Number of Danish medical cannabis consumers plummets on CannTrust suspension

The number of patients accessing Denmark’s medical cannabis pilot program nearly halved in the third quarter of 2019, largely because of supply interruptions related to Canadian producer CannTrust’s regulatory misconduct.

Unique consumers fell to 582 in the July-September period from 1,045 in the April-June quarter, according to Danish Health Authority data published last week.

The decline was largely expected, said Rikke Jakobsen, CEO of nongovernmental organization Cannabis Denmark.

That’s because CannTrust was one of the main suppliers for the country until it was censured by Canadian inspectors for noncompliance with federal law and regulations.

That prompted the company’s Danish partner, Stenocare, to quarantine CannTrust products before terminating their agreement in September.

The Danish scheme started to stall in the second quarter of 2019 after successive quarters of impressive growth.

Denmark currently imports its medical marijuana while domestic production continues to be beset by delays.

Jakobsen expects a slight rebound in the October-December quarter.

Horsted Clinic, a private clinic for medical cannabis, opened new clinics around Denmark, which Jakobsen believes will improve access.

“So the slight increase is more due to more doctors prescribing medical cannabis than the availability of products,” she said.

Denmark’s four-year medical cannabis trial program launched in 2018.

The scheme faces a formal evaluation later this year.

Dozens of international and local companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Denmark’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, including Canadian firms Aphria, Atlas Biotechnologies, Canopy Growth, ICC International Cannabis Corp. and The Green Organic Dutchman.

Aurora Cannabis scaled back its expansion plan in Denmark last year to conserve capital.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].

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