Exclusive Interview, WeedMD Looks To Become A Marijuana Pioneer
Patients often tell us that they consume cannabis as alternative and natural methods to pharmaceuticals – specifically pertaining to sleep assistance, pain relief and anxiety control.
Currently, the medical use of cannabis is legalized in 33 of the 50 states, four of the five United States territories, and the District of Columbia. Recreational use of cannabis is legal in 11 states, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Washington D.C. Another 15 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized cannabis. While marijuana regulations have loosened over the past decade, legislation such as the Farm Bill continues to address peripheral cannabis issues without removing marijuana from its ‘Schedule I‘ status under the Controlled Substance Act.
In Canada, cannabis has been legal since October 17, 2018, with the following regulations.
Subject to provincial or territorial restrictions, adults who are 18 years of age or older are legally able to:
possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
- in provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework, individuals are able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
WeedMD Rx Inc. is a federally-licensed producer of cannabis products in Canada for medical and recreational use. Keith Merker, CEO of WeedMD, gave a detailed response when asked if his company is looking to operate in the United States in the near future.
“We’re currently finalizing our strategy for 2020 and the development of new markets will be key to our success this year. We spent most of last year fine-tuning our cultivation platform, expanding our extraction capabilities, strengthening our balance sheet and with the acquisition of Starseed Medicinal, we’re expanding our distribution model. As we integrate the company, we absolutely expect to leverage a number of US-based business relationships and opportunities to launch an international expansion.”
“We’re noticing that cannabis production has reached an inflection point in Canada and quality cultivation will be what propels companies to success, regardless of their size,” Merker said when asked what he felt the future is for cannabis production in Canada. “With our reputation for low-cost, high quality cannabis production, WeedMD will definitely be amongst the top-quality producers in 2020,” he continued when asked to detail if the market would be open to small business owners.
“Patients often tell us that they consume cannabis as alternative and natural methods to pharmaceuticals – specifically pertaining to sleep assistance, pain relief and anxiety control,” Merker responsed when asked the benefits WeedMD have seen from patients using their medical marijuana strains. “We’re also noting that more patients are using it for health and wellness purposes such as muscle recovery and relaxation. Our roots in medical cannabis run deep – it’s how we started, and this will always be a prime area of our business,” he continued when asked describe the other benefits medical cannabis provides for their patients.
Merker gave a thorough response when asked about the differences between medical and adult use marijuana strains.
“WeedMD has consistently produced about eight legacy strains for both the medical and adult-use markets. We don’t differentiate our cultivation platform based on medical vs. adult-use. We know that medical patients require consistency in their medicine, so we’ve perfected a couple of handfuls of strains and we’re widely recognized in Canada for our high THC, Ghost Train Haze, Blueberry Seagal, White Shark, and Pedro’s Sweet Sativa; our hybrid Mango Haze and high CBD strain ACDC to name a few.”
“The cannabis industry operates in a highly regulated environment in Canada. We all know this and as a result, WeedMD operates very diligently with a high regard for the regulations,” Merker responded when asked about the specific challenges WeedMD faces growing and cultivating cannabis and Canada. “While the challenge could sometimes center around timelines, you have to factor in buffers and patience. But for the most part, WeedMD’s diligence has paid off and we accept that it’s a small price to pay for producing safe and reliable cannabis in Canada,” he continued.
When asked about the multiple international efforts concerning softening laws against the use of marijuana Merker replied, “Up to now, we’ve been operating on the periphery, keeping a close eye as regulations relax internationally.” Before finishing, “while we don’t expect to play a role in legalization efforts, WeedMD is happy to support its peers, advocacy groups and member associations when asked to lend our voice.”