Manna Molecular CEO Looks to Take Cannabis Patch to Europe with Aphria Deal

March 4, 2019

By Amanda Weston

The maker of the first cannabis-optimized patch is teaming up with cannabis giant Aphria, and already has its eye on the global market.

"We chose Aphria because of their ability to scale and get us into numerous markets all over the globe," Nial DeMena, CEO of Manna Molecular Science, told Cheddar Monday. "They're a big, wealthy company that's positioned in numerous countries."

The company's transdermal patch is designed to deliver a controlled dose of cannabis automatically over 12 hours. Manna says customers will feel relief without the visible signs of use, like red eyes or impairment.

"We think the future in cannabis is microdosing and long-acting forms, which are much harder to accomplish and have a big market globally," he said.

DeMena said Aphria's ($APHA) holdings in Europe made it an appealing partner, due to difficulties involving Canadian regulations and because "Europeans are very familiar with patch technology."

"We like being able to debut in Europe and work collaboratively with Aphria for our Gen 2 patch, which is coming down the road, and the ability to scale manufacturing, which is an option in this agreement, which we very much like," he added.

Under the agreement, Aphria becomes Manna's exclusive preferred vendor for five years. Aphria also gets an exclusive license to produce, market, and sell Manna patches containing cannabis oil.

"As we continue to expand its use from product to ingredient, we are excited to offer innovative new ways for consumers to interact with cannabis," said Jakob Ripshtein, President of Aphria, said in a statement.

DeMena said the patches are currently available in about a dozen states.

"Some people describe it like a warm hug that lasts all day," DeMena said. "And I think everybody wants that feeling whether they're at their computer or their desk doing work, or they're out in the field, or whether they're driving or flying, it's a way to alleviate normal aches and pains and it's a way to feel slightly uplifted in your mood. And that's really why we like the technology and we think it has an enormous medical benefit long term."

For full interview click here.