The medical use of cannabis has a very high potential – both therapeutically and economically – and it has become one of the most important economic topics in recent years. More and more countries, also in Europe, not only allow the cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes, but also actively promote it. But, what makes this topic so relevant, and why is it so essential to found a European association?
What can be seen behind the strategies and approaches for the production of medicinal cannabis is not conducive to the “enormous” pharmaceutical potential. The delta between potential and lived production practice is enormous and is further negatively reinforced by heterogeneous regulatory requirements. Throughout the last years, we confront such a complex and confusing market, that even with our experience of six years in the area of medicinal cannabis it is challenging to maintain a balanced overview.
The potential and hope for a sustainable “green” miracle substance does not only inspire investors. It is going to be a walk on a tightrope to balance the conflicting goals of stakeholders and the resulting demand for a strong European cannabis association (ECA).
The ECA wants to address exactly this area and offer support in the areas of consulting and development of standards for the production of medicinal cannabis.
However, this brings with it a number of challenges which have to be addressed by the companies themselves as well as at a regulatory level:
- Strongly fluctuating product qualities, caused by insufficient standardization and specifications for reproducible processes
- Lack of consideration of essential standards and scientific approaches already in early planning phases
- Non-compliance with the principles of good manufacturing practice based on the current state of science and technology (cGxP)
- Risk that companies may not be able to produce or place the harvest on the market despite the issue of a cultivation license.