Special Report: Creso Pharma is teaming up with New Zealand medical cannabis company Medleaf to build a local cannabis business, following recent regulatory changes.

Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) has told investors it is partnering with Medleaf, a Kiwi medicinal cannabis company, to build a comprehensive medicinal cannabis business following the passage of New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act.

The law was signed shortly before Christmas and introduces several key changes for local regulations – including allowing terminally ill patients to use cannabis.

Rules for wider use are expected to be formalised over the next two years.

Creso and Medleaf already have an existing distribution agreement which covers Creso’s cannabis lozenges cannaQIX® 50, which are designed to support the management of chronic pain.

The letter of intent signed between the pair will expand the partnership to cover Creso’s full product range and explore local research, cultivation, extraction and future product development.

The deal comes just days after Creso announced a move into Sri Lanka through a partnership with Ceyoka Health, one of Sri Lanka’s top pharmaceutical distributors.

Changing regulatory environment

The move is a strategic one following the changes ushered in by the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act.

The changes include downgrading non-psychotropic cannabinoids medicinal cannabis products from the controlled drugs list and setting quality standards for all stages of production.

Creso welcomed the new law, believing it will ultimately deliver improved patient access to medicinal cannabis.

“Creso has stated previously we believe New Zealand forms an important part of our business plan for the APAC region, with New Zealand set to emerge as one of the fastest growing markets for cannabis related products in the region,” said Dr Miri Halperin Wernli, Creso CEO and co-founder.

“With CBD products no longer regarded as controlled drugs, but as prescription medicines, we expect improved patient access across the country,” she added.

>> ASX listed cannabis stocks: here’s everything you need to know

Expanding partnerships

Courtney Letica, founder and chief of Medleaf, said Creso was the perfect fit for a partnership.

“We firmly believe New Zealand can secure its place as a global leader in cannabis innovation and the recent regulatory advances reinforce this view,” he said.

“We’re delighted to announce a deeper alliance with Creso Pharma, one of the industry’s innovation leaders globally. Our intention is to accelerate our efforts to be prepared for the opportunities which are opening up.”

Creso says it also expects the partnership to result in a wide range of new opportunities.

“We have developed a strong relationship with Medleaf and we are delighted to expand this partnership to realise the tremendous potential in New Zealand,” added Dr Halperin Wernli.

“This partnership is greatly encouraged by the evolving regulatory situation in New Zealand, which will lead to a wide range of new opportunities with initial investment by Medleaf.”


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