LONDON — Akanda Corp. (“Akanda” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: AKAN), an international medical cannabis platform company, today announced that its UK import and distribution wholly-owned subsidiary CanMart Ltd. (“CanMart”) has partnered with Phlo Connect and Cellen Life Sciences (“Cellen”) to create a first-of-its-kind fully digital dispensing collaboration for medical cannabis. The strategic partnership strengthens CanMart’s existing partnership with Cellen’s digital Leva Clinic and expands its route to market in the UK with a dispensing model that is also fully digital while at the same time improving the experience for UK medical cannabis patients.
Phlo Connect integrates digitally with CanMart, Akanda’s UK-based, fully licensed pharmaceutical importer and distributor, to quickly and conveniently deliver prescriptions to patients throughout the United Kingdom. Initially, patients will secure prescriptions through the Leva Clinic, with product transferred through CanMart to Phlo Connect. Patients can then schedule delivery to their home or office. Phlo Connect is the UK’s leading API driven digital pharmacy infrastructure provider that seamlessly connects prescribers, pharmacies and patients for an end-to-end digital experience. Phlo Connect offers a 120-minute delivery service in London and Birmingham and next-day delivery across the UK. This process will be increasingly seamless for patients in the near future as Phlo Connect, Leva Clinic, and CanMart build additional digital interconnections.
“Akanda is committed to expanding access to high quality products for anyone in need, and that is qualified in the United Kingdom, a growing market for medical cannabis,” commented Tej Virk, CEO of Akanda. “Phlo Connect and Cellen are the ideal partners to make this happen, combining the UK’s first fully digital pharmacy with a digital dispensing model that is easy to use, secure, and real-time. Patients can arrange a specialist consultation at www.levaclinic.com and seamlessly connect to Phlo Connect’s smartphone app to arrange medical cannabis delivery. In the nascent UK medical cannabis market, patients currently suffer from excess friction as the prescription process, and last mile delivery is disjointed. We firmly believe that our solution is the best way to satisfy patients and get our 1P and 3P-supplied medical cannabis in their hands quickly and conveniently, which will greatly improve the patient experience.”
“We believe partnering with CanMart and Cellen will be a game-changer for medicinal cannabis patients here in the UK. By integrating with both CanMart and Cellen via our API driven pharmacy platform, we believe that this partnership is the first truly end to end digital experience for medicinal cannabis patients in the UK,” commented Adam Hunter, CCO of Phlo Connect.
Added Eric Bystrom, CEO of Cellen, “Our patients require access to new high-quality products without the friction and hassle of traditional dispensing services. This partnership is another example of our continuing efforts to build on our national, established relationships with the wider pharmaceutical community in innovative ways. We believe that CanMart’s access to high quality products as well as Phlo Connect’s extensive capabilities in dispensing will go a long way to helping our service to our patients.”
The digital dispensing solution is now live. Patients interested in exploring the program should visit www.levaclinic.com to book a free call with one of our specialists.
The partnership with Phlo Connect builds on CanMart’s existing partnership with Cellen, a health tech company that provides treatment to chronic pain patients through its digital pain clinic, Leva Clinic, as well as through partners including the NHS, Boots and others. The Leva Clinic, which is licensed and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”), is one of the first fully digital pain clinics in the UK. Through a multi-disciplinary clinical team of expert clinicians, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and nurse consultants, the Leva Clinic supports patients through personalized online care plans. Cellen is also a medical cannabis supplier to Project Twenty21, the large-scale medical cannabis observational study monitored by Drug Science that aims to improve access to medical cannabis for those in need.
As previously announced, Harvinder Singh, Mohsen Rahimi, Jatinder Dhaliwal and Katharyn Field joined Akanda’s board of directors (the “Board”), effective June 23, 2022. Each of these new directors brings with them a unique perspective within high growth industries pertaining to supply chain, pharmaceuticals and regulatory measures. Tej Virk continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as part of the five-member Board.
Concluded Virk, “Along with the rest of the Akanda management team, we wanted to extend our gratitude to the former directors for their contributions to our business. The many contributions of our prior Board members were critical in enabling us to reach this inflection point. As we increase our focus on the European market, and near-term opportunities, our new directors bring relevant backgrounds and relationships. Management is excited to collaborate with the new Board to achieve profitable growth. We have never been more confident in Akanda’s future.”
About Akanda Corp.
Akanda is an international medical cannabis and wellness platform company seeking to help people lead better lives through improved access to high quality and affordable products. Akanda’s portfolio includes Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness, a GACP qualified cultivation campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa; Holigen, a Portugal-based cultivator, manufacturer and distributor with a prized EU GMP certified indoor grow facility; and CanMart, a UK-based fully licensed pharmaceutical importer and distributor which supplies pharmacies and clinics within the UK. The Company’s seed-to-patient supply chain also includes partnerships with Cellen Life Sciences’ Leva Clinic, one of the first fully digital pain clinics in the UK, and Cantourage, which operates a platform for bringing medical cannabis to Europe.
Phlo Connect is an API driven pharmacy infrastructure platform that partners with other healthcare providers to offer a seamless end to end digital pharmacy experience. Leveraging a network of pharmacies, Phlo offers on-demand delivery of prescriptions at a time and place which suits the patient. You can find out more about Phlo’s infrastructure platform at www.phloconnect.com and its on-demand pharmacy service at www.wearephlo.com.
Cellen is a UK based healthcare innovation company, improving the health and wellbeing of people living with chronic pain with a focus on Medical Cannabis access. Founded in 2019 by Eric Bystrom and Dr. Benjamin Viaris de Lesegno, Cellen is building integrated solutions to manage chronic pain by combining clinical care, innovation and real-world evidence generation. In November 2020, Cellen launched Leva Clinic, the UK’s first Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered online pain clinic. Leva Clinic provides pain management services to the NHS and Boots UK customers. Cellen was selected as UK Department of International Trade’s 25 ‘One’s to Watch’ for Digital Health, was named a finalist for Tech Nations Diversity and Inclusion Award 2021, and was awarded Outstanding for Well-Led by the CQC in 2022.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Akanda’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Akanda’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to business strategy, product development, market changes and sales and growth plans. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Akanda does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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