Pot for pets biotech CannPal had just two full-time staff at the end of December.

“As at 31 December 2017, the company had two full time employees,” the company said in its half-year report.

One was Dr Margaret Curtis, a former director at Eli Lilly’s global animal health operation Elanco, who is head of clinical development and R&D.

According to CannPal’s first half report, the company believes the first three hurdles for Dr Curtis’ 1 million incentive options are “more than likely to be met” — the first being signing an employee contract.

The next two hurdles are submitting an application to register a nutraceutical product with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in Australia or equivalent as an animal food product in Australia or other target region, and starting a target animal safety study for its CPAT-01 drug within 24 months of Dr Curtis coming aboard.

CPAT-01 is CannPal’s lead drug candidate under development as a pain medication for companion animals.

The final hurdle that must be met for Dr Curtis to receive her last package of options is for CannPal to start CPAT-01 pivotal Phase 3 field trials with a final formulation within 30 months.

The company starts field trials this quarter.

CannPal has $5.6 million from its IPO in October last year. The company burned $717,000 cash in the half as it gears up to clinical trials in NSW early this year to test medicinal marijuana treatments for pain in 48 dogs.

CannPal isn’t planning to submit their research to regulators for product approval until 2021, and its nutraceutical products aren’t expected to be commercialised until 2019.

CannPal has been contacted for comment.

The shares fell 11 per cent to 25c on Wednesday.