The Rotation: Vol. 39
Remembering Raphael Mechoulam, Germany's Confidence in EU Approval, and Field Trip's Closure of Ketamine Clinics
Cannabis Industry Mourns the Loss of Pioneer Researcher, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam
Hebrew University professor Raphael Mechoulam, a pioneer in cannabis research has passed away at the age of 92 in Israel, reports MjBiz Daily.
- Dr. Mechoulam was the first to isolate and synthesize THC and CBD, the main active compounds in cannabis.
- Dr. Mechoulam also discovered the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and molecules that regulate various bodily functions.
- Dr. Mechoulam was a pioneer in the field of medicine, particularly in cannabinoid-based medicine via the total synthesis of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- He received over 25 academic awards and honors for his contributions to science and society and elected as a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1994.
The passing of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam is a great loss to the cannabis industry and scientific community. As a pioneer in cannabis research, Dr. Mechoulam made groundbreaking discoveries about the plant and its potential health benefits. His discovery of the endocannabinoid system and his synthesis of THC and CBD have paved the way for a better understanding of the plant’s therapeutic properties. Dr. Mechoulam’s contributions to cannabis research were made during a time when it was highly stigmatized and illegal in most countries, showcasing his curiosity, courage, and vision. He advocated for more research and education on cannabis and his legacy will endure through his discoveries, publications, and students, and his contributions that have inspired generations of scientists, doctors, and patients to explore the benefits of cannabis. He has also helped to change public perception and policy on cannabis, as more countries begin to legalize it for medical or recreational use. His passing is a great loss, but his impact on cannabis research and advocacy will be felt for generations to come.
Germany Expects Green Light for Recreational Cannabis Legalization Plan
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently expressed his confidence that Germany’s plan to legalize cannabis might soon overcome one of its biggest hurdles – European Union Approval, reports MjBiz Daily.
- German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced that a bill to legalize cannabis may be published in the coming weeks, potentially by the end of March or early April.
- The blueprint of the pending law was sent to the European Commission for approval last fall to ensure compliance with EU and global drug laws.
- The proposed legislation would permit adults 18 and older to purchase up to 15 grams of cannabis from licensed retailers and grow up to three plants at home.
- The government aims to reduce illicit market activity, protect public health, and generate tax revenue from cannabis sales.
Germany’s cannabis bill moving closer to EU approval is a significant development given the legal uncertainties surrounding its compatibility with European law. While “positive feedback” is vague, the plan to revise the draft law based on EU input suggests that the bill will likely be less liberal than what was proposed in the “Eckpunkte” paper from October 2022. There is also speculation that the government may opt for a two-step approach of first decriminalizing cannabis nation-wide and then launching a pilot project to test the effects of full legalization. This approach could potentially help Germany avoid violating the UN drug treaties and appease the EU by not declaring full legalization immediately. It remains to be seen what the new bill will entail, but it is a step towards progress for Germany’s cannabis industry.
Field Trip Health to Close Ketamine Clinics in 5 Locations
Field Trip Health, a company that provides psychedelic-assisted therapies, is closing several of its ketamine clinics as it struggles to find profits, reports The Financial Post.
- Field Trip Health will be closing locations in Chicago, Washington DC, Seattle, San Diego and Fredericton and the anticipated last day of operation for each of these locations will be on or around April 15, 2023.
- Field Trip Health & Wellness Ltd. will be winding down its operations following the publication of its Q3 2022 financials.
- The company hired a third-party consultant to review its business and suggest restructuring paths and cost cuts, including breaking leases and shuttering clinic locations that have cost more than they make.
- In Q3 2022, Field Trip posted net revenue of $1.6 million, up 23% YoY, but operating expenses totaled $8.1 million, resulting in a net loss of $6.9 million.
- The company said that it has not achieved profitable operations, has a deficit of $48.7 million since its inception, and has negative operating cash flows of $17.87 million for the nine months leading up to the end of 2022.
It is not surprising to hear that Field Trip Health & Wellness Ltd. may be winding down its operations due to its lack of profitability and negative cash flows. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate news for a company that was once regarded as having significant potential. While the company has seen a YoY increase in net revenue, its operating expenses are much higher, leading to a significant net loss. The company’s struggles to obtain the necessary financing to conduct its planned business and meet its corporate overhead reveal the challenges of operating in the highly regulated and capital-intensive psychedelic therapy sector. As the industry evolves, companies will need to find ways to balance growth with profitability, especially given the current state of the capital markets.