First licence issued in new medicinal cannabis regulatory system

Melbourne-based Cann Group has been issued with the first licence to be approved under the federal government’s new regulatory system for medicinal cannabis use in Australia

The research licence allows Cann Group to legally cultivate medicinal cannabis and conduct research on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The company has also submitted an application to the ODC for a cultivation licence and is confident of securing this in the near future.

Cann Group is an unlisted public agribusiness company, focused on breeding, cultivating and manufacturing medicinal cannabis for sale and use within Australia.

The company’s research and development facilities have to date operated under an ‘Authority for Low–THC Cannabis’ issued by the Victorian Government, authorising cultivation of low-THC cannabis for research and non-therapeutic purposes. The research program has focused on evaluating optimal conditions, processes and equipment for cultivating cannabis.

Cann Group Chairman Mr Allan McCallum says receiving the first research licence issued by the Australia Government validates the investment made by the company in establishing facilities and protocols that meet the strict criteria required for a licence approval.

“This is an important milestone in the medicinal cannabis sector in Australia, but also for Cann Group and the development of our business plan,” says Mr McCallum.

“The licence allows us to apply for a permit to progress our research and development programs, which are particularly focused on the breeding, cultivation, extraction and characterisation of cannabinoids. It will also mean we can further discussions we have underway with a number of leading Australian research and technology organisations to access additional expertise and resources.

“We are putting in place the building blocks to ensure we have industry-leading research, cultivation and manufacturing capabilities. This will position us to eventually provide Australians with access to innovative and high quality medicinal cannabis treatments.”

There is growing recognition and increased mainstream acceptance of the claimed benefits of medicinal cannabis for a substantial range of diseases and certain other medical conditions, supported by increasing scientific evidence of the role of cannabinoids in a range of medical applications, Cann Group says.

As the medical evidence continues to evolve, the group expects that demand for safe, efficacious medicinal cannabis products will grow.

Last week the Health Department announced the establishment of the Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis, which will provide “expert advice” to the government.

Pharmacist Michelle Lynch, the national vice-president of the PSA, was appointed to the Council as a representative of the pharmacy profession.

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