Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

How Cannabis-Based Drugs Can Transform Canadian Health Care

If there's one thing you can say about Brent Zettl, founder of ZYUS Life Sciences and 2019 Prairies Region Entrepreneur of the Year, it's that he's always got a vision. If there's another, it's that he's seen as the Godfather of Canadian medical cannabis. Together, these two factors combine to create the driving force and message of ZYUS: elevate the place of cannabinoids as a standard of care in Canadian health care.

The Road to Production

In December 2019, ZYUS obtained its Health Canada processing licence, which allowed it to begin extracting oil from marijuana purchased from Canadian-licensed producers at its Innovation Place production facility in Saskatoon. Recently, ZYUS announced it received both its Analytical Testing Licence and Research Licence from Health Canada in accordance with Canada’s Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations.

These additional licences allow ZYUS to continue to prepare for the next phases of its plan: production, clinical studies, and sales of medical cannabinoid-based formulations.

Barriers to Cannabis-Based Drug Clinical Trials

While the potential for cannabinoids to have a "transformational impact" on Canadian health care seems high, there are a few barriers surrounding the clinical trial process specifically:

1. Money. Clinical trials can cost upwards of $200 million for a complete run. That's a lot of green (and brown, red, blue, and purple).

2. Perception. While cannabis has had a shift in legality, it hasn't necessarily had one in reputation.

Addressing "negative bias" towards cannabinoids may be a struggle, but Zettl suggests there are some believers, particularly in the private sector. "Private investors see the potential," he told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

ZYUS is a Canadian-based, globally focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to restoring health and humanity by advancing the field of targeted phyto-therapeutics, including cannabinoids. It is a tenant of Innovation Place in Saskatoon.

Read more about ZYUS' impact on the medical cannabis industry.

- February 12, 2020