A look back at some big milestones in 2018
2018 marked a year of change, innovation and access for medical cannabis patients across the globe.
In March, we announced a new partnership with Sandoz, a leading pharmaceutical company, to increase innovation and availability of Tilray medical cannabis products. Partnering with a company such as Sandoz helps recognize medical cannabis and cannabinoids as conventional medicine. Earlier this month, we expanded that partnership to include the global Tilray and Sandoz brands.
We also signed agreements with Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmasave to provide access to Tilray medical cannabis products when the legislation allows. Shoppers recently received its licensed producer status from Health Canada.
In July, Tilray became the first cannabis company to list its Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq, using ticker symbol TLRY. The initial offering included nine million shares of Class 2 common stock priced between $18.40-$21 CDN per share. Tilray’s CEO Brendan Kennedy was joined by Tilray staff and board members to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq on the day of the IPO.
Ahead of adult-use legalization, we created a subsidiary called High Park to serve the recreational market and reassure our cherished patients we will continue to serve your needs through Tilray. Brands such as Marley Natural, Grail and Irisa were licensed for distribution in Canada, while the High Park team created made-in-Canada brands, such as Canaca, Dubon (Quebec) and Yukon Rove.
In October, Canada was the first G7 nation to end adult-use cannabis prohibition. The Cannabis Act provided improvements to the medical cannabis system by allowing patients to transfer their medical document between licensed producers and removing the requirement of patients to carry documentation of their prescription.
Adult-use legalization is also improving access for medical cannabis patients, making conversations between doctors and patients seeking authorization easier as the stigma attached to cannabis use is reduced and hopefully eliminated.
The downside to adult-use legalization is the imposition of the federal Excise Tax on medical cannabis. Tilray is covering the tax in the short-term, but doing this does not solve the larger issue: patients shouldn’t have to pay tax on their medicine. We are supporting the campaign from Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) and encourage you to do so as well by signing the petition.
What did not change in 2018 is Tilray’s commitment to research and education on medical cannabis.
We were excited to continue our efforts to provide support and partnerships to researchers studying the effectiveness of medical cannabis on a range of illnesses. Research trials that launched in 2018 or continued this year include:
- Effects of driving under the influence of cannabis with University of Sydney;
- Medical cannabis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with University of British Columbia;
- Medical cannabis and glioblastoma with Grupo Espanol de Investigacion en Neurocologia (GEINO)
- Effects of medical cannabis on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CNIV) with the University of Sydney and government of New South Wales;
- Essential tremor study with University of California San Diego – the first legal export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S., where cannabis is still illegal at the federal level;
- High-CBD cannabis extract for children with drug-resistant epilepsy due to Dravet Syndrome with Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.
Observational research – from these studies come a wealth of information on cannabis patterns of use and substitution of opioids and other prescription medications:
- Medical cannabis use in patients over 50 years of age;
- Tilray Observational Patient Study;
- Substitution of Opioids Study
We also launched our information hub for patients and health-care providers called CannabIs_Medicine. This portal contains articles and topics backed by research and science to provide patients and their health-care providers with the best, most up-to-date information available. We’re continually adding to this resource, so visit often to see what’s new – use your current Tilray log-in or sign up with access code PATIENTHUB.
Looking back, 2018 was a year of change. We’re thankful to our patients for being part of this journey with us & we look forward to supporting your medical cannabis needs in 2019 and beyond.