• May 29, 2019

    Medcann World Forum Malta 2019 Announces Initial Conference Speakers

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    Medcann World Forum Malta 2019 Announces Initial Conference Speakers

    May 29, 2019

    Valletta, Malta, April 25th, 2019 – Following the successful inaugural two-day event in 2018, Medcann World Forum has officially announced the 2nd annual event in Malta set for November 19th – 21st.

    Key speakers at this year’s summit will include, Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr. Joseph Muscat. In 2008 Dr. Muscat was elected as the leader of the Labour Party and was subsequently elected Prime Minister on the 11th of March 2013. Dr. Muscat won his second term as Prime Minister in June 2017.

    Hendrik Knopp, the Managing Director of Aphria Germany will also be addressing the forum in 2019. Knopp has been at the helm of Aphria Germany since the company was set up and has recently lead the process which resulted in Aphria being successfully selected by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to receive a license for the domestic cultivation of medical cannabis in Germany.

    Tjalling Erkelens CEO at Bedrocan has also been announced as one of this year’s speakers. For the past 26 years, Erkelens has developed and standardized unique methods of producing cannabis to pharmaceutical standards, to a level achieved by no other company. His strong commitment to product quality resulted in the Dutch Bedrocan production facilities being approved for GMP/API (Good Manufacturing Practice/Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) by the Dutch Health Authorities in 2017.

    Additionally, Prof. Anthony Serracino will be speaking at this year’s event. Anthony Serracino Inglott is a Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Malta. He is also the Chairman of the Malta Medicines Authority, Chairman of the Malta Laboratories Network and a member within the Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the board of governors of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.

    Medcann World Forum is set on bringing together policymakers, analysts, researchers and business leaders, that will provide key insights from the professionals at the forefront of the cannabis industry.


    Medcann World Forum 2019 will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre which has long been considered one of Valletta’s most remarkable landmarks. Located towards the tip of Valletta peninsula, the MCC stands for distinction with magnificent views across the Grand Harbour.

  • May 07, 2019

    The Shift In Medical Cannabis We Can Expect In The Years Ahead

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    The Shift In Medical Cannabis We Can Expect In The Years Ahead

    May 07, 2019

    2018 was an eventful year for the cannabis industry. Canada started paving the way for recreational use, and numerous other US states followed in their footsteps. Essentially, much of the controversy surrounding the cannabis plant finally started reaching its dawn. However, there is still quite a way to go before medical cannabis is recognized by the professional medical industry and legalized globally.

    Now that we’re well into 2019, we thought it would be a perfect time to take a quick look back at the evolution of medical cannabis and try to predict the changes we can expect in the months and years ahead.

    The Cannabis Industry in 2018, A Quick Look Back

    On 17 October 2018, the federal Cannabis Act came into effect and made Canada the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to formally legalize the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis and its by-products. In fact, Canada was the first G7 and G20 nation to do so. This groundbreaking shift in culture set in motion a series of events paving the way for the legalization of the recreational cannabis industry.

    In 2018, the District of Columbia and 10 states including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, all adopted the most expensive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Europeans also started opening up more and embracing the medical properties of cannabis, a fact reflected not only by the legislation of several countries but also by the recent investments made in the industry. Europeans were not only seeing the benefits of medical cannabis, but it’s financial aspect as well.

    2019 Cannabis Recommendations By World Health Organization

    Despite the fact that they announced their intent to reevaluate their position on medical cannabis, the World Health Organization (WHO) postponed their recommendations for several months. Nonetheless, at the start of 2019 the World Health Organization finally recognized cannabis as a medicine and formally proposed that legislators take a “more rational” approach to drug laws.
    WHO’s new position on medical marijuana helped to influence numerous other countries to reconsider their prohibition laws and enter a new era in western medicine.

    Where The Research Is Heading

    Today, much of the recent cannabis research being conducted is focused on the field of neurology, with the medical community hoping to utilize cannabis to help control disorders such as Alzheimer or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Several clinical studies have also indicated hemp’s potential to inhibit the progress of several autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.

    A particular study showed that by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels combined with a complex process of programmed cell death, cannabis could reduce the spreading of some types of cancer cells. These recent discoveries still require more research, but they show that cannabis can have a far greater medical application that it was believed just a few short years ago.

    Safety Considerations

    Despite its prohibition history, when compared to traditional prescription drugs, marijuana’s safety record looks very promising. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, there haven’t been any recorded cases of cannabis overdose. WHO also declared that all studies show that the estimated lethal cannabis dose for humans is so high that it simply cannot be achieved by conventional use.

    The biggest concern regarding marijuana involves its psychological effects, more specifically its mood-altering effects. It can pose higher risks psychiatrically sensitive people like adolescents or people with a history of psychiatric illnesses. There is also the issue of dosage when it comes to medical treatments, as it can’t be properly synthesized into conventional treatments which take a long time to produce effects. Smoking the weed continues to be the fastest way to induce its effects, and it is also the easiest way to control the dosage.

    What The Future Holds

    The marijuana industry is clearly poised to bloom in the years ahead, with Europe being the major player, from a financial point of view at least. However, despite the recent changes in legislation, it will take at least 5 years for this industry to be regulated enough to actually serve its purpose. The medical community also needs to gather more conclusive data to support new investments in the field of researches.

    Join us at Medcann World Forum Malta, the premier medical cannabis event on November 19-21.

  • April 22, 2019

    The Impact of Medical Cannabis in Europe

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    The Impact of Medical Cannabis in Europe

    April 22, 2019

    The medicinal properties of cannabinoids have been well known since ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the cannabis plant was truly introduced into western medicine. Nonetheless, due to its intoxicating effects, cannabis has gained somewhat of a controversial reputation, even in the medical community.

    In recent years, the interest in its medical properties has increased considerably, and while we still lack sufficient data to fully understand hemp’s properties, we can no longer ignore its many positive benefits. Despite the fact that legal matters associated with the use of medical cannabis are still the topic of heated debates in many parts of the world, we’re now seeing more European countries debating the legalization of medical cannabis as part of ongoing treatments.

    Why medical cannabis legislation is changing

    One of the driving forces behind this governmental change is public opinion, and it’s safe to say that Europeans, for the most part, are sometimes more open-minded than North-American counterparts with regards to alternative medicine. Given the fact that more and more individuals now have access to international research and patients sharing their personal experiences, Europeans are increasingly putting pressure on local governments to adopt legislation to keep in pace with changing cultures.

    There are also economic reasons for the global shift towards medical cannabis legalization. According to the third edition of the European Cannabis Report, the market for medical cannabis is expected to reach over $55 billion US dollars in the next ten years, causing many European countries with struggling economies to benefit from this rapidly growing industry.

    What still hinders legislation changes

    Given the proven medicinal properties of marijuana and the obvious financial benefits, one can’t help but wonder why there are still many European countries who are reluctant to change their legislation. Well, for starters, not all European countries are equally opened minded when it comes to marijuana. Moreover, despite the fact that research is piling up, there is still insufficient data to drive this radical change.

    Moreover, there are also pharmaceutical obstacles to be considered, with dosage being one of the biggest challenges and yield consistency being another.

    The Medical Landscape Post Legalisation

    Considering the many obstacles surrounding the legislation for medicinal cannabis, one has to wonder how the medical landscape may change post-legalization. To shed light on that subject, let’s take the example from countries that have already approved cannabis for medical use. Germany legalized medical hemp in March 2017. Doctors are now allowed to prescribe therapeutics containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), mainly in the form of the flower or extracts, to patients with severe diseases, such as chronic pain, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. You would assume that a country as developed as Germany would have successfully implemented marijuana into its medical industry by now.

    The fact is, things haven’t been smooth sailing. In fact, When the German government legalized cannabis for medical purposes, they also established a cannabis agency as part of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). Shortly after that, they entered into the public tender process during which companies could apply for a cannabis cultivation license.

    The tender process was set up in two steps. First, applicants had to qualify for the growing of cannabis in Germany. That was the pre-condition; demonstrating the ability and experience to grow cannabis in Germany. But, there was a problem: No company in Germany had the necessary experience and therefore couldn’t qualify on their own. So the BfArM agreed that companies were allowed to team-up with pre-established international cannabis growers or other experienced plant-farmers.

    Germany still lacks an adequate production system, which frequently leads to treatment shortages in pharmacies. Clearly, legalizing medical hemp is just one step of a long journey, as it takes a lot of time, money and industry know-how to integrate cannabis on a large scale.

    The financial overview

    Due to the medical community’s rising interest in marijuana treatments, it makes sense that Europeans don’t want to have to rely on imports, so they are investing in the development of their own marijuana market. In the first 6 months of 2018, the European cannabis industry has grown more than it has in the past five years, with six countries having announced changes in legislation. This has led to a 40% increase in patient numbers and investments that rise over 150 million Euros.

    The European market is definitely building momentum and financial experts predict that in the next 5 years, Europe may very well be the largest cannabis market.

    What the future holds

    2019 has already started as a great year for medical cannabis. After 50 years, the World Health Organization has finally reconsidered its position on medical cannabis, recognizing its medical usefulness and recommending it to be removed from Schedule 4, the most restrictive category of drugs. Obviously enough, these recommendations are expected to be opposed by many countries, and whether or not marijuana will be reclassified as a drug, is still up for debate. Nonetheless, WHO’s recommendations will be a powerful factor that might encourage many other countries to reconsider their prohibition laws, at least for medical treatments, if not for recreational use. Combine these recommendations with the financial appeal of this growing industry and the struggling economies of many European countries, and medical cannabis is looking at an interesting landscape in Europe.

    Interesting times ahead!

  • April 09, 2019

    Let’s talk Malta: open for investment in medical cannabis

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  • March 29, 2019

    Zenabis Global taking on the medicinal cannabis industry worldwide

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  • March 23, 2019

    Malta to Host 2nd Annual Medcann World Forum in November

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    Malta to Host 2nd Annual Medcann World Forum in November

    March 23, 2019

    Medcann World Forum will continue to place the spotlight on Malta, it’s medical cannabis legislation and business friendly environment and focus on why the country is fast becoming the leader in the European medical cannabis field.

    Valletta, Malta – Following the successful inaugural two-day event in 2018, Medcann World Forum has officially announced the 2nd annual event in Malta set for November 19th – 21st.

    This year’s three day conference will host Malta’s top policy makers, international regulatory experts and global business leaders in the medical cannabis field.

    Medcann World Forum will continue to place the spotlight on Malta, it’s medical cannabis legislation and business-friendly environment and focus on why the country is fast becoming the leader in the European medical cannabis field.

    The Maltese government and in particular Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Muscat is a strong supporter of the medical cannabis industry and what it offers to this Mediterranean island. When speaking during the introduction of the Medical Marijuana bill last year, Dr. Muscat outlined his vision for a global, reliable and secure Maltese medical marijuana industry.

    This November, the MedCann World Forum attendees will gain a diverse and inspiring perspective of the latest advances from the medical cannabis industry through a mix of case study presentations, discussions, and Q&A sessions. Additionally, the multi-faceted event will focus on 6 main pillars, namely: medical, legislation, business, regulatory, education & research.

    Nicholas Spiteri, Director of The MedCann World Forum said “The response we experienced after last year’s event is overwhelming. The increase in speakers and exhibitors has led us to increase the footprint of the conference and also add an extra day to the event compared to 2018. We already have over 100 speakers confirmed and the feedback we are getting from industry leaders is that the event is well placed to become the region’s premier medical cannabis industry gathering’

  • March 22, 2019

    Maltese MEP Miriam Dalli Calls On European Commission To Invest More In Medical Cannabis Research

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  • March 21, 2019

    First congressional marijuana vote of 2019 officially scheduled for next week

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  • March 21, 2019

    The growth of medical cannabis in Europe

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  • March 21, 2019

    Malta: a centre of excellence for medical cannabis

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  • March 21, 2019

    Malta’s budding medical cannabis industry – what you need to know

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  • March 21, 2019

    Will Europe be the world’s largest medical cannabis market?

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