Neptune chief eyes strong potential for new cannabis business as executive appointments installed

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05 Oct 2017 --- Wellness products company Neptune Wellness Solutions has appointed Michel Timperio as President of its new Cannabis Business and Melody Harwood as Head of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. Timperio will report to Jim Hamilton, President and CEO of Neptune. 

Speaking on the appointments, Hamilton says: “Michel as President brings a great innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, combined with an extensive network of global relationships, to our business development. With respect to Melody, her deep regulatory and scientific experience coupled with rigorous management practice will be a great complement to the team.” 

Timperio adds: “Having been with Neptune since its inception, I am thrilled with the opportunity this market presents. I look forward to contributing to our new Cannabis Business, which we believe could generate considerable value for the corporation.”

Neptune's next growth phase is focused on repositioning the corporation into larger high-growth market segments in the wellness space, in particular segments where its scientific, regulatory, manufacturing and commercialization capabilities can be levered.

In May 2017, the Corporation announced its participation in the creation of the Sherbrooke-based Green Valley Consortium, a strategic partnership of industry and academic stakeholders aimed to facilitate production and research and development of cannabis and related initiatives in the region. Neptune's application to become a licensed producer is currently at the review and security clearance stage.

As part of its strategic business development plan, Neptune's Cannabis Business is exploring joint venture licensing associations to bring together best-in-class processes and products to the Canadian market, estimated to represent between US$6 billion and US$8 billion in sales by 2021, and potentially more globally. 

At the end of this month, the corporation intends to present its Cannabis Business strategy at an investor day to be held in New York City. In upcoming weeks, further details will be disclosed about this event. 

“We started our licensing application process with the Canadian government about a year ago. We expect that we’ll see final approval sometime next year and will then be in the position to commercialize shortly after that. In the middle of the latter half of next year we’ll be in the position to have products commercially available, and in the meantime, we are doing a lot of work with not only the regulatory bodies, but also within our facility,” Hamilton tells NutritionInsight

“Recently we pested from our krill oil business, which was effectively a very modern pharma food grade extraction facility, and as our license process progresses, we are in parallel modifying our facility to accommodate these new extractions,” Hamilton says, adding that the company is also working on modifying its facilities to make them compatible with the regulatory requirements for the cannabis business.

“As this industry becomes embraced by the mainstream consumers […] they are going be interested in dose-specific delivery systems, purity and convenient delivery systems,” Hamilton adds.

Hamilton sees great potential for the cannabis business. “When you look at the cannabis business, I think a lot of people may think that there’s this culture that goes with it, but the more people engage with it, the more they look at the persity of the products that come in the field such as CBD and the medical benefits it brings. I think we’re going to see a whole new category being created and I think it will become mainstream,” he notes.

Click to EnlargeFrom the same species of plant as cannabis, highly nutritious hemp in its various forms is an ingredient on a health mission with widespread applications and new product innovation surging. According to research from Innova Market Insights, hemp claims have climbed up 42 percent CAGR for NPD (Global, 2011-2016). 

North America and Western Europe are embracing hemp an as ingredient. CAGR percent for new products containing hemp is Western Europe has risen by 63 percent and 31 percent in North America (2011-2016). 

By Lucy Gunn

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