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Daniel Gauci – the crowdgrowing pioneer aiming to revolutionise the cannabis industry

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The ‘Gentleman Smoker’ is a stylish, family man  – and cannabis influencer. His mission is to break down stigmas by promoting responsible use of cannabis among its many benefits.

Under this public figure we find Daniel Gauci, CBDO at JuicyFields, a medicinal cannabis crowdgrowing platform that is revolutionising the fast-growing industry.

Today he is with us to talk about his relationship within the cannabis industry and the medicinal resources that offer the world’s most famous green plant.

What is it like to be The Gentleman Smoker? Tell us about the positive and negative aspects.

The Gentleman Smoker came about from the want of promoting the positive aspects of medicinal marijuana from a realistic albeit different perspective.

To break the stereotypes of what a typical cannabis user is and to show that a modern day cannabis user is a professional, responsible person.

I have a vast history with cannabis and most if not all is positive, from positive, personal points of view regarding introspection, mental health and productivity matters to the medicinal benefits within many diseases including ones my children suffer from.

The negative aspects, if I have to view it that way, would be that my private and professional life are now as one, and that my thoughts and motives are there for all to see, but that also has positives.

Many people still deny the health benefits that cannabis has to offer, what do you think about that?

The evidence is there. I am still surprised to hear the claim that there is not enough research, data or studies regarding medicinal marijuana and the benefits that it offers.

There are more than fifteen thousand peer reviewed studies and trials freely available for review and many more recently that focus on the endocannabinoid system that is clearly recognised throughout the medical world, with many clinicians prescribing cannabis for a multitude of treatments.

It does pain me that people can deny something when the information is freely available, however, it is understandable due to the many years of negative propaganda campaigns.

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More and more countries are changing their legislation and perception of medical cannabis. Will we ever see a world in which medical cannabis is legislated and socially accepted?

I hope so. However, let us not forget there are places in the world where it is still a crime to be gay or to favor one religion over another.

There are many challenges that marijuana legislation faces but I see them being overcome one by one.

Let us take Europe as an example, the shift for positive legislation has come quick with governments and medicine authorities realising the potential that medicinal marijuana offers not only as medicine for patients but as an industry for the nation.

If we look at the current predicted figures the industry is expected to boom in the coming years, this will only speed up favourable legislation ultimately benefiting the consumer.

If we look back 10 or even 5 years, progress is gaining insatiable momentum that was not predicted by many so soon.

You have a background experience in the pharmaceutical field. Could you list some new medical benefits that can be found in cannabis if research continues?

Everyday I wonder where the research will take us. I read almost weekly of new applications and possible uses that medicinal marijuana can offer.

Not just in relation to cannabinoids but also in relation to terpenes and also the entourage effect, the innovation is truly outstanding.

When I studied pharmacology we touched upon cannabis in relation to the psychoactive elements in relation to the body and mind but since then microbiology and the understanding of chemical relationships has advanced so much I believe that we will keep learning more about this wonderful plant and what she has to offer for many years to come.

The most curious aspect for me is the relationship between the creation of amino acids and the importance of synapse connection in relation to speech. I am very much looking forward to the progress in this particular field of research.

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On a personal level, what influence has medical cannabis had on your life?

Cannabis has held a different influence over me at various stages during my life. From one off theory and research to that of actively keeping members of my family alive.

The gap is profound and stretches so far but to narrow in on the practical medical applications in a personal scenario, it would be that of helping to save our baby daughters life.

It showed me how persecution from ignorance was prevalent in many avenues in life, not just in the medical marijuna world. In reflection it influenced me to be a better person, father, husband and member of society.

Having seen with your own eyes the benefits of medical cannabis, what would you say to those who want to try but are not sure about it?

Go and do it and do not waste time. Seek medical expertise prior but do not wait for any condition to worsen. Cannabis, while not 100% safe in all methods and for all people, has very little side effects with very, very high quantities needed for any type of overdosing classification.

Medicinal marijunana can have an immediate effect in certain conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease with other conditions and symptoms being alleviated within minutes.

There are numerous resources available that can guide and help you to make an informed decision. Currently we are treating our severely autistic, non verbal son with CBD oil.

The results are proving positive, the studies and trials undergoing currently, particularly in Spain, are very encouraging.

My daughter was treated with high strength (and dosage) of full spectrum THC oil when undergoing chemotherapy for a tumor on her kidney, not only did it help with managing negative side effects of the harsher treatments, we believe also stopped the tumor from growing. (However, we have no medical evidence to present for this claim).

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What is the role of JuicyFields regarding the medical cannabis industry?

JuicyFields enables people to support the medicinal cannabis industry by keeping the supply chain within grassroots and community cultivation level operations.

JuicyFields is adamant that the people working within this industry for years, fighting for legislation and research should be the ones to benefit now that legislation is positive and the industry being legalised.

We operate so that the money generated in this industry goes back to the community farmers and cultivators and processors so that they can continue to support themselves and grow, rather than having to sell their lands or businesses to multinational corporations eager to monopolise the industry for profit.

Is crowdgrowing going to change the course of the cannabis industry? How?

I believe so, yes. The other role of JuicyFields is to provide easy access to those wanting to support and invest in the medical cannabis industry.

For those who have looked, it is very expensive and prohibitive to enter. High costs, many licenses, industry knowledge and a highly skilled workforce is required if one were to venture in the industry as a normal business might.

That is where crowdgrowing comes into play. JuicyFields provides a platform that these budding entrepreneurs and investors can not only support the grass roots level cultivators but to also make a profit for themselves without the heavy time and financial commitment usually required.

The cultivation partners on the platform are all vetted to the highest of standards and comply with every regulation required where they operate and beyond.

All with full compliance and cultivation licenses from the relevant authorities and are also insured. This means that crowdgrowers are fully legal and compliant to enter into what is traditionally an exclusive yet very profitable and fast growing industry.

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Epilepsy

CBGA may be ‘more potent’ than CBD against seizures in Dravet syndrome

Dr Lyndsey Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.

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Dravet Syndrome: A row of test tubes containing CBGA oil with a doctors white gloved hand holding one up to the light

Scientists say they have found the ‘Mother of all cannabinoids’ which may help to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome.

A new study on mice from the University of Sydney found that three acidic cannabinoids found in cannabis reduced seizures in Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of childhood epilepsy.

The three cannabinoids are cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA). All three but CBGA in particular “may contribute to the effects of cannabis-based products in childhood epilepsy” noted the researchers and were found to potentially have ‘anticonvulsant properties.”

The study marks the first time that three acidic cannabinoids were found to potentially help reduce seizures for Dravet syndrome.

Speaking with Cannabis Health News, the lead author of the study, Dr Lyndsey Anderson, said: “We found that CBGA exhibited both anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects. CBGA was more potent than CBD against febrile seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We also found that a combination of CBGA and clobazam was more effective than either treatment alone. Additionally, we found that CBGA was anticonvulsant in the maximal electroshock acute seizure model, a model for generalized tonic-clonic seizures.”

She added: “CBGA did, however, present some proconvulsant effects. The frequency of spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome was increased with a high dose of CBGA. Also, CBGA was proconvulsant in the 6-Hz acute seizure model, a model of focal, psychomotor seizures.”

Although CBGA shows promise, Dr Anderson also stressed that it needs more research before it can replace CBD. She cautioned that Dravet syndrome patients may still need to proceed with caution.

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“Artisanal cannabis-based products are believed to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome patients,” she said. “As these oils contain rare cannabinoids like CBGA, it is possible CBGA then contributes to the anticonvulsant effects of these artisanal cannabis oils. However, there were proconvulsant effects observed with CBGA, suggesting that Dravet syndrome patients may need to proceed with caution. The proconvulsant liability of CBGA would need to be addressed before it replaced CBD as an anticonvulsant.”

What is CBGA?

Sometimes referred to as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids,’ CBGA is the precursor molecule to many different cannabinioids including CBD and THC. It is thought to help some diseases such as colon cancer, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease. It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid much like CBD.

Dr Anderson explains that more research is needed to explain how the three cannabinoids work together.

“We don’t know how they work together yet,” she said. “We found that CBGA, CBDVA and CBGVA were all individually anticonvulsant against thermally induced seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. We did not investigate whether a combination of these three cannabinoids would result in a greater anticonvulsant effect than either cannabinoid alone. Future work will definitely explore this possibility.”  

CBGA future research

This isn’t the end of the research into CBGA for Dravet Syndrome. Dr Anderson said there is more to explore when it comes to creating more treatment options for Dravet syndrome.

 

She said: “Next on the horizon for this research is to explore whether the anticonvulsant properties of CBDVA and CBGVA translate to other seizure types including spontaneous seizures in the mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Additionally, we have extensively interrogated the anticonvulsant potential of individual cannabinoids and identified ten with anticonvulsant properties.”

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“We are now interested in investigating what happens when we combine these anticonvulsant properties. It remains an open possibility that greater anticonvulsant effects are achieved when the cannabinoids are administered in combination.”

The study was recently published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (DOI: 10.1111/bph.15661)

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New York regulators vote to allow home grow for medical cannabis patients

The new regulations would allow medical cannabis patients and carers in the state a safe, cost-effective way to access their medication

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New York: The statue of Liberty against a blue sky and the skyline of New York city

The proposed regulations would allow medical cannabis patients and carers in New York to grow up to six plants, indoors or outdoors, for therapeutic use.

New York cannabis regulators voted unanimously for the proposed regulations which would not only allow qualified patients to grow their own plants.

According to a slide from the Cannabis Control Board presentation, patients would be allowed six plants each but carers with more than one patient,  can “cultivate 1 additional cannabis plant for each subsequent patient.”

The new regulations would impose a duty on patients to ensure no one under the age of 21 can access the plants or any products cultivated from them.

Landlords would also have the option to prohibit their tenants from growing cannabis on their property if they chose. The products must not be processed using anything other than alcohol.

The regulations will now have a 60-day public commentary period before review.

Tremaine Wright, chair of the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) said: “We are proud to present those proposed regulations. The home cultivation of medical cannabis will provide certified patients with a cost-effective means of obtaining cannabis through personal cultivation while creating a set of standards governing the conduct and activities relating to the personal cultivation of cannabis.”

In a press release, the CCB also gave an update on the expungement of cannabis convictions. “Approximately 203,000 cannabis-related charges are presently being suppressed from criminal background searches and are in process of being expunged, adding to the approximately 198,000 records that were expunged as part of the first round of cannabis expungement following legislation enacted in 2019.”

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New York recreational market

Earlier this year, New York. It would become the 16th US state to legalise recreational cannabis creating thousands of jobs and tax revenue. The bill was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in March.

The law would allow for possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for personal use. It would allow licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis products to those over 21.

Neighbouring states who have already legalised marijuana, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, meant that New York citizens were leaving to access cannabis losing tax revenue in the process.

It is expected that home grow for recreational users will follow the proposed regulations for medical cannabis patients but only after the new market is established.

Read more: California governor signs Ryan’s Law to allow medical cannabis use in hospitals

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Grow Pharma to launch own-brand cannabis flower

Grow Pharma launches own-brand products to improve accessibility of prescribed cannabis medicines

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Grow Group recently completed acquisition of a major cultivation and extraction facility located in Spain

Grow Pharma has announced it will launch its own range of medical cannabis flowers to improve accessibility of prescribed cannabis medicines.

Leading supplier of prescribed cannabis medicines, Grow Pharma, announced today the launch of their own brand of medical cannabis flowers for UK patients.

This will start with a mid-range THC sativa and a balanced-ratio hybrid with a third, indica flower, to follow in the coming weeks.

The UK medical cannabis market is still in its infancy, with many patients now receiving prescribed medical cannabis, since moving  to regulated, safer and legally prescribed products with medical oversight of their treatment.

Grow Pharma new cannabis products

Many of these patients have a broad knowledge of the cannabis plant and its active ingredients and are very often used to certain cultivars (strains) that are providing the best relief for their symptoms. In order to cater for both these “experienced” patients and for the other side of the coin; the “cannabis naïve” patients, Grow Pharma aims to have the broadest possible range of cannabis medicines available for doctors and patients.

Towards that aim Grow recently launched capsules and is constantly looking into new modes of administration. Soon the company will launch medical cannabis vape (oil) pens with their partner, Columbia Care, who also introduced the capsules.

The launch of the Grow flower medicines fits this narrative. The cultivars and cannabinoid ratios will be in addition to Grow’s range of premium branded products from Aurora and Tilray, further increasing the options available for patients. 

Pricing is moderate and will allow patients to use only these products or combine premium brands with Grow’s own quality brand to create the optimal symptom management for patients who have exhausted other pharmaceutical options or are suffering too many side effects from these medications. 

Grow’s focus on patients also means that, as with the other brands, there is a consistent and sustainable supply of these products via their pharmacy partners, IPS Pharma.

Grow and IPS already represent world-renowned producers of medical cannabis Aurora, Tilray and Columbia Care and recently signed an agreement with ALT to bring their liquid medical cannabis products to Europe early next year.

Grow Pharma

Grow has the broadest range of cannabis medicines in the UK, with 20 flower and 25 oil medicines, including these new additions, as well as the capacity to formulate oils with bespoke ratios of THC and CBD where required. They are also the only UK supplier to stock a range of hard-shell medical cannabis capsules, manufactured locally for USA producer Columbia Care.

“Cannabis medicines are so personal to the individual patient; this is why it’s important for us to ensure doctors have a wide-range of options to choose from when treating patients,” commented GROW’s patient access lead and prominent medical cannabis advocate, Alex Fraser.

“We already have the widest range prior to the addition of the GROW Flowers, but we felt we needed to offer more options alongside the flower ranges we stock from  Aurora and Tilray, to ensure that even more patients can benefit from these medicines and the fast and efficient pharmacy service IPS provide.

With prescription numbers for cannabis medicines in the UK increasing month-on-month and more doctors entering the space, it is no surprise to see a company like Grow launching its own brand.

However, GROW CEO Pierre Van Weperen stated: “One of the things that makes us the supplier of choice for doctors prescribing cannabis medicines is that we provide a wide range from multiple leading producers. This means the doctors we support can make the best decisions for their patients and we can ensure consistency in the supply of patient’s medicines.

“We continue to see enormous benefit of supplying medicines from multiple reputable producers. The globally leading brands are all working with us and together we are all working on driving access for patients to these products. There are several hundred thousand UK patients out there who would potentially benefit from these cannabis medicines. The introduction of our GROW flowers brand will only strengthen our broad offering and these efforts”.

Grow Pharma’s parent company Grow Group recently completed an acquisition of Sanoid Isolates, a major cultivation and extraction facility located in Seville, Spain where Grow intends to breed unique cultivars and produce new medicines based on the needs of doctors and patients.

Doctors can find information on the medicines GROW supplies by contacting them directly or by signing up to the recently launched HCP Portal where they can also speak privately to other doctors in the field and find out about the latest educational events on medical cannabis for healthcare professionals.

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Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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