018.
The World Health Organization provided an extensive study on CBD from their Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. The study reviewed CBD from a chemical/pharmacological standpoint and touched on ongoing research for various medical conditions, marketing, and legal restrictions in many localities. The impact from the WHO discussions will take time, but may very well include some profound changes in how medical cannabis is sold or distributed. (Here’s to hoping!)
Denmark approved a four-year pilot program for medical cannabis; eligible patients include those with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, and people suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy. The program will begin January 1, 2018. Polls of Danish citizens show overwhelming approval (88% of survey respondents) of cannabis for medical use.
Medical cannabis companies worldwide are growing, and in 2017 they have raised at least $2.7 billion, according to Viridian Capital Advisers, and increase of almost of 300% compared to last year. More than half of this capital was raised from Canadian investment.
The Czech Republic became the fourth EU nation to be served by multi-national medical cannabis firm Tilray, joining Croatia, Cyprus, and Portugal. The Czech Republic is importing both THC and THC/CBD products for distribution to patients through hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.
Israeli Advancements in Medical Cannabis
- Israel, a world leader in medical cannabis development and study, hopes to progress both at home and abroad. News outlets worldwide are taking note of Israeli innovation and investment in medical cannabis research and development.
- Legislation in development (expected completion in 2018) would allow for Israeli-grown medical cannabis to be exported, and both the Health and Finance Ministries have indicated their support.
- The number of licensed medical cannabis growers in Israel has increased from eight to almost 50, and hundreds more growers have applied to be qualified growers, as approved and overseen by the Health Ministry.
- Israel’s Health Ministry has approved 150 research proposals, 35 of which are clinical trials. Topics under study include: autism, arthritis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
- In March 2017, neuroscientists kicked off a clinical trial (the first of its kind) at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center to study use of medical cannabis in 120 children and young adults with autism. This is follow up to previous smaller studies of children with epilepsy or both epilepsy and autism (about 20% of autism cases).
All in all, this has been a good year for medical cannabis around the globe. Some important milestones were reached, with many more insight for 2018. Here’s to a new year filled with positive growth and impact.
Have anything to add to this list? We’d love to hear! Leave your comments below.