A worker carries sacks of newly harvested cannabis plants at a plantation near Nazareth.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israeli company responsible for the first-ever pharmaceutical cannabis production lab in the United States has now begun selling its smokeless, precisely dosed products in New Mexico.
Together with the Albuquerque- based distributor Ultra Health, the Lod-based Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. first launched its production facility in Bernalillo, New Mexico, in March. At the lab, Panaxia has been providing the smokeless proprietary cannabinoid dosage and treatment protocols, which are not readily available in the US, in order to produce a variety of medications for different illnesses.
“We are excited to be the bearers of good news and to offer medical cannabis- based drugs to patients in the state of New Mexico,” said Panaxia CEO Dadi Segal. “In a state inhabited by only 2 million people, about 60,000 of them – about twice as many as in Israel – have a license from the Department of Health to use medical cannabis. We are planning to open more factories in the US, and we are currently in advanced negotiations on the matter.”
Because the US government includes cannabis in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, federal law prohibits producing pharmaceuticals out of the plant on a nationwide scale, Segal told The Jerusalem Post
in a March interview. To overcome this hurdle, Panaxia is aiming to establish small production facilities on a state-by-state basis, he explained.
Among the products offered by the partners are sublingual (under the tongue) and oral tablets, rectal and vaginal suppositories, cannabis oil, pastilles, transdermal (through the skin) pain relief patches and topical creams. The medicines are intended for patients with conditions such as PTSD, chronic pain, cancer, neuropathy, epilepsy, anorexia and HIV/AIDS, according to the companies.
The products, Segal explained, are manufactured according to strict pharmacological and therapeutic protocols, and contain a known amount of active ingredients from cannabis extract.
As Panaxia continues to grow in the US, Segal also expressed optimism that the Lod-based company would also soon be able to begin to market products at home.
“We hope that as a result of the completion of the Health Ministry’s regulatory process, we will also be able to sell smokeless, medical cannabis-based products in Israel,” he said.