The good news is Australia was given the green light on growing cannabis as a crop for producing medicinal products and research
Big news for medicinal cannabis in Australia as its health minister announces that medicinal cannabis crops can now be legally grown in Australia.
The Guardian reports on the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016, which became law on 30 October 2016. It allows businesses to apply for licenses to grow and produce cannabis products for medicinal use, and to conduct relevant research.
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Good news for Aus
Minister of Health, Susan Ley, said this amendment gives patients access to safe and regulated medicinal cannabis, and it is important that doctors have access to a wider range of options for treating their patients.
She also said products which would previously have been imported can now be produced and obtained locally. Ms. Ley made it very clear that the act doesn’t decriminalize recreational use of cannabis.
The act stipulates that cannabis products permitted to be produced, will have to comply with state and territory drug and poisons legislation. Products will be classed as therapeutic goods used for medicinal purposes.
Apply for licenses
Cannabis producers can now apply and obtain licenses to legally grow the crop all over Australia for medicinal use. They will need to pass stringent legislative requirements set by the government in terms of security. All cannabis products will only be available on prescription from registered medical practitioners. The act also allows for eligible businesses to conduct research related to medicinal use.
Let the research begin
Research into medicinal cannabis is much needed as has been stated by many people over and over again. As Mr. Barry Lambert said when he donated an unprecedented amount of cash to cannabis research, “We believe this investment in the future of Australian science and medicine will provide the much-needed evidence to rapidly advance the use of medicinal cannabinoids in the treatment of childhood epilepsy and other serious illnesses.”
Does Australia take the lead?
At the time Dr Michael Spence, the University of Sydney’s Vice Chancellor said that Lambert’s donation would put Australia ahead of other countries in researching the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.
The plan was to conduct research across a broad spectrum of ailments, from cancer to mental disorders. Premier Mike Baird also commented at the time that NSW is breaking new ground in terms of medicinal cannabis research. He saw the investment made by the Lambert family as a propelling force in the advancement of cross-sector knowledge sharing to provide safe, reliable and affordable cannabis-based medicines.
Baird announced more than a year ago that the government is looking into clinical trials on medicinal cannabis use for epilepsy, chemotherapy-related nausea and chronic pain in terminally ill patients. Mr. Baid was moved to being pro-active in the medicinal cannabis arena after he met the terminally ill Dan Haslam.
Australia might take the lead in developing medicinal cannabis products, and in conducting the much-needed research to serve every patient on the planet. The availability of cannabis for medical research is a huge step in the right direction to make the Lambert’s and many other people’s vision come true.