Medical Cannabis Experts Go to South Africa at Requests of SADC Governments Adherence to United Nations Treaties, Localized Treatments, and Export Capabilities Top Concerns

Contact from ASA: Reenal Doshi | 202-857-4272 x.4 | [email protected]

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Americans for Safe Access’s (ASA) research partner, the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI), is hosting a series of events for medical professionals, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) regulators, and future medical cannabis industry leaders. Following a series of requests for support and guidance, ICCI will be bringing global experts to Johannesburg to address concerns of policy makers and is opening up time with experts for medical professionals and those hoping to enter the medical cannabis industry in the region.

“Medical Cannabis could have a great impact on the quality of life of many SADC citizens as well as create much needed revenue streams. However, the success of the programs will rely on the legal framework at the heart of programs to ensure that they can be rolled out without stepping outside the UN Treaties and the respective government obligations,” said Dr. Pavel Pachta, ICCI’s International Regulatory Affairs Director, former Deputy Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and presenter at the Seminar. “I am excited to have the opportunity to share my insights to help the governments as well as industry move their programs forward.”   

ICCI was co-founded by ASA, the U.S.’s largest patient-focused medical cannabis advocacy organization. Located in the heart of Europe - Czech Republic, ICCI identifies, coordinates and supports global research priorities for the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid treatments. ICCI is a Center of Excellence, a network of Universities, hi-tech companies, and institutions from around the globe that serve as an international research and educational hub designed to meet the needs of cannabis stakeholders globally. This mandate has turned ICCI’s resources to organizing the upcoming seminars that will include speakers/advisors representing expertise from clinicians, INCB, drug development, patient advocacy, United Nations Committee on Narcotics Drugs (UNCND), and authoring and passing legislation globally.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to liaise with medical colleagues in southern Africa and discuss the myriad possibilities for cannabis therapeutics on the continent. We are also excited to explore the biochemical profiles of African cannabis landraces, particularly their content of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a cannabinoid with great promise in treating Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, neuropathic pain and epilepsy,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, ICCI’s Director of Research and Development and former Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor, and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals.

“It is our pleasure to collaborate with forward thinking partners like Webber & Newdigate, who is already investing in education and improving quality management in cannabis industry and safety of patients.” specified Pavel Kubu, MD, CEO of ICCI. Webber & Newdigate, a Lesotho and S. African based commercial law firm, is co-sponsoring Friday’s events for Medical Cannabis Industry and Entrepreneurs.

“Properly designed medical cannabis programs give patients and their medical providers more options for essential treatments,” said Steph Sherer Founder of ICCI and President of Americans for Safe Access, a patient advocacy organization. “I am encouraged by the number of countries that are interested in creating programs that will serve the local populations.”

Lesotho as a first country in 2017 licensed companies to produce medical cannabis on its land. Since than more than a half of SADC countries consider or took steps towards production of medical cannabis and following medical cannabis program for their patients. Booming global demand for new territories creates a great opportunity for African countries to cover needs of the local population while helping countries economy.

Full schedules available:


Speakers are available for interview (bios attached).

Contact from ICCI: Jakub Vecerka, [email protected]

Speakers bios:

Steph Sherer is a founder and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), founding member of International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC). She has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy and, alongside the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Steph has created the first industry standards in the areas of Distribution, Cultivation, Analytics, and Manufacturing, Packaging, and Labeling.

Ethan Russo, MD, is a Director of Research and Development of ICCI, board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and former Senior Medical Advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals. He served as study physician to GW Pharmaceutical for three Phase III clinical trials of Sativex, physician and medical monitor for early studies of Epidiolex. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (Psychology) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, before residencies in Pediatrics in Phoenix, Arizona and in Child and Adult Neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was a clinical neurologist in Missoula, Montana for 20 years in a practice with a strong chronic pain component.

Pavel Kubu, MD, is CEO of International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute Specialties include medical informatics, digital healthcare, digital transformation of public services, national strategies and planning and government affairs. Prior to ICCI, Pavel worked at Intel in the Healthcare/Education division as a Business Development Manager driving innovative usage models and collaborating with governments on proof of concepts.

Dr. Pavel Pachta is ICCI’s International Regulatory Affairs Director. As former deputy Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board and former Chief of the Narcotics Control and Estimates Section at UNODC he offers a unique perspective on medical cannabis laws and regulations. Dr. Pachta has been a frequent contributor on UN and WHO publications.

Tomas Sadilek joined the ICCI in the position of Director of Government Affairs. He brings with him extensive experience from the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in the field of Legal and Illegal Drugs Represented the Czech Republic in all drug related meetings in United Nations institutions (Vienna, New York), Council of the EU meetings and Council of Europe meetings. Represented the Czech Republic in meetings in EU area, Eastern Partnership countries area, occasionally the US.