Impression Healthcare (ASX: IHL) has embarked on its mission to become one of Australia’s first licensed distributors of medicinal cannabis products, after commencing the application process to obtain necessary licences from the State Department of Health in Victoria and Australia’s Federal Office of Drug Control (ODC).
Once granted, Impression will have the ability to import, store, distribute and export medicinal cannabis products from its laboratory and manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Australia.
The integral part of the licensing process is demonstrating additional security protocols and ensuring all logistical aspects of the business unit have been met, including meeting all regulatory conditions so that it may legally handle the full array of cannabis medicine products.
Impression says that its application is in the process of being completed, which entails the installation of adequate security measures, installing storage facilities and completing staff training.
With a recent rights issue and shortfall placement successfully completed to secure funds, Impression intends to make swift progress towards entering the emergent medical cannabis market in Australia.
According to past applications made by other medicinal cannabis companies, Impression’s licensing could potentially be secured within the next 2-3 months with the Company confirming it is seeking to be “market-ready” as early as January 2019.
To stake its claim in the early-stage development of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry, Impression has already struck a deal with US-based cannabis supplier AXIM Biotechnologies, a company that has developed a plethora of cannabis-derived products.
AXIM is a leading cannabinoid biotech company that develops and manufactures products for a wide variety of intended purposes including the world’s first patented CBD-infused chewing gum with various strengths for the treatment of a range of indications, including pain related to Multiple Sclerosis.
The licensing arrangement being undertaken is integral for the completion of the collaboration with AXIM so that Impression may license and distribute AXIM’s current and future range of cannabinoid-based products, subject to regulatory approval.
Impression said in today’s announcement that the licenses being pursued would secure the capacity to “capitalise on local and international opportunities by importing and exporting a wide range of therapeutic cannabis products to generate cash flow.”
More broadly, the import-export capability would ensure Impression has a universal capability to handle and distribute medical cannabis products, not only for approved AXIM products but possibly other suppliers in the future.
Broader market opportunity
Under the company’s current plans, it intends to not only import products and make them available under the SAS, but also, provide Impression with a broader opportunity to become a licensed exporter of burgeoning Australian product to other countries such as New Zealand, and potentially the world market.
In parallel to its move into the medicinal cannabis market, Impression also operates a dental product supply business on a direct-to-consumer and business-to-business model.
Impression has confirmed that the procurement of an export license is consistent with its strategy of “progressive and selective international expansion”, with sales of the company’s existing product, the Knight Guard, having recently commenced in New Zealand. Impression’s medicinal cannabis licensing could potentially create synergies between its two separate business units, given AXIM’s range of cannabinoid-based dental products.