Medicinal Cannabis Exports Approved In Australia

Medicinal Cannabis Exports Approved In Australia

"This is actually a very important step for our domestic patients and our domestic supply", Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

The government legalized cultivation of marijuana for medical use to help enhance the welfare of patients suffering from exacerbating pain.

Regulations that now prevent exports of medicinal cannabis products will be changed once Parliament resumes in February.

"We would like to be, potentially, the world's number one medicinal cannabis supplier", Mr Hunt said.

"This change will not come at the expense of Australian patients", Hunt said.

"There are now no real government barriers at all to accessing medicinal cannabis", he said. Australian cannabis stocks surged following the government's announcement, with Auscann jumping more than 50% and rivals, including the Hydroponics Co. and Cann Group, rising over 30%.

Australia's chief commodity forecaster does not publish data on cannabis production, but rough estimates by the University of Sydney estimated the legal industry at A$100 million ($78 million), well below the C$4 billion ($3.19 billion) that Canada estimates its market to be worth.

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Following consultation carried out previous year, Australia's Federal Government announced yesterday it has made a decision to permit the export of medical cannabis products.

While recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in Australia, federal laws were changed in 2016 to allow its use for medical purposes, in a broadly supported move.

Hunt said the new legislation would include a requirement that growers first meet demand from local patients before exporting the remainder of their crop.

The medicinal cannabis industry in Australia is now limited, but it's expected this move will see it expand significantly.

Advocates have pointed to the unwillingness of many doctors to prescribe it, as well as the special access arrangements doctors must follow, as hurdles to broader use of the drug.

However, many doctors are yet reluctant to prescribe marijuana for patients because of inconvenient procedures that are required.