Global cannabis distributor, Halo Collective, is expanding its importation programme to bring flower based products to patients in the UK.
The Oregon-based company will now import flower based medical cannabis products from Canada, through its UK subsidiary Canmart.
Canmart previously imported tincture originating in the European Union (EU).
According to Prohibition Partners, the UK population consumes one of the greatest amounts of cannabis per capita in the world, with an estimated 4.7 million cannabis users out of a total general population of 66.4 million.
While the number of people in the UK who use cannabis to treat chronic health conditions is only 1.4 million, the legal use of medical cannabis is still in its relative infancy.
By 2024, the UK medical cannabis market is predicted to be worth nearly £1bn (US$1.3bn), servicing more than 400,000 active patients and, with further regulatory expansion, qualified patients could reach four million during the same time period.
Halo’s subsidiary Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness (Bophelo) expects to achieve European Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (EU GACP) certification in the first part of 2021, as COVID restrictions have finally abated in Lesotho where the facility is based.
This certification will allow Halo to distribute Certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) grade cannabis flower and oils throughout the UK and the EU.
Andreas Met, Halo’s co-founder and head of international, commented: “I relocated to Lesotho to oversee Bophelo operations. Before our hands were tied due to COVID, but now all the pieces are coming together like a puzzle.
“Halo efforts going into Lesotho are having a visible impact and showing significant progress.”
Halo expects Canmart will soon be capable of compliantly importing products originating from Bophelo’s licensed 200-hectare cultivation site, one of the few largest licensed cannabis canopies in the international market.
“The UK is a significant market opportunity for medical cannabis, and Halo’s acquisition of Canmart last November made us one of the first cannabis companies to have this distribution potential,” commented Kiran Sidhu, Halo CEO and co-founder.
“This week we saw fellow market player Tilray partner with Grow Pharma to distribute medical cannabis in the UK, although not yet supplying any cannabis based medicinal products to patients.
“We are pleased that Canmart has already been fulfilling medical prescriptions for patients as well as increasing awareness with educational programs for UK patients and physicians.
“We are happy the others like Tilray are entering to increase market size and patient access.”
Established in December 2018, Canmart was one of the first companies set up in response to the legalisation of medical cannabis in the UK.
While cultivation and GACP credentials are currently underway at Bophelo, Canmart is simultaneously working with Specials Pharma Ltd to supply a consistent and uninterrupted supply of cannabis medicines.
The flower importation completed this month is the first of many significant imports planned this year, with other shipments in the pipeline from Canada, Australia, and South Africa that are due later in the year.
Halo also intends to apply for cGMP accreditation for the Canmart distribution facility in the south east of England, which will enable the team to take raw material and process it into capsules, tinctures, and traditional flower products onsite.
The anticipated cGMP accreditation is expected to increase Canmart’s capacity to deliver medicinal products in the UK and is expected to accelerate Halo’s plans to build a European distribution network.
Sidhu continued: “Through Halo’s vertically integrated global supply chain, UK patients will have access not just to basic oils and tinctures, but will benefit from our high-quality, proprietary, branded flower and oil products.
“Canmart will be positioned to wholesale products deriving from notable high-grade genetics—DNA Genetics, Zkittlez, and more.
“We believe UK patients deserve the highest quality cannabis brands and products and Halo intends to deliver them. With added product assembly capacity at Canmart, this will only accelerate the process.”
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