Christopher Strauch is managing director of cannabis education and access company Montu. He has been with the business since 2019 and was previously managing partner at investment firm Alice Capital.

Montu recently signed a big deal with Western Australian health clinic network Jupiter Health to work with the network’s GPs to educate and guide them on all things medical cannabis. Cannabiz sat down with Christopher to discuss GP education, investing in cannabis and Australia’s rapid rise on the global industry stage.

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Chris Strauch, managing director, Montu

Cannabiz: How did the deal with Jupiter Health come about and what are some of your aims?

Christopher Strauch: I met Michael Gendy, the co-founder and director of Jupiter health, in October last year. Early on, we started speaking to some of the large clinic groups to understand where they’re at in terms of medical cannabis, how much they know, how much they understand what is going to happen in the market.

Michael was certainly one of the people that we met that was very clear and understanding of the trends in the market, especially since mid-2019 in terms of patient numbers. The exciting part for us is with 300 doctors in the network and 30 clinics, it’s really a way for us to fast track the education process of a large cohort of doctors. This is the way to significantly improve patient access, in this case specifically in Western Australia.

Something that always comes up is the education of GPs and that’s what needs to happen to start to improve patient access. So what are some of the biggest concerns GPs have when it comes to medical cannabis?

It’s very interesting. I think it’s very mixed. We have mostly one-on-one discussions, because it’s such a strong difference in terms of people and where they’re at and what misperceptions they might have.

Overall, I don’t necessarily think there are huge barriers as such for doctors. It’s just a general case of innovation. In any market or in any industry, when you innovate and when you ask people to change their habits, there’s always resistance. And that’s what we see here as well.