A marijuana company with strong global ambitions, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) has secured one of the first approvals for a medical cannabis product in the Republic of Ireland. The Canadian company announced Monday that it had been granted permission from the Irish Department of Health to import and sell its High CBD Oil Drops in the country.
In the press release trumpeting the news, Aurora said that High CBD Oil Drops is only the second product to receive such approval in Ireland.
The country only recently opened the door for medical cannabis, and on an extremely limited basis. It is legalizing such medicine under its Medical Cannabis Access Programme (MCAP), a pilot program that will last for five years dating from the beginning of July. The law took effect shortly after it was signed into existence in June.
During this pilot phase of MCAP, the country intends cannabis to be a medicine of last resort, for patients "where conventional treatment has failed," in the words of the Department of Health. Additionally, medical cannabis use will be permitted only by those suffering one of three conditions: spasticity arising from multiple sclerosis, severe nausea/vomiting due to chemotherapy, and treatment-resistant epilepsy.
As with other countries that have legalized medical cannabis, such patients will be required to have a prescription from a qualified medical professional. Finally, the marijuana medicaments will be available only in licensed pharmacies.
Although these conditions are quite restrictive, Aurora nevertheless sounded a hopeful, crack-in-the-dam note about the future in its press release. "We look forward to more of Aurora's high-quality medicines being approved, so that more patients can benefit from the MCAP in Ireland," it wrote. "We will continue to work closely with all parties and state agencies to facilitate further availability."
This initial approval from a very fresh new market overseas dovetails with an important plank of the company's business strategy. The company has been building out its global footprint over the past few years, to the point that it is active in 24 countries outside of Canada. This makes Aurora the most international of all publicly traded North American marijuana stocks.
Despite this good news on the worldwide business front, the market did not respond positively; Aurora's share price dipped by more than 2% on Monday. It was a down day for marijuana stocks generally.