The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board has approved an investigation licence to conduct human clinical trials for evaluating medicinal cannabis.

It is said to be the first cannabis trial in Puerto Rico since the Commonwealth government approved Medicinal Cannabis Act of 2017.

Veritas Pharma Puerto Rico, a division of Canada-based Veritas Pharma, will lead the clinical evaluation in partnership with the Institute for Medical Cannabis (IMC) and the Fundación de Investigación (FDI).

The trial will assess the partners’ lead cannabis candidate, CTL-X, in alleviating acute pain.

As part of the alliance, Veritas licensed the intellectual property related to its strains to IMC, which will provide samples to the FDI that will conduct direct research at its San Juan clinical research facilities.

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FDI also has a 30-bed Phase I unit, an in-house bioanalytical laboratory, multi-specialty personnel and advanced medical technology.

Scheduled to be initiated this week, the medicinal cannabis trial is expected to be completed in three months.

Veritas Pharma director Nick Standish said: “The Veritas and Cannevert teams have worked very hard to get to this point, and this licence means we can take these next important steps forward that get us that much closer to having a marketable medical cannabis product, backed with real and credible science.”

The company aims to develop effective cannabis strains specifically for pain, nausea, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This will be made possible through investment in its wholly owned Puerto Rico subsidiary.

Veritas’ proposition is said to use a low-cost research and development model to accelerate shareholder value and speed-to-market.