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.