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growing cannabis in australia

Growing cannabis in australia

Like Helen, the vast majority of patients resort to prescription medicinal cannabis to manage chronic pain. Yet last March the faculty of pain medicine at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists released a statement recommending health practitioners not to prescribe the available medicinal cannabis products to treat chronic non-cancer pain unless they are part of a registered clinical trial.

Only two products have received approval from the TGA and are registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. One is Epidyolex, prescribed for rare but severe, drug-resistant forms of epilepsy in children. The other one is Sativex, approved in 2012 to treat muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

Piecing together the puzzle

Larry says medicinal cannabis is one tool he uses to manage his anxiety, together with keeping active, eating well and having a healthy lifestyle. “[Medicinal cannabis] is not a silver bullet but it just gives you a bit of reprieve,” he says.

“Unfortunately, not all GPs are familiar with CBD products and feel confident enough to prescribe them to patients,” she says. “This is a gap that we need to address through balanced education in Australia.”

Complex and individual

Today in Australia, medicinal cannabis products are only available on prescription. Data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration reveals that more than 172,000 people have been approved access to medicinal cannabis through its special access scheme.

The Australian Government gave Asterion's facility "major project status" in 2019, and the Canadian cannabis company has already gained a medicinal cannabis license, a cannabis research license, and a manufacturing licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control.

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The scheme allows any GP to apply to TGA to prescribe patients cannabinoid medicines.

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Two medicinal marijuana companies have fast-tracked plans to build a large cannabis farm in the conservative heartland of Queensland.

Mr Hunt said the Australian industry had even bigger potential.

The Department of Health has received more than 75 applications to grow or manufacture medicinal cannabis in Australia, since legalising the practice in October.

He was even hesitant to discuss security measures installed at the site, so as not to educate potential thieves.

Vehicles must be safe from hijackers

This means the first lot of Australian-grown medicinal cannabis products could be on the domestic market towards the end of the year.

However, farmers wanting to do so first have to prove their crop will not fall into the hands of thieves and end up on the black market.

Tough security requirements

Most of the existing research into the health claims of medicinal cannabis relied on crop grown overseas, so medical professionals in Australia are waiting to see the outcomes of studies into locally made cannabis drugs.

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