In Denmark, we have an incredibly strong life science industry and Fyn has a historically strong know-how about horticulture. If you combine these two, you have the best starting point for producing and processing medical cannabis.
As the first Danish producer, Aurora Nordic in Odense has been granted permission to sell, and not least export medical cannabis, and before long, Aurora Nordic will offer both dried flowers and cannabis oil to patients in Denmark and Europe, where in particular the German market is very attractive. “It is huge that we have succeeded, and for us the biggest thing is that we have also been allowed to export. We are very happy that we have both dried flowers and cannabis oil with us”, says Mads Pedersen, who runs Aurora Nordic in collaboration with Canadian Aurora, the world’s second largest producer of medical cannabis.
Since 2018, Odense Municipality has also placed great focus on medical cannabis. A niche industry that, with greenhouses, laboratories and analysis stations, brings together the two Danish strengths of life science and horticulture. It is the combination of the two industries that makes Denmark interesting, explains Lone Krogsbøll, who is Investment Manager at Invest in Odense, Odense Municipality. “Denmark is known for our incredible healthcare system, our strong life science industry and our long history as an agricultural and horticultural country. This is the know-how that international companies are attracted to when they consider placing their medical cannabis activities in Denmark. On top of that, they get value from the way we work in Denmark, where public and commercial actors work closely together”, she explains.
The producers on Fyn are in close dialogue, and the municipality has created Medical Cannabis Fyn, a network of all the actors on Fyn: The companies, researchers at (University of Southern Denmark (SDU), the doctors at Odense University Hospital (OUH) who have an interest in medical cannabis, and then the municipality itself. Mayor of Odense Peter Rahbæk Juel explains “We have created the network to contribute to an industry we can see has strong potential on Fyn, and when we meet, the municipality’s most important role is to listen to companies and what they demand and thus ensuring that we lift the industry together.”
Collaboration with academia is crucial
One of the things that companies have been seeking from the start is research. Therefore, SDU plays a major role in Medical Cannabis Fyn, and for a long time SDU was the only university in Denmark with permission to handle and work with the cannabis plant. Therefore, SDU has collaborated with both manufacturers, analysis companies and authorities in the industry. According to Rime Bahij, assistant professor at Chemical Engineering, it is the collaboration between public and private actors that creates the starting point for the experiences they bring with them in research: “The companies come with a knowledge from their production that the authorities do not necessarily have yet because the industry is so new. Together with the Danish Medicines Agency, we investigate whether there are new and more effective methods for measuring the content of the products. The knowledge sharing itself is crucial for us to succeed in developing the industry”, explains Rime Bahij
Cannabis Investor Summit 2021
In January this year, Invest in Odense, together with NNE and Invest in Denmark, held the first Cannabis Investor Summit in Denmark. Here, 12 companies promoted themselves for more than 30 interested investors. The companies that participated in January embraced everything from research-heavy biotech, over cultivation to new tech solutions for production. Next year, the summit will be held on 11 February, and registration is already open, both for investors and capital-seeking companies.
Photo: Simon Trøjgaard Jepsen