The Andrews Labor Government today marked the biggest milestone in the cultivation of the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia, with the awarding of the first commercial permit.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford met with representatives of the Melbourne based Cann Group this week, following the company’s successful approval by the Commonwealth to start commercial cultivation.
The first plants have now been transferred from Agriculture Victoria’s undisclosed growing facility into Cann Group’s care.
Commercial scale cultivation of medicinal cannabis by Cann Group Limited has the potential to increase the government supply of medicinal cannabis to patients in Victoria.
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.
It is the start of a new Australian medicinal cannabis industry, based in Victoria, that will foster innovation, growth and create jobs.
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.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“This week marks the birth of a brand new industry in Australia.”
“While this is ground-breaking for our agricultural scientists, it will be life-changing for patients who need it most.”
Quotes attributable to Cann Group Limited CEO Peter Crock
“Cann is focused on our first cultivation and expanding our facilities to ensure we can provide medicinal cannabis products to patients across Australia in the shortest possible timeframe.”
“Motivation is not an issue for our team, knowing we can make a difference to so many people in need, and to spearhead the development of a whole new industry is a challenge we relish.”