Khiron Life Sciences (KHRN.V) made its first sale of medical cannabis product in Brazil, according to a press release.
South America is generally cannabis friendly. There are a set of understandable, reasonable restrictions in most countries, but compared to other countries in the world (and some states in the US) where a small amount of cannabis on your person will net you some serious punishment, it’s manageable. Brazil is one of these countries. It’s still technically both illegal and criminal, but due to a law passed in 2006, individuals can both carry and use.
In 2015, the laws changed to include cannabis medications with more than 0.2% THC, which could be prescribed for the terminally ill or anyone who has exhausted other treatment options. They have to get their medicine imported after special authorization from Anvisa, the Brazillian National Health Surveillance Agency, and again in 2019, the rules were relaxed to allow pharmacy sales.
Khiron’s done that. They tapped a partnership with Cannab, a patient association normally involved in making connections between doctors, patients, academic institutions and suppliers to get some of Khiron’s high-CBD extract through Anvisa to a three year old child from Salvador de Bahia suffering from epilepsy.
“Our initial export to the Brazilian market represents an important first step toward opening a large, underserved market where patients face high barriers to access. By providing patients with affordable high-quality products, and an unparalleled patient experience, we see an opportunity to disrupt the Brazilian market and deliver on our mission of improving patients lives. Khiron is already treating thousands of patients in Colombia, Peru, U.K. and Germany, with positive outcomes. In due course, we plan to bring our successful Zerenia clinic model to Brazil, as we have done in Peru and Colombia,” said Alvaro Torres, chief executive officer and director.
Now that the precedent is set there’s some wiggle room and the company is going to be build on this positive relationship to get more products out to more patients. Cannabis expects to help more than 1,200 patients find relief using medical cannabis in 2021. The Brazillian cannabis user base could be close to three million people in the next few years, according to Prohibition Partners.
The company’s other Brazilian partnerships work to increase product awareness and provide medical cannabis education for health care providers. Khiron has an exclusive agreement with Medlive, a pharmaceutical and health products distributor with a network of over 3,000 clinics and hospitals n southern Brazil. Also, a marketing contract with Taimin, a medical distributor on Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and northern Brazil. The two agreements combine to provide broad regional coverage across the country, and drive sales by onboarding more doctors.