A medical marijuana company called AusCann, chaired by former Federal Liberal MP Mal Washer, just received Western Australia’s first medical marijuana cultivation license.
There are very few companies that have received these types of licenses in Australia, which are issued by the Office of Drug Control. According to Australian law, there are specific regulations regarding how a grower handles and processes their crops, including standards for security measures. Until their base of operations is established, AusCann will be importing medical marijuana from Chile, a country that has embraced cannabis agriculture. The import process will be facilitated by their Canadian partner, Canopy Growth Corporation, the largest producer of medical cannabis in North America.
“AusCann is positioned to be a leading player in the global medicinal cannabis market,” said Elaine Darby, managing director of AusCann. She emphasized that the company will devote resources to educating physicians on the medical properties of cannabis. That includes inviting Canadian medical marijuana expert Danial Schecter to speak at the University of WA Club.
“We’re not saying it is suitable for all patients but there is good evidence about the use of cannabinoid medicines for indications such as chronic pain,” Darby said. “There are a considerable number of people who could benefit from a treatment where the side effects are quite low.”
Darby also said that they will be collaborating with Phytoplant Research in Spain, who has a decade of experience in cannabis plant genetics.
AusCann is already performing well in Australia’s stock market, partially due to its plans for growth. Australia legalized medical marijuana in February 2016 with support from the government. “This is the missing piece in a patient’s treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy.” said Sussan Ley, the Minister for Health, shortly after the measure was passed.
Andrew Miller, president of the Australian Medical Association WA, expressed his doubts about AusCann’s success in the market, as he believes few patients would qualify for the country’s medical marijuana program.
Recently, it was revealed that a young Australian company called AusCann Group Holdings is set to grow and export medicinal cannabis to Canada from Norfolk Island, an Australian territory that recently lost the right to self governance.
This landmark announcement comes just after the approval of new government legislation that will replace Norfolk’s independent parliament with a local council. Although some argue that Queen Elizabeth granted the territory independence and therefor this should not be possible, islanders will be governed under the Australian welfare and taxation system by the end of June 2015.
AusCann Group Holdings is actually the second company to gain approval for a cannabis-growing business on Norfolk Island, but the first group’s deal was overturned because of concerns over a lack of safety and security.
AusCann, however, has reportedly combated these concerns with solid plans for security and safety in crop containment and cultivation. The private enterprise enlisted the help of Lockforce International, a multinational security firm to ensure all possible concerns have been addressed. Additionally, the island’s natural barriers will help keep crops safe.
Norfolk’s health minister and other community leaders are working with AusCann to monitor cannabis growth and enforce adequate security standards. Many of the island’s inhabitants are excited to work with the new company because of job prospects and projected economic growth. As Elaine Darby, the managing director of AusCann explained:
“This Australian-first project has the full support of the Norfolk Island community and is expected to generate much-needed revenues via an export fee and employment.”
AusCann intends to ship one ton of high-quality sativa strains to Canada in its first year and as much as 10 tons by 2018. This new multi-million dollar export stands to greatly benefit the community on an economic level while benefiting Canadians on a holistic one.
To ensure top quality product is cultivated, AusCann hired a world-renowned medical cannabis breeder named Nevil Schoenmakers. With the colorful history of a man who knows what he’s doing, Schoenmakers is well known in medical cannabis circles as a skilled grower and guru. The company has a business plan that centers on world-class operations. Completely compliant with United Nations and Australian regulations, AusCann stands to make great contributions to medical cannabis and the local economy.
At the moment, the company will remain private. AusCann has 26 shareholders, but it will consider moving into the public sphere at the end of the year. Australia is now set to add a new profitable cash crop to its list of exports, and locals hope this will expedite the legalization of medicinal marijuana in their own country as well.