Progressive pharmaceutical cannabis scene in Brazil and Berlin could influence U.S. legalization

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

There is a good chance that the United States will take inspiration from the German city of Berlin and the South American country of Brazil in terms of legalizing cannabis at the federal level. 

According to the CEO of Clever Leaves, Kyle Detwiler, there is “strong potential” that federal legalization in the U.S. could transpire as countries (including those previously mentioned) continue to embrace the plant’s pharmaceutical potential.

During a recent discussion with reporters from the Pharmacy Times, Detwiler noted that both Berlin and Brazil are beginning to distribute medicinal cannabis products via pharmacy outlets; as opposed to the typical dispensary scene that’s transpired across much of America.

“If we look across the ocean or even to places like Brazil or Berlin, everything is sold in a pharmacy setting, and that’s because there’s a federal layer of legislation which activates the use of cannabis for medical purposes. So, you have to go back and think about how the U.S. will legalize,” said Detwiler. “I actually think there is a strong potential, especially if federal legalization occurs focused on the medical channel, that pharmacies could very well play a big role.”

In an attempt to bolster medical cannabis study efforts, Detwiler’s company recently donated $1 million in pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to research organizations.

If the Biden administration, working with Congress, set up a new approach which is probably just a rescheduling of cannabis, moving it away from being neighbors with heroin and ecstasy and treated like a more regulated pharmaceutical product well, we have a very fancy sophisticated pre-built system for the distribution of those substances, and they are called pharmacies,” he continued.

Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency approves CBD products for pharmaceutical sales

In a recent regulatory win for the global cannabis industry, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) which is renowned for being strict has approved a cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) 50 mg/ml product manufactured by Verdemed Pharmaceuticals. 

The collaboration with Colombian-American operator Clever Leaves Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CLVR) will be the first ever Brazilian triphasic trial into the effects of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD on COVID patients.

Aside from focusing on product commercialization, Verdemed also intends on supplying the CBD-based medicine for a brand new clinical trial into the benefit(s) of medicinal cannabis long-haul coronavirus patients. The study will be fronted by InCor, the Heart Institute of the São Paulo University Medical School (FMUSP).

Verdemed and Clever Leaves are also in the last stages of obtaining Sanitary Authorization from Anvisa to create CBD 25mg/ml.

“We’re waiting on the green light to get the clinical trial underway this very month of November since COVID-related issues bear urgency,” said the CEO of Verdemed, José Bacellar.

Germany’s pharmacy influence on the cannabis industry

Much like Brazil, Germany has adopted a pharmacy strategy to present the cannabis consumer demographic with tried-and-tested products. The European country, which legalized medical cannabis back in the year 2017, serves approximately 128,000 patients every single year.

Following a July announcement from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), medical cannabis in Germany has been made available inside pharmacies for 4.30 euros (USD$5.07) per gram.

Looking to the future, we are highly likely to see more advancements in terms of medical cannabis acceptance across Europe, South America and the rest of the world. 

Meanwhile, it remains uncertain as to whether or not the U.S. government will legalize the plant at the federal level. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the future does look a vibrant shade of green.