The cannabis industry is on a roll, thanks to progressive cannabis legislation and a growing number of lawmakers embracing cannabis policy reforms.
Now, with Canada expected to launch its adult-use cannabis market soon and with more and more states in the U.S. legalizing pot for medical or recreational purposes, cannabis companies are also stepping up their A-game. There is no shortage of these companies entering into various types of agreements, including strategic alliances, supply deals, and even merger plans with other companies around the world just to get ahead and improve their chances of making it to the top of the burgeoning marijuana industry.
This week saw two cannabis deals forged between Canadian cannabis company Tilray and pharmaceutical giant Novartis, and between another Canadian cannabis player, Aphria, and an Argentina-based company.
Novartis and Tilray enter into production agreement
Many have been wondering when big pharmaceutical companies will hop on the medical cannabis bandwagon. For the longest time, they have steered clear of (authentic) medical marijuana mainly because of federal legal issues.
Finally, the wait is over as pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG becomes the first among the Big Pharma companies to get into medical cannabis. Novartis, through its subsidiary Sandoz Canada, has struck a deal with Canada-based cannabis company Tilray to produce medical cannabis products.
Tilray, which is American-owned but is headquartered in Nanaimo, British Columbia, produces ground cannabis, whole flowers, cannabis drops, and capsules for medical purposes.
Under the deal, Tilray will be the exclusive supplier of “non-smokable and non-combustible medical cannabis products” to Sandoz Canada. Sandoz Canada will, in turn, distribute and wholesale these products to pharmacies and healthcare facilities.
Novartis will also help Tilray in the development of new products.
Novartis is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. It is popularly known for producing pharmaceutical drugs clozapine (Clozaril), carbamazepine (Tegretol), diclofenac (Voltaren), imatinib mesylate (Gleevec/Glivec), valsartan (Diovan), letrozole (Femara), ciclosporin (Neoral/Sandimmun), terbinafine (Lamisil), and methylphenidate (Ritalin), among others. Its drugs are used in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions and are available in over 180 countries around the world.
According to Sandoz Canada President and GM Michel Robidoux, the strategic alliance with Tilray will strengthen its portfolio. He said that they are committed to responding to the medical needs of patients by coming up with more high-quality, adequately dosed, non-combustible and non-smokable medical cannabis products that will be at the disposal of doctors.
The specific terms of the strategic alliance between the two companies were not released.
Aphria signs exclusive supply agreement with Argentinian importer
Canadian medical cannabis producer and supplier Aphria Inc. has entered into an exclusive supply deal with a pharmaceutical import and distribution company based in Argentina.
The Argentinian company, which Aphria did not name at the former’s request, is licensed to sell, distribute, and import medical products and derivatives in Argentina. The South American company is currently in the process of securing a cannabis import license in the country.
Under the terms of their supply agreement, Aphria is going to be the exclusive supplier of medical cannabis products to the Argentine importer.
The importer also requested that the financial terms of the agreement be not disclosed.
Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld said that they are excited to enter the Argentinian market through this deal. He said that they see a great potential for medical marijuana in several South American emerging markets, including Argentina.
Neufeld added that as Canada’s leading low-cost producer of high-quality medical cannabis, Aphria is committed to continue expanding its global leadership through partnerships, exclusive agreements, and strategic investments like this one.
Based in Leamington, Ontario, Aphria is a Health Canada Licensed grower and producer of medical cannabis products. Their medical cannabis is entirely greenhouse grown and are guaranteed natural and safe.