It is finally happening. Australian advocates and medical marijuana patients must be feeling relieved that the first medical cannabis imports have arrived in the country. Let’s hope there is no further delay in the supply of these products to patients in dire need.
The first consignments of medicinal cannabis have reached the shores of Melbourne and Perth from Canada. Greg Hunt, federal health minister, told MSN News the cannabis is held by Health House International in Western Australia and by Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals in Victoria.
Epilepsy and cancer patients first
Hunt said that children with untreatable epilepsy, and patients suffering from the side effects of cancer treatment will be the first to benefit from these commercial batches of medicinal cannabis. He explained that the new import rules passed in February will make products available to doctors in Australia to prescribe if they see the need and believe it can benefit their patients.
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Medical cannabis imports the first of many
This first shipment is a start, and many more imports are expected this month. The Australian federal government granted 30 import permits through the legal cannabis policy. Products will stream in from Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The new legal policy also gave the go-ahead to local cannabis cultivation projects. Three licenses were given for research cultivation, and one for cultivating therapeutic cannabis for manufacturing.
David Russell, chief operations officer from Creso Pharma, working together with Health House International in the west of Australia, expressed his glee, saying the medial cannabis imports are most welcome. It’s a start towards catching up with the demand from the community and patients’ needs.
Russell said now doctors can offer patients the option of a medicinal cannabis prescription. This is momentous, as it will address the unmet needs to access. For kids with dangerous seizures, this move can’t have come too soon.
The batch from Canada that was received in Perth contains three different types of cannabis oils.
Health minister Hunt said these current rules for medical cannabis imports are temporary. They will provide support while the young medical cannabis industry is growing. Doctors can now apply for authorization to prescribe medicinal cannabis either through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme Category B, or via an Authorized Prescriber.
Patients will be under medical supervision, and only those with qualifying conditions can receive a prescription. Cannabis grown for medicine and related products will be subjected to stringent security measures and quality control.
Where is Grandpa Lambert?
It is sad to think that Grandpa Lambert, well-known activist and grandpa of Katelyn, who suffered life-threatening seizures, had invested millions in research, and cultivation programs in Australia, but had to move his operation to the US. Maybe now that things are getting a move on in Australia he can return.
Then again, maybe his departure is one of the catalysts that got the Australian government moving forward at last.