SARASOTA County (Aug. 6, 2015) - While 25 nurseries compete to become Florida’s non-euphoric marijuana suppliers, a local company is working with the University of South Florida to develop a transdermal patch that could deliver this version of marijuana directly through patients’ skin.
AltMed LLC of Sarasota County has formed a research initiative with the Florida Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Together they are working on “a transdermal patch capable of delivering a steady, controlled, smoke-free dose of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) for patients.”
The objective is to create the most effective delivery mechanism for the non-psychoactive and potentially therapeutic CBD, AltMed CEO David Wright said.
"With medical cannabis coming of age, one of the major challenges patients face is trying to find a reliable method to take their medications with a consistent dosage,” Wright said. “It is AltMed’s intention to bring a best-in-class transdermal patch to the marketplace so patients will know exactly what dosage they are getting.”
Several months ago, AltMed hired Chris Witowski as Director of Laboratory and Processing Services. Prior to joining AltMed, he conducted much of his doctoral research at the USF drug development unit.
AltMed’s research-and-development work has already begun, with Witowski now spending a good deal of his time at USF.
AltMed will not be the first company to market a transdermal cannabis patch, which delivers concentrates derived from marijuana directly through the skin.
Denver-based Mary’s Medicinals launched its line in 2013. Two months ago, a second line, Mary’s Nutritionals, began selling high-CBD products including transdermal patches in all 50 states. The products are derived from organically grown hemp strains that are naturally high in CBD and contain none of the euphoric substance THC, according to Mary’s director of operations, Lynn Honderd.
CBD and THC are just two out of more than 80 organic compounds called cannabinoids. Non-psychoactive extracts are typically low in THC, the material that is responsible for the feeling of euphoria connected with cannabis use and that also is good at alleviating pain. CBD can relieve pain and can also inhibit muscle spasms or epileptic seizures.
AltMed already has said it would be selling regular cannabis versions of its transdermal patch in Arizona. The company has worked out a deal with a known marijuana edibles provider, Bhang Corp., to become its medicinal discovery arm.
Tweaking the patches to work well with high-CBD, low-THC marijuana extracts, or with CBD-only extracts, taps the potential in states like Florida, which are setting up for prescribed use of non-euphoric cannabis extract products.
I believe that is a feasible model,” said David Kotler, who specializes in cannabis law at Boca Raton’s Cohen Kotler law firm. “It is an ancillary business that could lend itself to the existing structure, just as if somebody were to supply disposable vaporizer pens. The nursery would fill the vape pens and do the distribution. No different than that.”
AltMed already has become part owner of a 60,000-square-foot indoor marijuana-growing operation in Coolidge, Arizona, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.
Twenty three states plus the District of Columbia now allow the use of full-strength marijuana for medical use by qualified patients. Five jurisdictions have gone farther, legalizing use of the plant by any adult. A number of other states, including Florida, have legalized the use of non-psychoactive or non-euphoric marijuana extracts.
Under Florida’s Compassionate Care Act of 2014, the state designated five geographic regions and said it would license only one company in each to grow, process and retail the cannabis products. Only plant nurseries that have been in business for at least 30 years and grow a minimum of 400,000 plants were eligible to apply for one of the five licenses.
Six nurseries, including south Manatee County bromeliad grower Tropiflora LLC have applied for the Southwest Florida license. The others are: Plants of Ruskin; Alpha Foliage; Sun Bulb Co.; Tornello Landscape Corp. d/b/a 3Boys; and Perkins Nursery Inc.
The MÜV™ brand of medical cannabis infused products launched in Arizona in 2016 and quickly gained international attention and recognition. MÜV Dispensaries by AltMed Florida was formed a year later through the partnership of AltMed Enterprises and Plants of Ruskin, a multi-generational Florida agricultural leader. Through continual research and development, MÜV has received multiple patents for its award-winning MÜV Products line that provides quality, consistent and reliable medical cannabis products to patients at all 29 locations (one in Arizona muv-az.com, 28 in Florida muvfl.com, and more added each month). Patients are encouraged to place reservations online at muvfl.com for in-store pickup, order for delivery, or visit any one of the 27 MÜV Dispensaries for alternative medical cannabis medicine you can trust.
With a focus on quality and attention to detail, Plants of Ruskin has more than 35 years of experience in providing seedlings to farmers for vegetable and medical product production. Plants of Ruskin founders, the Dickman Family, are 4th generation farmers with a long history of working in conjunction with the University of Florida, including an endowed chair specifically dedicated to plant improvement.
Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC, headquartered in Sarasota, FL and doing business as AltMed Enterprises, is a fully integrated medical cannabis company that brings compassion, community engagement and pharmaceutical industry precision to the development, production and dispensing of medical cannabinoids.
Forward-Looking Statements - To the extent any statements made in this press release contain information that is not historical, these statements are forward-looking in nature and merely express our beliefs, expectations or opinions. For example, words such as “may,” “should,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “continues,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “potential,” “strategy” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations or estimates and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) our ability to implement our business strategy of distributing high quality cannabis products where permissible under applicable law; (ii) availability and cost of additional capital; (iii) our ability to attract, retain and motivate qualified employees and management; (iv) the impact of federal, state or local government regulations; (v) competition in the cannabis industry; (vi) our ability to generate revenues; and (vii) litigation in connection with our business. All forward-looking statements included in this press release and attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are qualified by this cautionary statement. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, regardless of whether new information becomes available, future developments occur or otherwise.