As more entrants make their way into the medical marijuana market, West Point Resources (CVE:WPO) has appointed Andrew Davies, the CEO of London, England-based cannabinoid research company STI Pharmaceuticals, as an advisor.
Shares of West Point surged more than 71% on the news Tuesday, to 12 cents.
Davies, who has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and helped secure the first US IND for synthetic Cannabidiol at Yale University, runs STI Pharma, which develops investigational products for a wide range of clinical research.
West Point said Davies is a "sought after speaker" at cannabinoid conferences globally.
"We are seeing a significant ramp up in the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) for a wide range of health ailments," said president and CEO of West Point, Rav Mlait.
CBD is one of at least 60 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis, also known as pot. It is a major constituent of the plant, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract. An orally-administered liquid containing CBD has already received orphan drug status in the U.S., for use as a treatment for dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, under the brand name, Epidiolex.
"CBD is a non-psychoactive natural compound that has been shown in scientific and clinical studies to possess beneficial properties in the treatment of various conditions, including epilepsy, seizures, arthritis, diabetes, MS, PTSD, skin cancer and other neurological disorders," said Mlait.
"Recent headlines from several U.S. states, where advocates are demanding that laws be changed to allow easier access to CBD for the treatment of epileptic seizures, are capturing the attention of researchers, legislators and investors worldwide. Several U.S. states have recently introduced or passed bills to legalize the use of CBD in the treatment of epilepsy and other debilitating conditions."
The chief executive said the company sees several potential business opportunities related to the research and development of CBD. "Expert researchers like Andrew Davies have been on the front line of CBD development for many years," he concluded.
West Point said, however, that there are no transactions in place at this time.
The medical marijuana industry, which has seen a surge of new entrants lately, is estimated to be worth some $1.3 billion annually within a decade, and the number of patients is expected to grow to some 400,000 from about 40,000 during the same period.
Health Canada’s new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, which took effect April 1, make it illegal for licensed marijuana patients to grow their own, or buy from small-scale growers, requiring all patients to buy from licensed manufacturers. Health Canada has received some 600 applications from those looking for a federal license to start growing and selling the controversial medicine.
Tweed Marijuana (CVE:TWD), which started trading on the Toronto Venture Exchange last Friday to become Canada's first publicly traded medical marijuana company, is one of 12 producers licensed so far by Health Canada, and operates out of a converted Hershey’s factory in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Shares have rocketed since the IPO, currently trading at $4.13, up from their IPO price from just a few days ago of 85 cents.