Australia’s Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP) has been chosen as a primary CBD oil manufacturer for a French medicinal cannabis trial for the third year in a row.
Back in 2020, France’s Government unveiled a program that would provide up to 3,000 patients with free medicines as part of a potential move towards legalising medicinal cannabis in the country.
Under the initiative, the government and benefiting patients weren’t required to pay for the medicines – instead the companies supplying them would pick up the tab. While a hit to participating companies’ bottom lines, it was an opportunity to carry out more valuable scientific research and get a foot in the door in France’s market – which has an estimated total addressable value of up to €5.6 billion.
In early 2021, France’s Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) selected companies to supply the country’s free medical cannabis pilot program – and among them was Little Green Pharma (LGP).
The pilot was to initially run for 2 years, but in September 2022 the French government announced a proposal to extend the trial for a third year, until March 2024. During the extended period, participating companies won’t be supplying their medicines for free – they will receive €14 per unit.
Little Green Pharma’s supply for the extended period under the awarded tender has been capped at ~11,000 units. Additionally, the company separately submitted a bid to supply its CBD 50 oil product for the extended trial. LGP says under the terms of the tender, it permitted to bid commercial prices up to a cap of up to €1 million for the equivalent of 22,500 bottles of LGP’s CBD 50 (50ml) medicinal cannabis oil. That tender has now closed and is being assessed.
To date, the firm has supplied its 1:20 THC:CBD and CBD50 oils to patients and says it has been the majority supplier for the trial.
“… if legalised in France LGP believes the limited number of Trial suppliers will give LGP a rare first mover opportunity to capitalise on one of the largest potential medicinal cannabis markets in Europe,” said the firm.
The prospect of medicinal cannabis being legalised in France are looking fairly good at this point. LGP states 91% of the current 1,453 patients have reported positive results and various expert reports on the trial interim results have all provided positive feedback.