This Canadian Cannabis Company Just Joined Forces With Big Pharma


The deal was announced today by Tilray Inc: the cannabis company just joined forces with Big Pharma. Tilray is a licensed manufacturer of medical marijuana products. The Toronto-based firm has production operations in British Columbia. The company just signed an exclusive agreement with Sandoz Canada of Quebec. Sandoz is a subsidiary of Sandoz International, part of the Novartis healthcare conglomerate.

A Tilray executive says this is the first time a cannabis company has entered into a deal with Big Pharma in Canada.

Under the new deal, Tilray will be the sole partner to create non-combustible medical cannabis products with Sandoz. Together, the two companies will make co-branded capsules, topicals, sprays and similar medicines.

Brendan Kennedy is the president and CEO of Tilray. He told reporters that his firm had considered a deal with several other pharma companies before settling on Sandoz.


“A lot of pharmaceutical companies are paying attention to what’s happening in this industry, and over the past few years, we’ve had conversations with a few of them… This is a huge milestone for us,” Kennedy told reporters.

Deal Puts A Familiar Name On New Products

Kennedy says that for many patients, there is still a stigma attached to cannabis. Therefore, they may be reluctant to try medical marijuana products.

The alliance with Sandoz puts a recognizable name on medicines newly on the market. Consequently, patients, doctors and drug stores are more likely to accept them.

“That was part of the opportunity we saw… To distribute Tilray products that have the Sandoz logo that pharmacists, physicians, and patients are used to seeing in their pharmaceutical packages. I think that will give physicians confidence and trust in our brand and our product,” he said in an interview.

Cannabis Gaining Acceptance In Canada

Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001. Since then, it has gained in popularity, especially recently. In April 2017 the country’s health department Health Canada reported nearly 175,000 registered medical marijuana patients nationwide. That number soared 35 percent to more than 235,000 in just seven months.

As more patients accept medical marijuana, the healthcare industry has taken notice. The number of doctors who have written medicinal cannabis recommendations has risen, as well. Not totally surprising since we now know the benefits of THC and CBD.


Some pharmacy chains, such as Shoppers Drug Mart and PharmaChoice have signed contracts and begun to set up supply chain infrastructure to provide medical marijuana products.

Even insurance companies are getting in the game. Sun Life Financial responded to client requests and added medical marijuana coverage as an option for its group health plans earlier this year.

And some plan sponsors, such as Loblaw Companies Ltd. and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, already include coverage for medical marijuana.

Canada is scheduled to legalize recreational pot later this year.

Final Hit: This Canadian Cannabis Company Just Joined Forces With Big Pharma

Tilray has a three-step plan to implement its deal with Sandoz.

First, the company will focus on product development to create new medical marijuana therapies. The company then plans to take advantage of its sales and distribution infrastructure to educate pharmacists about the new products.

Finally, the firm will distribute Tilray Sandoz medicines to Canadian pharmacies nationwide. Will the world finally see moonrocks in orange ‘scrip bottles? The possibilities are limitless.

Weed Dispensaries Are Bracing Themselves For Super Bowl Sunday


Weed dispensaries are bracing themselves for Super Bowl Sunday. The Big Game is right around the corner, and retailers across the board are getting ready for a huge weekend. And that, of course, includes cannabis stores. Around the country, in states where it’s legal, these specialty shops are prepping for a touchdown.

High Retail Numbers

Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally one of the most active weekends for retail. Now, new stats show that this trend holds true for the legal cannabis industry as well.

USA Today and cannabis sales company Green Bits recently compiled sales data for the legal weed industry. These numbers reveal that last year, weed sales spiked by 40 percent on the Saturday before the Super Bowl.

Similarly, the average purchase at a dispensary went from $100 to $140 right before the Big Game. Edibles and THC cartridges were the most popular Super Bowl products last year.

This year, experts are expecting even bigger overall numbers. That’s primarily because there are now more places where recreational weed is legal.


With the recent legalization of recreational weed in Vermont, there are now nine states, plus Washington D.C., where weed is legal.

Most notably, California launched legal sales at the beginning of the year. That state alone should add a significant boost to overall weed retail numbers this weekend.

Along with Super Bowl weekend, there are a few other key dates that are emerging as hot times for legal weed sales. Not surprisingly, the 420 season is one of the busiest times for weed retail. Additionally, the days before and immediately following Thanksgiving are active. So are the days just before Christmas.

Social Events and Cannabis Consumption


Experts say that much of Super Bowl weekend’s appeal has to do with the social aspects of consuming weed. More and more, people in weed-legal states are turning to cannabis for social recreation. Sometimes, even more than alcohol.


“The Super Bowl is like any other large social event: people getting together,” Green Bits CEO Ben Curren told USA Today. “Whenever there’s a large social event we see an uptick in purchases.”

Many experts suspect that people are turning to weed during social events because it lets people get high and have fun, but without feeling hung over the next day.

“You can be social, have a good time, and still be a human being and go to work the next day,” said Justin Bishoff, manager of the GroundSwell dispensary in Denver.

Final Hit: Weed Dispensaries Are Bracing Themselves For Super Bowl Sunday

As weed dispensaries are bracing themselves for Super Bowl Sunday, the relationship between cannabis and football is intensifying. And not just in terms of fans purchasing more weed.

More and more, current and former NFL players are calling on the league to allow for the use of medical marijuana. A growing number of concerned players are pointing out that without reliable access to medical marijuana, pro football players are too often forced to rely on dangerous opioids.

As a result, many players run the risk of developing harmful dependencies.


In fact, a survey taken last year found that 91 percent of NFL players have taken opioid painkillers at some point. Forty-five percent said they felt pressure from team doctors, staff, and teammates to use the drugs.

Whether it’s players using medical marijuana to manage pain or fans buying weed for Super Bowl parties, it seems as if legal weed and football are increasingly working well together.