TORONTO (Reuters) – Canopy Growth Corp, one of the world’s biggest medical marijuana producers, now wants to take on the world’s pharmaceutical giants.
The Canadian firm launched Canopy Health Innovation in late 2016 to build a portfolio of patented and federally approved cannabinoid-based medicines. The venture is one of a small but growing number of companies here aiming to compete with established drugs treating diseases ranging from anxiety and chronic pain to multiple sclerosis and childhood epilepsy.
They’re developing research-backed formulations to be sold as pills, inhalers, solutions and creams, with the goal of convincing doctors and insurers to embrace marijuana as a mainstream medicine.
“You’ll see a lot of companies like Canopy Health starting to form, and they’re basically going to create medical cannabis 2.0,” Canopy Health Chief Executive Marc Wayne said in an interview. “There is a gold rush for cannabis intellectual property, and it’s accelerating.”
Canada’s relaxed regulations, mature marijuana industry and free-flowing capital offer such firms a unique opportunity to advance research without the legal and political risks that bog down…