Aurora Germany GmbH, a subsidiary of Aurora Cannabis (ACB.N), has successfully delivered their initial shipment of cannabis to France for their medical cannabis pilot program, set to begin serving patients in the coming weeks.
Once they were sitting atop the cannabis world and then seeing their stock price plummet, ACB (no, not Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barret, she doesn’t strike me a weed enthusiast) is now providing the French with weed for a pilot, with ACB’s share price at a twentieth of its peak.
That being said, the French pilot is interesting. First off, it is legitimately interesting to wonder why this is France’s first medical cannabis pilot? How are they so far everyone else? According to Forbes, “France has some of the harshest cannabis laws in Europe–it has been illegal in the country since 1970, the state doesn’t allow medicinal use, and there is no distinction in law between personal use and trafficking, as there is in some countries.”
This, despite the fact that France is tied for the highest cannabis use in Europe with Spain at 11% of adults. So despite high use, the famously liberal France has really strict cannabis laws, even though many people would like to see them loosened. Cannabis legalization could become an interesting election issue if either main contender for the presidency in France’s next election takes it up. However, both President Macron and Rassemblement National leader Marine Le Pen have stated they did not support the legalization of cannabis.
A successful pilot could provide an opportunity for either candidate to change their tune.
“The first prescriptions of dried medical cannabis as part of the French pilot program are a significant step toward providing access to patients and will support the destigmatization of medical cannabis in France,” says Miguel Martin CEO of Aurora Cannabis. “This accomplishment is another example of Aurora’s leadership in global cannabis, with a proven track record of supporting the advancement of international medical cannabis markets alongside government bodies. By demonstrating a deep commitment to compliance and focus on product quality, we won three of the nine available tenders. If successful, this pilot program could lead to one of the largest regulated medical cannabis markets in Europe.”
The second thing that interests me is how hash will come into play. When I lived in France, I didn’t know a single Frenchman who smoked flower, they all smoked hashish. It will be interesting to see if this affects people’s eagerness to take up any efforts at medical cannabis and whether this will cause any companies to make some medical hash.
“Combining our pharmaceutical skills is, in our view, the right approach to build trust and confidence in medical cannabis for the long term in France,” declared Jean Monin, Chief Commercial Operations Officer of Ethypharm. “We want to be a driving force to support patients suffering from chronic pain when there is no other therapeutic option than medical cannabis. With our deep expertise in disorders of the central nervous system and an expertise in highly regulated medicines, we are well prepared to collaborate with the health authorities and physicians. If positive, Ethypharm will, as a pharmaceutical company, ensure distribution and patient access to new therapeutic cannabis options.”
Following the news, Aurora Cannabis shares are down 15 and a half cents and are currently trading at $7.075.