Alternate Health Offers a Compelling Value in Medical Cannabis
June 7th, 2017
News, Top News
The U.S. cannabis industry is expected to surpass $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co., with more than 20 states already approving of medical use. While recreational legalization will account for a large portion of the market, medical marijuana is increasingly gaining widespread acceptance across medical indications ranging from pain to seizures – multi-billion dollar markets affecting millions of patients around the world.
In this article, we will look at Alternate Health Corp. (CSE: AHG) (OTCQB: AHGIF) and how it is strategically positioned in nearly all facets of the medical cannabis value chain.
Strong Financial Footing
Alternate Health’s primary revenue-generating business is Alternate Health Labs, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary that it acquired in January of this year. The independent clinical laboratory provides clinical blood and urine testing services in San Antonio, Texas, with a focus on handling overflow business from third-party clinical laboratories. With 20 lab techs and state-of-the-art instrumentation, the lab can process more than 3,000 specimens per day.
Alternate Health reported first quarter revenue of $3.9 million, adjusted EBITDA of $1.4 million, and positive operating cash flow, which was driven primarily by its laboratory business. On its balance sheet, the company reported $11 million in cash on hand with only $500,000 in debt, which provides ample financing for its other efforts. The lab business effectively finances much of the company’s operating costs and limits future dilution for shareholders.
“We are very pleased with the financial and operational performance during our first active quarter as Alternate Health Corp.,” said CEO Dr. Jamison Feramisco in the company’s financial results press release. “We achieved outstanding financial growth, raised significant new capital, and completed several key strategic acquisitions and investments. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $1.4 million and we generated positive operating cash flow.”
Patient Monitoring System
Alternate Health may generate most of its revenue from lab operations, but management’s long-term focus is on its CanaCard Patient Management System. The innovative software solution manages end-to-end transactions involved with providing safe and regulated access to medical cannabis while generating revenue on a transactional basis when patients register and medical cannabis purchases are made over time (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 – CanaCard Diagram – Source: Alternate Health Corp.
Health clinics and patients benefit from a HIPAA/PIPEDA compliant software solution that tracks all financial transactions, creates tax reports, and ensures compliance with local laws. Patients can also login to easily access their medical records and make any necessary changes to their appointments or prescriptions. The system also enables patients to record how their prescriptions are affecting them to enhance treatment.
For the company, the CanaCard Patient Management System creates a recurring revenue stream that is both high-margin and extremely scalable. The business model is similar to software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies like Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM) or credit card companies like Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) that make a piece of each transaction. There is also a high barrier to entry for new competitors since it’s hard for customers to switch solutions.
Cannabinoid Delivery Systems
Alternate Health has exclusive licenses for two unique and proprietary delivery systems to increase bioavailability and deliverability of cannabinoid treatments. One is a sublingual, dissolvable tablet that delivers the active ingredients quickly, with absorption into the body in less than three minutes and bioavailability in the range of 90%. The second is a transdermal patch that provides for a longer acting, controlled release through the skin.
Deliverability and dosage control have long been an issue with cannabinoids. Many studies have shown that most cannabinoids do not tolerate acidic environments. With the stomach reaching pH ranges of 1.0 to 3.0, cannabinoids are often destroyed or damaged before they reach the intestines and absorb into the bloodstream. Therefore, smoked cannabis has an average bioavailability rate of about 30%, since it bypasses the stomach on its way into the bloodstream via the lungs, compared to just 5% for consumed cannabis edibles.
While smoking is an efficient process, there are well-known health concerns associated with smoking and many people don’t enjoy the process. The cannabinoids contained in a marijuana cigarette may be beneficial, but the smoking process can still be hazardous to the lungs. Dosage control is problematic and inexact when smoking, not to mention that the plant itself remains illegal both federally and in a number of states.
Alternate Health bypasses the legal issue by using industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids and cannabidiol (CBD) to create the medicines in the tablets and patches, legal in all states. And the two delivery systems provide complementary solutions to the bioavailability issue, one faster acting and the other more sustained.
Longer Term Ambitions
Alternate Health aims to leverage its lab expertise, proprietary cannabinoid delivery systems, and CanaCard Patient Management System to power its clinical programs. It’s no secret that cannabinoids may have broad clinical benefits across a wide range of conditions. After all, cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors that lie at the center of many body processes. Regulating these cannabinoid receptors may help the body avoid or mitigate various diseases and their side-effects.
The company recently announced the completion of its initial study to demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabinoids in treating chronic post-Zika virus symptoms. The study was conducted at the Neubauer Hyperbaric Neurologic Center and evaluated the effectiveness of combining hyperbaric oxygen and industrial hemp-derived cannabinoids to alleviate pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and loss of appetite.
All 10 patients enrolled in the study demonstrated a significant improvement in their subjective symptoms in less than a month of dual therapy with the Alternate Health Corporation’s proprietary hemp-derived sub-lingual dissolvable cannabinoid tablet combined with hyperbaric oxygen treatments.
Prior to that announcement, the company announced the first-ever Continuing Medical Education (CME) course approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. While the company stressed that neither the AMA nor ACCME have approved cannabis related products or treatments, its courses are designed to meet the certification requirements of the ACCME. The program is designed for doctors targeting Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) treatment options.
Alternate Health Corp. (CSE: AHG) (OTCQB: AHGIF) represents a compelling investment opportunity in the medical cannabis industry. With existing revenue from its newly acquired lab business, the company aims to finance its ambitions in the medical cannabis industry in terms of its end-to-end patient management system, proprietary delivery systems, and clinical programs. These operations provide investors with diverse exposure to the industry.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.alternatehealth.ca.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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