Cannabis Company Seeking Colombia’s Approval to Study COVID-19 Prevention Drug

Flora Growth Corp. submitted an application to Colombian regulators for researching whether a cannabinoid-based product can help prevent COVID-19 infections.

Full story after the jump.

Flora Growth Corp. is seeking approval from Colombian regulators to research a patent-pending, cannabinoid-based product through clinical trials to explore whether it can prevent COVID-19 infection. The application with INVIMA, the Colombian food and drug regulation agency, comes as recent studies have suggested that cannabis compounds display viral inhibition in laboratory studies.

This study will be conducted through Flora’s research division, Flora Pharma, with formulation taking place in its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified Colombian lab. The company said the research will look at all of the potential mechanisms of cannabinoids in preventing infection from the COVID-19 virus. Flora indicated that the application is on the heels of Colombia’s new legislation requiring insurance companies to cover cannabis prescriptions.

Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan, scientist and head of Flora Pharma, said in a statement that the intent of the research “is to identify safe and efficacious cannabinoid products for use on [the COVID-19] virus” which would allow the firm “to pursue the fastest path to market via a preventative immunomodulating product and to explore the possibility of use as a therapeutic.”

Luis Merchan, president and CEO of Flora Growth, pointed to “several studies published in just the past few months on the application of cannabinoids in certain treatments” as the company’s driver behind the research and INVIMA application.

“We are excited for our Flora Pharma researchers to build upon this progress and generate new data for how cannabis could help consumers around the world, leveraging this natural, botanical alternative,” he said in a press release. “We are honored to receive the advice and guidelines from INVIMA as we begin this exciting research process. The Flora Pharma division seeks to obtain evidence to support this product’s use against SARS-CoV-2 and bring to market an effective, cannabinoid-based product.”

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