EDITORIAL BY STEFAN MARTIN MEYER
Over 500 participants from 35 countries came together in Berlin, Germany for the 10th edition of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) conference from October 31st to November 2nd. Plena Global is proud to have contributed to this conference by serving as the main diamond sponsor of the event.
Recognized by many as being one of the most prominent science-focused cannabis conferences globally, IACM was founded in 2000 with the aim of advancing knowledge on cannabis, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system and their therapeutic potential. Since its inception, the conference has been held once every 2 years in Europe. However, given the rapid growth in the industry and increased interest from participants, the frequency and geographic reach of the conference will expand with plans to take place annually and alternate locations between Europe and North America beginning in 2020.
While the IACM began as a research-focused association, it has now evolved into an important event for all players in the medical cannabis industry; scientists. medical professionals, business professionals and investors alike. The 2019 conference was sponsored by 34 international companies, including global industry leaders.
This year’s conference was especially unique given the significant progress made in enhancing access to medicinal cannabis products for patients in the host country, Germany. The current situation in Germany is certainly of great interest to the international audience due to its market size and potential, often being a topic of exchange between participants of the conference during the lunches and coffee breaks between presentations.
Until this conference, Plena Global has been head-down in execution mode staying relatively quiet and making little noise through conference and event sponsorships. After reaching some significant milestones, we took the opportunity at IACM to tell the world about who we are and what we do. Plena Global was amongst a large number of other Canadian-based companies represented at the European conference; We perceive this trend as a strong indicator that many Canadian companies are continuing to build their presence and pursue market share in Europe.
The rising investment in cannabinoid science and research was apparent through the announcements of many large clinical trials during the event. Over the next few years, as the results of these trials emerge, we can expect to receive interesting findings that will help to further understand and confirm the important role of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids in enhancing the quality of life of patients.
This year, the Special IACM Award titled, “Major Contributions to the Re-introduction of Cannabis as a Medicine”, was honored to Prof. Javier Fernández Ruiz, from the University Computense Madrid, Spain, for his research contributions over the years on the medical properties of cannabinoids.
The IACM association also elected its new Chairman, Dr. Kirsten Müller-Vahl, Germany, a Professor of Psychiatry at the Hannover Medical School (MHH). Dr. Muller-Vahl is a specialist in both neurology and adult psychiatry and has been pioneering studies on the role of cannabinoids as a therapy for Tourette syndrome.
Dr Raquel Peyraube, Director of Public Policy and Health at Plena Global, was confirmed as a member on the Board of Directors of the IACM, where she has been active since 2017.
During the event, Plena Global proudly announced the development of a new book titled “Endocannabinology and Cannabinoid Medicines: A Medical Review of Research”. This new publication is targeted for completion in Q2 2020 and will offer health care practitioners a unique combination of up-to-date academic information and practical clinical treatment strategies in the area of endocannabinology and cannabinoid medicines. The editors of the publication are internationally recognized in this space and include Dr. Raquel Peyraube, Dr. Manuel Guzmán Pastor and Dr. Ismael Galve-Roperh from University Computense Madrid.
Our team returns home from the 2019 IACM conference feeling inspired by the existing connections that were strengthened, the new relationships formed and the overwhelming support that Plena Global received from the participants on our progress. Plena Global’s efforts don’t stop here. We look forward to continuing to support the advancement of medical education in the area of medical cannabis and cannabinoids through our Global Medical Education Program and Public Health Policy Initiatives moving forward.
About the Author:
Stefan Martin Meyer, Chief Strategy Officer
Stefan joined Plena Global in 2019. Prior to Plena, Stefan co-founded Phytoplant Research SL, which was granted the first research license for medicinal cannabis in Spain. Stefan also served as Chairman of the Board of Vivacell Biotechnology España SL, a privately held preclinical stage drug development company. Stefan holds a Swiss degree in Hospitality Management and an Executive MBA from the Chamber of Commerce in Sevilla, Spain.