THE first commercial permit for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis has been granted in Victoria, marking a significant milestone for the industry in Australia.
The Commonwealth government has granted approval for the Melbourne-based Cann Group to start commercial cultivation of the crop.
The first plants have now been transferred from Agriculture Victoria’s undisclosed growing facility into Cann Group’s care.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said commercial scale cultivation of medicinal cannabis by Cann Group had the potential to increase the government supply of medicinal cannabis to patients in Victoria.
She said the first commercial permit was a significant step towards a reliable, safe production pipeline for the supply of high quality medicinal cannabis for Victorian patients who needed it most.
“It is the start of a new Australian medicinal cannabis industry, based in Victoria, that will foster innovation, growth and create jobs,” Ms Pulford said.
“While this is ground-breaking for our agricultural scientists, it will be life-changing for patients who need it most.”
The Victorian 2016/17 Budget provided $28.5 million to establish the Office of Medicinal Cannabis and the Independent Medical Advisory Committee to map out the steps required to roll out this life-changing treatment.
The Office of Medicinal Cannabis is responsible for the regulation of all clinical and manufacturing aspects of the medicinal cannabis framework.
The Independent Medical Advisory Committee provides advice to the Government on the types of medicinal cannabis products that should be approved for use by Victorian patients.
The Office has already begun to work with clinicians, doctors and general practitioners to help them understand their role in prescribing medicinal cannabis, and with patients and families to educate them about medicinal cannabis and eligibility for the scheme.
Victoria was the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis for patients in exceptional circumstances. The product being developed will be the first locally produced medicinal cannabis to be legally available in Australia.
Source: Victorian Government
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