Jeffrey Zietlow is the Vice President, Marketing for CannTrust, a provider of medical marijuana (cannabis) products with over 40 years experience in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
CannTrust offers cannabis products in a variety of formats and preparations that are standardized according to the levels of medicinal ingredients they provide. The key medicinal ingredients in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CannTrust has partnered with Apotex, the giant generic pharmaceuticals company, for production of pharmaceutical grade products. Physician education on prescribing practices is provided peer-to-peer by MDs, and CannTrust is partnering with companies in Denmark, Poland, Britain and Australia to teach them this model.
As the market for cannabis products evolves, different formats are being developed. For example, there is growing interest in “edibles” so CannTrust has BrewBuds for coffee and tea now available in the United States. The roll out of edible products in Canada is likely to occur in the next 12 months.
CannTrust grows its cannabis in earth and hydroponically in greenhouses. Now that outdoor growing is permitted, CannTrust is planning an expansion that will result in new production sites in Vaughn and Niagara Falls.
In July 2018, the market for legal marijuana products will expand to include “adult use” products for recreational consumption. The market will be regulated, and will be operated through the LCBO in Ontario. The industry is expected to reach a value of eight to nine billion dollars by 2024, representing approximately one billion users. CannTrust anticipates serving approximately 25% of this market. Across Canada, it is expected there will be a mix of private and government operated retailers, and the tax handling of purchases is still under debate.