British Sugar to grow cannabis for GW Pharma

GW Pharmaceuticals, the British developer of a CBD-based anti-seizure medicine that could be on American shelves in 2018, has contracted Britain’s leading sugar supplier to grow its medical cannabis.

British Sugar, the top beet sugar supplier in the UK, will grow the cannabis in an 18-hectare greenhouse in eastern England, where the company now grows tomatoes, according to The Telegraph.

It’s an important advance for the cannabis industry to have yet another major mainstream company enter the sector.

British Sugar plans to plant the first seedlings in January and to have the first harvest in April. After the plants are picked, they will be packaged in bales on site and shipped to GW Pharma, The Telegraph said.

“Our glasshouse is very well-suited for growing that particular variety of the cannabis plant family and it’s fair to say that the return will be better than on tomatoes. We’re confident of decent yields,” Paul Kenward, managing partner of British Sugar, told The Telegraph.

A subsidiary of Associated British Foods, British Sugar already has invested in lights and shading equipment for its new grow operation, while GW Pharma is expanding its American marketing and sales teams in anticipation of the approval of its anti-seizure drug, Epidiolex.

GW Pharma expects to file a marketing application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2017 to sell Epidiolex in the United States.

Last month, the company took a major step toward achieving that goal, saying the CBD-based drug significantly reduced seizures in children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – a rare and hard-to-treat form of epilepsy – during phase 3 FDA-approved trials.

4 comments on “British Sugar to grow cannabis for GW Pharma
  1. Brett Roper on

    Seems like a very small quantity of medicine for that size of an operation, and in looking at Wissington, Norfolk via Google Earth, one can clearly see a large greenhouse operation but nothing on the scale the article suggests (in perspective the only greenhouse I can see is roughly 600′ by 900′ or about 1.25 acres; less than a hectare). Lets assume the 56,000 SF one can see is accurate noting one should be able to generate at least 300 grams PSF of canopy annually of raw flower material and assuming they can access 65% of the SF for flower that would yield about 24,000 pounds of raw material. If they could convert that to oil at say 25,000 mg per pound that would yield about 600,000,000 mg of oil and serving 40,000 kids that would yield 15,000 mg of oil annually per child which seems out of kilter … something is wrong with the math (mine or theirs) … ??? Definitely not seeing the operation scale suggested in the article at that location.

    Reply
    • Manny Johnson on

      Your information is very nicely researched and presented. I have come up with the same results. There is no way this greenhouse infrastructure exits at that location. I have found other times that GW does not provide “real” information but we must only realize that they are a publically traded stock and any news they can twist a little to make it look positive has a positive impact on their financials. Dig a little deeper into the studies they are conducting on Epidiolex and you will see for sure flaws in terms of comparisons to conventional, scientific-based, double-blind studies. Good day!

      Reply
    • Edward on

      There’s seems to be quite a lot of assumptions in your statement. Assuming your calculations are correct, this is just one site. There could possibly be more further down the road. Also, the product is not to be on American shelves until 2018. They have plenty on time to find more sources and locations. For sure, there will not be a shortage of opportunities for them to find. Another factor to consider, is demand. It might not be high right of the gate. Also, the diseases it’s being made for are rare. It’s not like they’re curing cancer.

      Reply
      • Brett Roper on

        Ran out the search for 10 miles and nothing remotely similar to GH shows up noting the one that does clearly has processing facilities adjacent and is certainly in the middle of what appears to be agricultural property. Google Earth indicated 5+ months prior to geography so I guess someone could have built up 17 hectares of GH during that interim time period?

        Reply

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