Emblem’s Ethos: Putting patients first
Understandably, the launch of legal adult-use cannabis has taken centre stage for months. This was a momentous occasion in Canada and it’s a critical part of our business – but it’s one of many priorities for the Emblem team. Last week, we reinforced our roots as a patient-first health and wellness company, underscoring our ongoing commitment to patients with a number of key initiatives:
Patient-first ethos: product for patients
After legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, news of product shortages began to dominate headlines as not all LPs had planned for medical and adult-use streams accordingly. There were concerns expressed from patients leading into legalization that they would be left without their medicine come October 17… and sadly for some, this was the case. We’re proud to say that this was something we planned and prepared for.
From day one, it was critical to us that there would be no shortages for patients who rely on this medicine. While delivering on 100% of our commitments to key markets for our Symbl adult-use product, we also planned to allocate more than enough inventory to our first and foremost priority, our patients.
For the past two years, Emblem has delivered high-quality medical cannabis and top-rated customer service to our patients. This will not change. We will continue to stand by this commitment to serve our patients and the health care community above all else.
An unfair tax on medicine
Last week Emblem headed to Ottawa to continue advocating for the removal of the new excise tax on medical cannabis. Our goal was to highlight the unfair burden of the new excise tax PLUS existing HST imposed on patients’ medical cannabis – the only prescription medicine to be taxed this way across Canada.
The additional tax makes it even harder for 330,000+ patients across Canada to access the medicine they need. Medical cannabis patients are already struggling with the affordability of their doctor-authorized medicine because most public and private insurance plans do not cover medical cannabis. We believe this taxation is fundamentally unfair to patients and unjustly targets people seeking relief from a medication that is supported by research and authorized by a physician or nurse practitioner.
We recently introduced the Temporary Patient Access Investment Fund, placing $5 million of our capital into a professionally-managed investment, with interest earned being directed to help offset part of the cost of the new excise tax. We hope that the federal government quickly changes their policy so that we can direct these funds to where they were originally intended: developing new formulations of cannabinoid treatments. Innovation will drive greater acceptance of cannabinoid therapy both in Canada and internationally, where Canada has the most to gain and, potentially, the most to lose if we are overburdened by taxes.
National Pharmaceutical Congress
Last week’s event marked the first year that medical cannabis was included in the agenda for the National Pharmaceutical Congress – Canada’s largest stage for leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, attended by over 200 delegates including prominent thought leaders and visionaries.
Emblem was one of only two LPs invited to speak. Kim Horrill, our VP of medical marketing, delivered a talk on the importance of product innovation and listening to patients as part of Emblem’s patient-first ethos. This was an important opportunity to highlight Emblem’s leadership on the patient side, discuss the continued work we’re doing to develop new products that deliver on patients’ and healthcare practitioners’ needs, and connect with other thought leaders in the pharma space.
Agreement finalized with German pharmaceutical wholesaler Acnos Pharma GmbH
As you may have read in our latest press release, we’ve finalized our agreement to form a joint venture with Acnos Pharma GmbH, ‘Emblem Germany.’ With exports of our cannabis oil to Germany expected to begin mid-2019, this enables us to enter what is potentially one of the largest legal medical cannabis markets where federal health insurance provides coverage for cannabis prescriptions. Our new 30,000 sq. ft. Product Innovation Centre – which includes a 5,000 sq. ft. laboratory built to GMP standards and is expected to be online in early 2019 – will provide us with needed capacity to continue our growth and expansion domestically and internationally.
Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated on our latest news. We’re Emblem and this is just the beginning!
Chief Strategy Officer