NANAIMO, British Columbia- A Canadian cannabis company has been given approval by the U.S. government to legally export medicinal cannabis to the United States for research.
Tilray Inc., the company who received the approval, already has international cannabis shipping experience. They are the first company to ship cannabis from North America to Australia and New Zealand.
Despite Tilray’s experience, getting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proved to be a lengthy process.
“It’s quite significant,” Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Tilray’s director of clinical research according to Newsweek. “This is the first time a Canadian (licensed producer) has demonstrated to the FDA that a study drug produced in Canada from the cannabis plant can meet its standards.”
The news was great for Tilray stockholders as their price per share rose 28 percent according to Bloomberg. Tilray’s overall value rose by $3 billion increasing the company’s overall value at $14 billion. This pushes it past Canopy Growth Corp. as the world’s most valuable cannabis company.
Tilray’s exports should be helping out researchers in the United States. Cannabis used in research typically comes from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. However, this typically comes in the form of dry flower, making it difficult to accurately gauge dosage. Tilray’s cannabis will come in a pill form.
“We’ve got a set dosing, fixed, highly consistent, and so it’s really going to help us advance the field much more,” said Dr. Fatta Nahab, an associate professor of neurosciences at the University of California San Diego’s medical school.
The cannabis provided by Tilray will be used in a study examining essential tremors, a neurological condition where individuals experience body shaking. Tilray funded a part of the research as well as the International Essential Tremor Association. Clinical trials are expected to begin next year.
Legal sales of cannabis have been legalized nationwide in Canada and will begin next month. Despite 30 states legalizing medicinal cannabis, the drug is still outlawed on the federal level in the United States.