...Pt2 - Meet Dr Frankenbeanstein HERE...
...Pt3 - the Patent Plot & the Sativex Connection ...
During the last decade a split has developed within the marijuana community. One group is comprised of those who believe that the community's interests are best served by patenting marijuana strains and marijuana medicines in order to make them safer, more effective, more legitimate, more understood or, perhaps most importantly, more readily accessible since they will be legally available. The other group consists of those who believe that smoked cannabis is the "gold standard" ; the safest, cheapest and, largely because of the ease with which it can be titrated, the most effective form cannabis medicine will take. This second group denies any real advantage of marijuana patents to the consumer, challenges any claim of exclusive rights of the first group to sell a particular strain and opposes the exploitation of a combination of patents and prohibition to force consumers to settle for an inferior product.
Within the first group we find those such as Britain's GW Pharmaceutical, who (with the help of pharmaceutical-giant Bayer) is now selling their whole-plant cannabis spray Sativex. This group also includes the Toronto-based Cannasat Therapeutics, The Nevada-based Dynamic Alert Ltd and various other smaller operations. These companies are looking to patent cannabis medicines, strains of cannabis or both - if they haven't already done so.In July 1998, Speaking at the International Cannabinoid Research Society conference in Montpellier, Dr Geoffrey W Guy, Chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, said that HortaPharm will provide GW with exclusive access to its entire range of cannabis varieties for the development of medicines. The worldwide rights acquired by GW for an undisclosed sum cover varieties grown to date with certain exceptions and all varieties to be bred in the future. Plant registrations arising from the Dutch breeding program will be owned by GW pharmaceutical.
Under the agreement GW Pharma will be responsible for the development of specific drug delivery technologies to administer the pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis. This work will include a vaporizer for which HortaPharm has a patent pending.
In addition GW Pharma will fund HortaPharm's botanical research and HortaPharm scientists will assist in the UK Glasshouse propagation, cloning and cultivation program.
David Watson, CEO of HortaPharm has stated “As soon as Dr Guy's clinical research indicates the exact desired composition our scientists can breed and register new medicinal varieties".In May of 2003, GW Pharma and Bayer Incorporated had reached a Marketing Agreement on Pioneering a New cannabis-based medicinal extract product called Sativex.
Bayer reportedly paid $60 Million to GW Pharma to obtain exclusive rights to market Sativex in the UK, And reportedly paid $14 Million for the marketing rights in Canada.
“Bayer corporation is also one of the largest biotechnology and GM producers in the world and has brought to market genetically engineered strains of rice, corn, rapeseed, and canola. Bayer is the world's leading pesticide manufacturer and the world's seventh largest seed company. Bayer CropScience is responsible for the majority of GM field trials in European countries. Bayer's GM crops are mostly "Liberty Link" - designed to be resistant to its "Liberty" herbicide. In 1925, Bayer was one of the chemical companies that merged to form the massive German conglomerate IG Farben, which was the largest single company in Germany and it became the single largest donor to Hitler's election campaign. After Hitler came to power, IG Farben worked in close collaboration with the Nazis, becoming the largest profiteer from the Second World War.”
“GW Pharmaceutical was granted a license to grow cannabis for medical research in 1998 and it's partner Bayer was granted a patent for Sativex in 2006. Sativex comes in a 5.5 ml spray bottle for $102 U.S. Dollars, which supplies about 51 sprays - enough for an average ten day supply. It is now available in Canada for MS and cancer pain, and has most recently become available in Britain and parts of Spain for use in the treatment of some other symptoms and syndromes.”
GW's position on intellectual property:
GW adopts an aggressive approach to securing intellectual property rights to protect techniques and technologies involved in the development programme. Protection is sought in the areas listed below:
• Plant variety rights
• Methods of extraction patents
• Drug delivery patents
• Patents on compositions of matter for delivery of cannabis
• Methods of use patents
• Design copyright on devices
In the last few years our intellectual property portfolio has developed considerably. The patent portfolio has more than doubled in size and comprises 42 patent families, within these families there are numerous granted patents both in the UK and in various territories around the world. GW has also developed a trademark portfolio of 21 UK registered trademarks with equivalent marks registered in many other territories around the world. GW also holds nine registered design rights and nine plant variety rights.