Medigrowth

Medigrowth is undertaking a clinical trial with Deakin University investigating how medicinal cannabis might help young people with autism.

Professor Peter Enticott

Deakin is partnering with colleagues from Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University, and gathering views from individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions and their parents.

Head of the cognitive neuroscience unit at Deakin’s school of psychology Professor Peter Enticott said the research will investigate the development of safe and effective interventions for those with neurodevelopmental challenges.

“In a study involving five to 12-year-old children on the autism spectrum, our first trial will investigate whether medical cannabis can mitigate disability that is often associated with autism, promote quality of life, and enhance mental health,” he said.

“We will also look at underlying changes in brain function to better understand how medical cannabis exerts its effects. This work is incredibly timely, as medical cannabis is already used clinically in autism, but we lack a solid evidence base.”

He added: “[It] seems to act on several of the brain mechanisms that are implicated in neurodevelopmental conditions and appears to have strong potential for future therapeutic use. We are excited to partner with Medigrowth, particularly given their commitment to rigorous empirical research.”

Greenfern Industries

Greenfern Industries has been awarded B Corp certification in New Zealand.

Greenfern Industries MD Dan Casey

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They are companies that make decisions to create a positive impact for their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

Greenfern managing director Dan Casey said B Corp certification was something the firm had been working towards for three years.

“Greenfern’s values are very much aligned with B Corp philosophies — our non-negotiable pillars of operating sustainably with people and the environment are in the forefront of our mind,” he said.

Greenfern operates its medicinal cannabis facility using an aeroponics system that is less reliant on water. It is powered using renewable energy from the company’s own hydroelectric power station located nearby.

Incannex Healthcare

Incannex has announced its intention to reward shareholders in Australia and New Zealand and fund future development via the issue of loyalty options.

For every 15 shares held at 5pm AEST on March 23, 2022, shareholders with an address in Australia or New Zealand will be issued with one free loyalty option with an exercise price of 35 cents, expiring on April 22, 2022.

Incannex CEO and managing director Joel Latham

If exercised, each option will result in the allotment and issue of one fully paid ordinary share in Incannex and the issue of a second piggy-back option for no consideration at a ratio of one for every two loyalty options exercised by the expiry date.

The piggyback options will have an exercise price of $1 each, expiring on April 28, 2023, and representing one ordinary share.

Incannex will not seek approval to list either the loyalty or the piggy-back options on the ASX and anticipates that holders of American Depository Shares on the Nasdaq will also be eligible to participate.

CEO and managing director Joel Latham said: “Incannex has a remarkable base of shareholders who understand our company, our clinical programs and high ambitions.

“The loyalty option is intended to reward [them] while simultaneously assisting Incannex with the funding requirement for the next phase of development.”

UPDATE (March 24): Incannex has signed a binding term sheet to acquire US-based biotech APIRx in an all-scrip deal worth $US93.3 million, subject to shareholder approval.

APIRx has 22 active clinical trial and pre-clinical research and development projects underway, with therapeutic candidates targeting pain, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease among others.

Incannex said the acquisition would add a large portfolio of intellectual property with granted and pending patents to its offering and expand its addressable market size globally by more than $400 billion.

Cannatrek

Construction has begun at Cannatrek’s new medicinal cannabis facility near Shepparton, Victoria.

Cannatrek
Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert

Chief executive Tommy Huppert told the Benalla Ensign work has started on grow tunnels and security apparatus.

He said: “First phase will be a A$30 million development of outdoor, indoor and glasshouse grow mediums. The 12,000 square metre glasshouse facility will take 12 to 18 months to build, subject to global supply chain issues.”

Construction was originally slated for 2020 until Covid intervened.

Huppert said the company hopes to employ up to 20 local people to work on the site this year, with another 60 jobs being created following construction of the larger glasshouse.

MediPharm Labs

MediPharm Labs has strengthened its recreational business in Canada, adding flower and pre-rolls to its portfolio via the acquisition of Shelter Cannabis.

Production of Shelter’s Wildlife and Craft brands will move to MediPharm’s Barrie, Ontario facility with the parent company leveraging its recently expanded national sales network to drive growth.

MediPharm said the move creates the opportunity to expand its international medicinal flower business, which already ships products to pharmaceutical partners in Germany and the UK.

MediPharm will pay Shelter an earn-out based on future gross sales, net of excise tax, with shipments expected to begin during Q2, 2022.

Cresco Labs

Illinois-based cannabis producer Cresco Labs is buying New York rival Columbia Care in a US$2 billion all-stock deal.

Together, the companies will operate in 18 US states, but their overlapping footprint may require the divestment of assets in some regions before the deal is approved by regulators.

Cresco executives said the acquisition could make the combined entity a brand as big as Coca-Cola or Johnnie Walker in the US.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...