Queensland growers of medicinal cannabis can now consider future export options following the recent news that the Australian Government will permit the export of medicinal cannabis products.

Following consultation in 2017, the government has announced that exports will be permitted to support the viability of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry. The government’s priority for the industry will still be a safe supply of medicinal cannabis for Australian patients.

The news has been welcomed by Sunshine Coast company Medifarm, which was the first Australian company to be licensed to cultivate and manufacture medicinal marijuana.

Speaking with the ABC, Medifarm founder Adam Benjamin said export sales could be one important revenue source for medicinal cannabis producers.

‘It’s very important from our perspective to ensure that the Australian patient gets medicine first,’ Mr Benjamin said.

‘But in order to establish this as an industry there does need to be a broader market.

‘We consider the news another great step forward.’

Global supplies of cannabis for medicinal purposes are relatively scarce and expensive.

Medifarm has an intellectual property partnership with Israeli-based company Tikun Olam, which will provide the mother stock for Medifarm’s plants. Mr Benjamin said Medifarm was hoping to receive material from Tikun Olam soon, and commence production in the next few months.

The move to allow exports is the latest in a series of Australian Government policy initiatives related to medicinal cannabis.

In 2016, Australia legalised the importation of medicinal cannabis by patients with chronic and painful conditions. Local production was also legalised, but time lags around licensing and cultivation meant that Australian patients continued to rely on imported products.

Sweeping changes introduced in February 2017 permitted the importation, storage and supply of medicinal cannabis by Australian companies, with the first two commercial shipments of medicinal cannabis legally imported to Australia in May 2017.

To date, relatively low numbers of local patients have accessed Australian-grown medicinal cannabis products, but this is expected to change as domestic suppliers ramp up production in coming years.

If you would like advice on exporting your product, connect with TIQ today.