Medical marijuana: Australia takes big strides towards legalisation of cannabis; Tasmania and WA show the way

By @ritwikroy1985 on
Marijuana
A participant holds up a flag during the Global Marijuana March 2017, in support of the legalization of marijuana in Mexico City, Mexico May 6, 2017. The words on the flag read: "Legalize it". Reuters/Henry Romero

Tasmania is expecting medicinal cannabis supply by 2018. Tasmanian Botanics is the first Tasmanian company to be approved to produce medical marijuana. Now, the company is expecting legally-manufactured products in the country to be available by early 2018 for sale.

Tasmanian Botanics is the first Australian company to be granted three licences for cultivating the drug for medicinal purpose. The licences have been granted under legislative changes that came into effect from October 2016. The company looks at this island state as a perfect manufacturing base. Managing Director Troy Langman recently talked about Tasmania's robust track record for producing poppies. He also explained how the Australian climate is conducive for growing the full range of marijuana varieties.

The company is very well-placed in Australia and is looking to grow various varieties of the drug, where each variety will treat a specific condition. This will be an economic boon for the state. The Federal Government will ultimately export cannabis overseas, and Langman is hoping that this will create sufficient employment opportunities for Tasmanians. 

"At the end of the day, this is all about patients and that's why I undertook this work, so I'm really pleased that we'll finally be able to help people," Langman said.

The Tasmanian government is currently working on a Controlled Access Scheme for medical marijuana. The cannabis products that are manufactured in Tasmania will be sold throughout Australia albeit subject to regulations in every jurisdiction.

“Specifically the medicinal cannabis licence, which allows the cultivation of cannabis, the manufacturing licence and a cannabis research licence, which we are particularly excited about. We've got a lot of work to do, we've obviously got a lot of security to install at out our site, our secret location, I'm hoping we'll be able to get seeds in the ground within six months,” Langman told the ABC.

Meanwhile, The West Australian reports that medicinal cannabis will soon be grown in WA. A WA company has also been given the green signal to cultivate the life-giving drug as considered by many. Australian drug regulators have provided AusCann teh first licence to grow medical marijuana in WA. The company has received approval for a secure outdoor cultivation facility. This company too aims to locally grow the product by 2018. Till the time the cultivation facility becomes operational in WA, the company will import cannabis from Chile.

It has gone into a partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation, which is one of Canada’s largest medicinal cannabis company. However, Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller said that people in Australia must understand that this cannabis won’t give them any high, as the THC compound is absent. Hence, they should not be hoping to get high from legalised medical marijuana.