Local Company Develops Medical Hemp Patch

Jan 20, 2016

A Sarasota-based medical marijuana company is developing a patch containing a chemical compound from the cannabis plant.  

The company – Alternative Medical Enterprises or AME – said the compound, known as CBD, has anti-inflammatory benefits that would help with conditions like arthritis.

Five nurseries are also preparing their lines of CBD-based products as part of the state’s initial medical marijuana program.

AME President and CEO David Wright said a few things go into designing a quality CBD patch. The CBD will be derived from industrial hemp, which has none of the euphoric compound known as THC.

First, there’s developing the material that goes onto the patch. Then, researchers have to figure out how to get the CBD through the skin.

“The materials you use to transport that across the skin - through the layers of skin so it gets into the bloodstream - there are a number of ways of doing that. Some of the items are safer than the others some of them are better than the others,” he said.

CBD patches are not new, but the University of South Florida Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation helped research the formula for this patch. Wright said the company has three versions that go to animal testing next.

Wright said the patch should be on the market by May. It would be sold by AME’s Florida arm, AltMed.

The state’s medical marijuana nurseries are expected to have their products out by September. State lawmakers approved Florida’s initial medical marijuana program with the intent of helping children suffering from epileptic seizures and cancer patients.

The nurseries’ products could include pills, oils and sprays. At least one company has said could also possibly have a patch in the future.