Havas has become the first holding company to launch a major cannabis consultancy.
The new unit, called Havas ECS and operated under the Havas Health & You brand, will serve the use-specific needs of pharmaceutical, health, wellness and brand communities, powered by expertise and a network of medical advisors skilled in the application of cannabinoid medicine.
Around 64 million Americans have tried cannabidiol or CBD, made from legal hemp, 386 investigational cannabinoid studies are registered with FDA, and two-thirds of U.S. states and 22 countries have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
Rob Dhoble, who is leading the multi-office venture, said: "Cannabinoid and cannabis use, for wellness, self-care, and healthcare, has reached new levels of relevance, and will continue to grow as new products, including foods, beverages, prescription medicines, and non-prescription remedies are introduced.
"A new cannabinoid reality has arrived, now with a major network validating the space, helping clients seize marketplace opportunities, assess customer insights, and even plan for potential threats.
"Havas ECS addresses the urgent need for a communications advisory and training company that integrates foundational endocannabinoid science with the relevant real-world learnings of scientists and medical practitioners."
There are still massive gaps in the scientific understanding across the medical, public health, wellness, regulatory, patient advocacy and brand communities. In fact, only 13 percent of medical schools offer any instructional material on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), an essential biological system only discovered in the mid-1990s that regulates many aspects of human health and well-being.
Dhoble and his team will serve to advance the understanding of cannabinoid health and wellness, with science-based education and communication programs that frame and elevate the cannabinoid conversation, and increase the understanding of treatments and ECS-related medical conditions.
The company will be active immediately, and plans to host its first educational conference this fall.
Donna Murphy, global CEO of Havas Health & You, added: "With the lightning fast expansion of cannabis and cannabinoid brands, our network, and industry, will benefit deeply from a central source for science-based understanding.
"As the world’s largest health and wellness network, it’s incumbent on us to stay ahead of the curve, keeping our clients, partners and the broader brand community in an advantageous position through continuous evolution and adaptation."
(This article first appeared on CampaignAsia.com)