Marijuana Business Magazine October 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | October 2019 10 Increasing Incentive for Medical Sales Ultra Health executive discusses the company’s dedication to medical-grade production and rural populations By John Schroyer U ltra Health has been serving New Mexico’s medical cannabis patients since 2015. While there is argua- bly more money to be made by serving customers in states with recreational cannabis—and there’s a chance New Mexico’s legislature may legalize adult use before long—the company remains optimistic that the medical market will find a way to evolve and survive. That said, Marissa Novel, Ultra Health’s chief marketing officer, told Marijuana Business Magazine that more reforms are needed to keep the MMJ sector viable. Not only is further product research and development key to the future of the market, the bigger necessity is lower barriers for patient access to medical cannabis products. Marijuana Business Magazine spoke with Novel about how she believes medical-focused marijuana companies will fare in an increasingly recreational cannabis trade. What are some of the business differences between being a medical-only marijuana company and a recreational player? There are a few differences with being medical-only, and a lot of the differences are regarding how these products are prepared. We have a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility at our Bernalillo campus, where we produce pharmaceutical-grade, accurately dosed medical cannabis products. And that’s a product of being in a medical-only state for so long. Some of these states have had a shorter time frame for their medical programs, like Nevada, which switched gears into recreational so quickly I think they lost that focus on how a lot of medical products should be prepared. Accurately dosed products are a major difference. We have oral and sublingual tablets that come in 10-milligram pills, so when you take that pill, you know you’re getting 10 milligrams, whereas if you buy a 100-milligram chocolate bar and you break it up, you’re not really sure (how many milligrams may be in one piece). So, not only is accurate dosing important, having those serving sizes is really key—especially because that’s how a lot of pharmaceuticals come: They come in individual pills, they’re sealed and they look clinically elegant. We also have to consider that a lot of these medical patients already have compromised immune systems and other health conditions, and that can be a factor that’s really overlooked if the medical and rec markets are blended together. Do you see business benefits in being restricted to medical applications and products? When it comes to traditional health care, access to urgent care or a hospital is really the most important aspect of keeping communities healthy and safe. What people don’t really know about the population (in New Mexico) is about two-thirds of the population resides outside the metro areas. So we have cities like Albuquer- que and Santa Fe and Las Cruces, but not a substantial amount of the state population lives in those cities. Being in medical, we want everyone to be able to access us, so we know that we have to go out to these Five Questions | with Marissa Novel Marissa Novel Courtesy Photo