Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has signed a distribution agreement that will see its hemp derived products sold in the world’s fifth-most populous country: Pakistan

The agreement with Route2 Pharma Pvt specifies combined minimum order quantities for the first year of up to AUD$2.48 million across CannaQix 10, Cannaqix 50 and CannaDOL product lines, with targets in the second and third years to be negotiated in good faith.

The deal follows a landmark decision by the Pakistan government in September to allow the country to enter the billion-dollar cannabidiol market, with a focus on cultivating cannabis and hemp for therapeutic products.

Route2 has a strategic association with Highnoon Laboratories, and if regulators agree the companies will sell products to other markets: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Georgia, the Maldives, Myanmar, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

“This agreement takes Creso into markets with a combined population of over 750 million,” said Creso non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal.

“Our mission is to deliver access to affordable, high-quality, broad-spectrum GMP products for the betterment of people’s lives everywhere.

“We’re delighted to conclude this important partnership, through which we hope to provide the opportunity for millions of people to have access to our innovative products.”

Shahnawaz Baig, the managing director of Route2, said the company has been “strongly encouraged with the recent regulatory breakthrough on CBD in Pakistan which will result in the removal of obstacles to patient access”.

“We continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to pave a way for patients and consumers to gain access to the benefits of Creso’s innovative hemp-derived therapeutic products.”

Creso to benefit from cannabis reform

Pakistan’s move to allow CBD products is part of a worldwide trend towards relaxing marijuana laws that seems to be picking up pace in recent months.

In November another five US states passed legalisation measures — New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona and Mississippi – meaning that one-third of Americans now live in places where pot is legal for adults.

In December the United Nations formally rescheduled cannabis from a 1961 convention on narcotic drugs, where it had been classified alongside heroin and cocaine.

This month new regulations went into effect in Australia that will let chemists dispense approved low-dose cannabinoid oils and pills, creating an opportunity that Creso is looking to capitalise on through a  partnership with natural health and lifestyle brand Martin & Pleasance.

Democrats in the US Senate also this month formally committed to cannabis reform, a move that would likely include removing marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.

If it passes, that could let Creso’s Canadian subsidiary, Mernova Medicinal, import its high-quality artisanal recreational cannabis into the United States. Mernova is already making headway across a number of different markets in Canada.

This article was developed in collaboration with Creso Pharma, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.