From 15-16 September 2022 we attended the Medical Cannabis Europe in Lisbon. Being a silver sponsor, we had the pleasure to have our own stand and hold two presentations as well as participate in a panel. Head of Consulting at Cannavigia, Elias Galantay, shared his knowledge on cultivation and primary processing of cannabis. CEO Luc Richner gave an insight into the Swiss market and explained the opportunities to the visitors. He also moderated a panel on ‘Route to Market: from Product Development to Registration’.
We don’t need to say how privileged we felt to participate in this interesting conference, which was specially developed to debate and clarify doubts regarding the applicable regulations to the cultivation, manufacture and distribution of cannabis-based products for medicinal purposes in Portugal and Europe.
But what are the main takeaways from such a conference? What did we learn and why is such a conference important for the medical cannabis industry and the industry in general?
Takeaway 1: At Medical Cannabis Europe in Lisbon knowledge exchange is key
The visitors were very interested in what the speakers presented. At other conferences, business was more in the foreground. Here, the focus seemed to be on sharing knowledge without ignoring the commercial view, which was excellent to see. There is still so much to learn, and the key is to get the whole industry – whether it is medical or recreational cannabis – to work together and not against each other. This will lead to growth.
Takeaway 2: Professionalisation and involvement of different stakeholders
Closely related to the first takeaway is the fact that we could really see the professionalisation that has taken place in recent years. The quality of speakers was very high. In addition, stakeholders from very different sectors – such as the pharmacy association, universities and even the police – came together, which gives the conference and the sector a lot of credibility and importance.
Takeaway 3: The market of patients is still missing
Yes, the knowledge exchange and speakers were absolutely fantastic, but there is still a lot ahead. Although the cultivation of medical cannabis is already taking place, the market of patients is still missing. In Portugal, a large amount of medical cannabis is produced, but the products are mainly exported. More data is needed on what effects the drugs have on patients in order to introduce more of the drugs. The market is still very small, regulated and young. Therefore, companies in this field need patience until the market develops and becomes bigger.
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Photo Credit: Medical Cannabis Europe