Danish medical cannabis market sees positive quarter

Denmark’s medical cannabis pilot program notched another positive quarter, but the number of unique consumers remains well below the trial’s peak of a year ago.

The Danish market’s struggles demonstrate how businesses need to factor market ebbs and flows into their projections rather than counting on consistent, perpetual growth.

In the second quarter of 2020, the number of unique patients receiving a prescription for products included in the country’s pilot scheme was 408, more than the 341 reported in the previous quarter, according to data recently disclosed by the country’s official e-health portal.

Doctors wrote 1,038 prescriptions for products included in the scheme in the April-June period, up from the 825 issued during the first quarter of the year.

Since the beginning of 2020, only four products have been available in Denmark under the experiment. Those include:

  • Three varieties of Bedrocan flower imported by Danish distributor Canngros from the Netherlands.
  • THC capsules imported into Denmark by Alberta, Canada-based Aurora Cannabis.

During the second quarter of 2020, 135 packages of Aurora capsules – each containing 100 units – were sold to patients.

About 10 kilograms of flower (22 pounds) – 1 kilogram more than the previous quarter – were sold in the April-June period.

The revenue generated at a retail level by flower sales was a little more than $255,000, while sales of Aurora’s capsules were worth almost $32,000.

The pilot program started in January 2018 and enjoyed rapid growth until mid-2019, when about 1,000 patients were receiving 1,800 prescriptions per quarter.

The number of patients sharply declined in the second half of 2019.

The experiment has had 2,550 patients so far.

At least four out of five patients in the pilot program have been older than 40 to date. Three out of five have been women.

About half the prescriptions were written to treat neuropathic pain.

Accounting for all medical cannabis products, including those sold outside the trial program, total sales during the second quarter were about $2 million.

The majority was generated from magistral preparations with pure THC or pure CBD – no full-spectrum products – and, to a lesser extent, finished pharmaceutical medicines such as Sativex.

Considering all types of products, 5,800 patients received a prescription for medical cannabis at least once from January 2018 until June 2020 – most for isolated cannabinoids magistral preparations.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at alfredop@mjbizdaily.com