CMU & Atlanta Medicare launch the Facility for Medical Cannabis Research

20 July 2022

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

       CMU has been a partner with Atlanta Medicare Co., Ltd to develop medical-grade cannabis products for medical use with the patients’ best interest and safety in mind. The collaboration has been ongoing ever since the MoU regarding the research and development of medical-grade cannabis extracts for medical use was signed on September 3, 2019.

       On July 5 of this year, the two parties held a handover ceremony of the Facility for Medical Cannabis Research, sponsored by Atlanta Medicare. The facility was designed and operated according to the GMP PIC/S (Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) in the field of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and every cultivation process undergoes quality control. A world-class indoor cultivation technology is used to ensure that the plants are grown in perfect conditions. Thus, one can be assured regarding the good quality of cannabis used in pharmaceutical and clinical research. The facility, worth about 17 million baht, is located within the CMU Faculty of Agriculture.

       At the ceremony, Assist. Prof. Dr. Daruni Naphrom, Dean of the CMU Faculty of Agriculture, welcomed Prof. Dr. Pongrak Sribanditmongkol, CMU Vice President and Head of the CMU Working Party on Cannabis, Hemp and Narcotic Plants, who gave a report on the event’s objectives. Mr. Suphadej Amnuaysakul, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Medicare, explained the company’s policy in supporting medical cannabis research, and Clinical Prof. Niwes Nanthachit, CMU President, expressed his gratitude. There was a ceremonial flower clipping of an imported cannabis strain that has a high CBD concentration but a low THC concentration. Later, there will be a cultivation of cannabis flowers grown in the cultivation facility which will be sent to the Faculty of Pharmacy for extraction of bioactive compounds and pharmaceutical development.

        CMU’s mission in cannabis research and development focuses on medical use. The university has teams of expert researchers, as well as a value chain of medical cannabis applications, starting from the upstream production stage that involves the Faculty of Agriculture selecting strains and finding perfect conditions. The midstream stage is concerned with extraction and quality control, leading to drug development by the Faculty of Pharmacy. The downstream stage of production is where the testing and medical applications take place in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Apart from the medical use, CMU is also researching leftover parts from the production process such as the leaf, the stem, the root and any other waste remaining after extraction. Moreover, there is an integration of knowledge between faculties and organizations, both internal and external, to make the best use of all the resources available, adhering as close as possible to a policy of ‘Zero Waste’.

       CMU and Atlantic Medicare hope to develop cannabis-derived pharmaceutical products that are entirely domestically made to reduce imports and will provide a treatment option. Not only can they improve Thai people’s quality of life, but they can also serve as an export product, following the idea of ‘Made in Thailand with International Standards for Global Benefits’.