Jamaican scientist Dr Henry Lowe, known worldwide for his cancer research and development of nutraceuticals from Jamaican plants, including cannabis, says he intends to list his company, Medicanja Ltd, on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) within weeks.
“Most Jamaicans would like to get involved in the medicinal cannabis industry but are unable to participate in the areas offered through the Cannabis Licensing Authority. Consequently, this can be achieved through our own Jamaican company where persons can enjoy profits and engage in the development and growth of the medicinal cannabis industry,” Dr Lowe announced in his presentation to the JSE’s 13th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference on January 26 .
Dr Lowe, the executive chairman and founder of Medicanja Ltd, told the audience that the listing will give every Jamaican living here and in the Diaspora the opportunity to get involved in the medical cannabis business in a very direct way, not only to support but to earn revenue from their investments.
Lowe was one of three speakers who presented during a session of the conference entitled ‘Monetising the Plant-based Medicine Industry’.
He related to his audience the experience of the different subsidiaries within his Eden Gardens Group in conducting research and development of products and services derived from local medicinal plants. These companies include EG Wellness Brands, Medicanja Ltd, Bio-tech Research and Development (R&D) Institute, and Flavocure Biotech LLC, a US-based laboratory.
After giving an overview of both the global and local market of medicinal plants, Lowe pinpointed Jamaica as a potential hub for medicinal plants, as the country possesses 52 per cent of the world’s established medicinal plants.
He said that despite the many possibilities for the country and significant research conducted by educational institutions, especially The University of the West Indies through the Bio-tech Research and Development Institute, there has been no real economic development or commercial products.
According to Lowe, the solution to this under-exploitation lies in the development and production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals for local and global markets.
He pointed out that his companies have been able to manufacture a wide range of products from medicinal plants, among them guinea hen weed, ball moss, Moringa, bizzy and many other local herbs that have been staples in the Jamaican household.
A news release issued after Lowe’s presentation stated that through his EG Wellness Brands and the Bio-tech R&D Institute, he has been “able to commercialise folk medicine into top-quality products. Now, after years of extensive research and the creation of Medicanja in 2013, the same success is expected to happen with cannabis”.
The release also stated that Medicanja Limited, in collaboration with the Bio-Tech R&D Institute and Flavocure, has been involved in the research and development of various nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products from cannabis.
The company also said it has so far received a number of licences from the Cannabis Licensing Authority as well as approval of four topical and two oral products from the Ministry of Health.
“With the global herbal pharmaceutical market being estimated at US$44 billion and consistent growth of the commercial consumer industries of herbs approaching US$80 billion, Jamaica could greatly benefit from such economic wealth,” the release stated.
In his presentation, Lowe also mentioned the present lack of financial support from the local private and public sector and called for a new mindset as it relates to support for research and development innovation through private, public and international agency collaboration.