Business

US/Jamaica-based MMJ International Holdings developing marijuana-derived drugs with NCU

BY ALEXIS MONTEITH
Observer writer

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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MMJ International Holdings (MMJ), a medical sciences research company based in the United States and Jamaica and currently in the advanced stages of developing a marijuana-derived, oral drug for treating multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease, is to collaborate with Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Jamaica to assist the educational institution with cannabis education, analytics lab set-up, and cultivation.

“We are looking forward to making Jamaica a pharmaceutical supply hub and to collaborate with NCU in unlocking the potential of cannabinoid medicines to address serious patient medical conditions,” Duane Boise, chief executive officer (CEO) of MMJ, disclosed. “NCU's School of Natural and Applied Sciences would prepare the students in biochemistry and molecular biology to assist pharma companies in enhancing the lives of humans using the plant-derived extracted medicines.”

According to Boise, the agreement signed by MMJ and NCU would allow MMJ to establish a sustainable plan of action for the delivery of services through NCU.

These include the development of cannabinoid research protocol, the design of medicinal products, the research and design of proper dosing procedures, and the development of processing systems to extract cannabinoids for medicinal products.

In addition, there is the setting up of a plan for acquiring specific plant-genetic source materials, the institution of a marketing plan for the products, and the development of a telemedicine platform, patient health records, and remote patient monitoring system that works in conjunction with the university, the hospital, medical offices and patients, which would all be important components of these services.

“Our efforts will be strictly guided by the FDA, DEA policy as we strive to produce the highest pharma grade plants and extracts for the manufacturing of medicine and supply for clinical research,” Boise emphasised.

“The School of Nursing is a perfect educational venue to train nurses that can administer and monitor patients using medicinal marijuana,” the CEO pointed out. “We have on our team several world-class nurses who are trained in administering medicinal marijuana to patients. We are currently working on a training course for the nurses.”

Boise further informed that: “NCU's agriculture school would train the students in state-of-the-art cultivation technology, as we have the qualified botanical personnel to teach while growing.”

On the topic of cultivation, Boise indicated that this would involve the production of “various strains of cannabis for testing and for development of medicinal products to be sold”.

Professor Vincent Wright, the dean of NCU's College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Allied Health and Nursing, shares Boise's enthusiasm for the planned cooperation between the two organisations.

“The cannabis plant has more than 500 compounds and some of these compounds are very beneficial to health in several ways, and we as Jamaicans need to capitalise on the situation and utilise the compounds in the plant that are useful to our health,” Wright said.

The professor then used a quote from the Bible to underline the science.

“The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations,” he said.


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