By / January 19, 2024

Portuguese Army (LNM) Engages in Medical Cannabis Production

The Portuguese National Laboratory of Medicines (LNM), an institution under the Portuguese Ministry of Defense, is advancing in the production of medical cannabis, according to information from Cannareporter.

Historically linked to the Portuguese Army, the LNM has recently signed a contract for the construction of clean rooms for medical cannabis. This initiative, costing approximately 183,000 euros, aims to meet the medical needs of Portuguese patients by offering a potential alternative or complement to existing pharmaceutical options.

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Contract and Construction of the Clean Room

As reported by Cannareporter, the contract, signed in August 2023, is for the construction of clean rooms. The contract stipulates a completion period of 144 days and was awarded to TypeSolution S.A., a company specializing in laboratory and industrial equipment consulting. TypeSolution S.A. has worked with several Portuguese clients in the medical cannabis sector, including Tilray, CannPrisma, and LabialFarma.

Although Portuguese legislation allows the LNM to contribute to the production of cannabis-based medicines, the specific nature of their participation remains unclear. The LNM’s engagement in cannabis could help alleviate the bureaucratic burden associated with exceptional use authorizations (equivalent to France’s ATU) and reduce the high acquisition costs of existing cannabis-based medicines such as Epidyolex or Sativex.

The exact objectives of the infrastructure under development and whether the LNM intends to create specific medical products based on cannabis remain uncertain, as Cannareporter has not received a more precise response from the LNM.

LNM’s Role in the SkanAbility Project and Research Consortium

The LNM is also involved in the “SkanAbility” project, a research consortium launched in 2020. This project, which includes industrial players, the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon, and the University of Minho, aimed to develop formulations for functional cosmetics and aromatherapy incorporating cannabinoids and terpenes.

The goal of the project, as detailed in the text, was to create formulations, including creams, emulsions, topicals, or enriched oils, with purified cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from cannabis flowers or leaves.

LNM’s Specific Task in “SkanAbility”

In the “SkanAbility” project, categorized specifically as “T106,” the LNM’s task was to create a cannabis biobank using biological samples and recording comprehensive characterization data. Cannareporter suggests that the planning and design of the biobank’s support structure have been completed, and the implementation of the physical infrastructure is underway.

Furthermore, the LNM has executed another crucial task related to the project: the planning and creation of a quality management plan for handling biological samples. This involves ensuring the safety, transport, storage, and traceability of processes associated with the proper conservation and handling of samples. An additional mention is made of the development of a digital registry dedicated to managing the biobank’s database.

(Featured image by CRYSTALWEED cannabis via Unsplash)

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