First commercial harvest of medicinal cannabis on Aussie soil, which is set to be used by patients and for CSIRO research
Melbourne-based company Cann Group has announced it has completed harvest of its first cultivation cycle of medicinal cannabis in Victoria.
It’s the first commercial crop to be harvested in Australia, the first belonging to the Victorian Government in February this year.
In May 2017 Cann Group received permits to breed plants for a CSIRO research program into cannabis extracts, and supply plant material for manufacturing into medicinal cannabis products for patient use.
These products will be accessed by patients via clinical trials, or through the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber and Special Access Scheme.
While the first harvest is relatively small, it has been an important way to validate production processes, says the company’s CEO Peter Crock.
“Being the first commercial product to be harvested in Australia, this is a key milestone for both Cann Group and the developing medicinal cannabis industry in Australia.”
On the announcement the group’s shares rose 6%, currently sitting at $1.24 (28/8, 2.12pm).
Cann Group was issued with Australia’s first medicinal cannabis research licence in February 2017 and Australia’s first medicinal cannabis cultivation licence in March 2017, which were both granted by the Office of Drug Control under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
“The first commercial permit is a significant step towards a reliable, safe production pipeline for the supply of high quality medicinal cannabis for Victorian patients who need it most,” said the state government at the time.
Victoria was the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis for patients in exceptional circumstances.
The state has since established an Office of Medicinal Cannabis, which is working with clinicians, doctors and GPs to help them understand their role in facilitating access to medicinal cannabis, and with patients and families to educate them about medicinal cannabis and eligibility for the scheme.
The Office of Medicinal Cannabis will also be responsible for the regulation of clinical and manufacturing aspects of the medicinal cannabis framework.
Since the Office of Drug Control granted permits to Cann Group, an additional seven medicinal cannabis (cultivation and production) licences have been granted, as well as a further four cannabis research (cultivation and production) licences.
There are currently only four licenced manufacturers in Australia that are able to use the raw cannabis material and manufacture it into a ready product.