- Australian medicinal cannabis growers given access to more overseas markets
- South East Asia, China, Canada and lucrative US markets all available for export
- Federal parliament passed a bill on Wednesday giving growers greater access
- Agriculture Minister said the industry will be well placed post COVID-19
Cannabis growers have been granted permission to begin exporting medicinal marijuana and hemp into more foreign markets.
Federal parliament passed a bill on Wednesday giving farmers access to export opportunities in South East Asia, China, Canada and the lucrative US market.
Australia will now be able to certify legitimate exports of narcotic products, helping producers export to countries that need government approval.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said certification would provide assurances to trading partners and help farmers.
‘This bill will enable agricultural industries to come out firing after the threat of COVID-19 has passed,’ he said on Wednesday.
The cultivation of cannabis in Australia is illegal without explicit certification through licence and permit schemes under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
Meanwhile the export of medicinal cannabis products was legalised in February 2018 through the Narcotic Drugs Amendment (Cannabis) Regulations 2018.
Cannabis growers are overseen by the Office of Drug Control (ODC) who prevent the risk of diversion of medicinal cannabis.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced in August that medicinal cannabis licence applications for projects granted Major Project Status were being prioritised.
‘This demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to helping people living with chronic or terminal illnesses,’ Minister Hunt said.
‘The medical community is increasingly recognising the value of medicinal cannabis.
‘Australia is well placed to become a source of trusted medicinal cannabis products.’
As of June 2020 there are 23 Medicinal Cannabis Licenses issued across the country and 10 Cannabis Research Licenses.
Wednesday’s announcement came days after Australia’s largest producer, Cannatrek, signed a supply and manufacturing deal with global cannabis company THC Global.
Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert said the industry would be undergoing rapid ‘maturing’ throughout 2020.
‘This agreement with THC Global provides excellent opportunities for deploying both agronomic and manufacturing excellence in the supply chain,’ he said.
‘More importantly, it will allow patients to have access to 100 per cent Australian-made medicinal cannabis for therapeutic purposes at affordable prices.’
As various phases of legislation continue to roll out the country’s cannabis market is expected to be worth US$1.5 billion by 2025, according to a report by Prohibition Partners.
Reaching US$1.5billion in value by 2025 would make the Australian medicinal cannabis industry the largest in the Oceania region.