United Nations reclassifies cannabis in far-reaching landmark decision

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Dec 3, 2020, in Small Caps

In a week that has been dominated by extremely positive regulatory news along with highly promising company-specific developments, Creso Pharma Limited (ASX:CPH; FRA: 1X8) has been greeted with a welcome decision by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

In a significant recognition of the medical benefits of cannabis, the Commission has voted to remove it from Schedule IV of the 1961 drug convention treaty.

Under the United Nation’s system, Schedule IV substances are considered the most dangerous and addictive drugs.

Cannabis will now be classified under Schedule I, the least restrictive drug classification, a landmark decision and in essence, acknowledgement of the potential medical properties of cannabis.

This fits with Creso Pharma’s market positioning as it develops cannabis and hemp-derived therapeutic, nutraceutical, and lifestyle products with wide patient and consumer reach for human and animal health.

Not only will Creso Pharma`s existing global distribution network and footprint benefit from this ruling, the decision also has the capacity to unlock a number of near-term and medium-term opportunities for Creso at a time when the company is well funded and strategically positioned.

Investors have recognised the potential upside for Creso Pharma in relation to recent developments and today’s decision, with its shares up 150% on a week-on-week basis.

53 member states review WHO research in deciding to reclassify cannabis

The vote to reschedule cannabis occurred on 2 December 2020 and was undertaken by the Vienna-based Commission on Narcotic Drugs (“CND”).

The Commission includes 53 member states with the CND carefully reviewing a series of World Health Organisation (“WHO”) recommendations on reclassifying cannabis and its derivatives ahead of the vote.

Creso Pharma co-founder and director Boaz Wachtel has played a prominent role in achieving these outcomes, and he said today, “The UN ruling to reclassify cannabis is a landmark decision and paves the way for the relaxing of cannabis drug classifications in large markets across the world.

“The result of this vote follows 60 years of status quo, three years of scientific review by the world’s leading health organisations, two years of diplomatic discussions and considerable lobbying from NGOs.

“I am proud and privileged to have been a part of a small group of dedicated activists that have fought for decades to reschedule cannabis.

"I am very confident that this decision will unlock a number of near term opportunities for Creso Pharma, and I look forward to working with the Board and management to unlock further value for shareholders.”

Wachtel contributes to European Coalition’s drive for change

Wachtel was part of the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (“ENCOD”) which was involved in driving the change in classification of cannabis.

He attended a number of UN Drug Convention meetings in Vienna, assisting in writing and coordinating research papers that were submitted to the Commission of Narcotic Drugs ahead of the vote.

Wachtel also liaised with some of the 250 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that signed a petition around the reclassification of cannabis.

The decision is expected to have a major global impact on the cannabis industry, providing further justification for regulatory bodies to adopt a similar stance at a time when there is already growing recognition of the benefits offered by medical cannabis.

Creso Pharma anticipates that a number of near term opportunities will materialise as a result of the ruling, including opportunities that the company was not able to previously pursue, and management will seek to capitalise on these immediately.

Creso has an established global footprint and is well funded to capitalise on multiple growth initiatives.

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