CANNAINVESTOR Magazine February / March 2017 - Page 29

How would you describe the medical cannabis industry in Australia?

Right now it is a very exciting time to be in Australia. After several years of talking, 2016 saw the implementation of the necessary legislation and regulatory environment to provide patients with the ability to access medicinal cannabis legally for the first time.

There are still a number of challenges including educating the medical profession but the flood-gates are now open and we are very well positioned to leverage Australia’s international reputation in medical research.

There is broad community support for medicinal cannabis and it has been an amazing change in public sentiment over the past 24 months.

Investors are very receptive to companies like Zelda that are providing relatively unique exposure to one of the fastest growing sectors in the world.

What have been the biggest hurdles for Zelda Therapeutics?

Zelda has experienced all the text-book issues that start-up companies face but I think we have achieved a significant number of milestones since being set up in 2015. Of course, stigma and continued regulatory changes are always challenging but these headwinds are diminishing. Being located in Australia means lots of air-miles!

Where do you see the company 5 years from now?

We are 100% focused on positioning Zelda as one of a very small number of life science companies globally with a leadership position in the medical cannabis sector. Five years is a long time and anything can happen but I would be disappointed if we did not have several products on the market that have demonstrated success in rigorous clinical trials. We should also have moved our pre-clinical cancer research into the clinic over that time frame.