Canopy Growth Corp. has filed a lawsuit against GW Pharmaceuticals, the producer of Epidiolex, for the usage of a patented cannabidiol (CBD) extraction method. Canopy alleges that GW has violated intellectual property rights.
Canopy argues that its proprietary CBD extraction method was purchased from German-based C3 Cannabinoid Compound Co. for $250 million in 2019.
According to Canopy, GW uses the same extraction method to produce Epidiolex, the first ever CBD-based drug to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment-resistant cases of epilepsy and seizures.
Plaintiff Canopy filed the patent infringement suit on December 22, 2020, the same day the US government approved their patent. While the company has refused to share details about the ongoing litigation, Canopy has said it does not aim to limit patient access to Epidiolex.
“GW has been monitoring the ’632 Patent family for over fourteen years,” Canopy stated, suggesting that GW has made ongoing efforts to acquire the patented extraction method from C3.
The extraction method in question involves carbon dioxide (CO2), which the ‘632 patent family reportedly covers. Specifically, the method relates to grinding cannabis or hemp then using supercritical CO2 followed by ethanol winterization. Adsorbents are also listed when certain end products are desired. According to Canopy, it is a “pioneering processes for producing an extract from cannabis plant matter containing CBD using carbon dioxide.”
Regardless of Canopy’s patent, GW remains confident it will emerge the victor in the litigation process.
“As a policy, we do not comment on any pending litigation except to say that based on our preliminary review of the complaint, we are confident in our position and will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” GW Pharma told Marijuana Business Daily.