Doctors will be able to prescribe the first South Australian-produced medicinal cannabis products from next month.

GD Pharma’s oils will hit the market in September after the pharmaceutical manufacturer recently received the green light to import two types of cannabis-derived products.

From those, medicinal oils are being made in a factory in suburban Adelaide.

The products comes as new figures reveal five South Australian patients have been approved to use the drug in the last two months, taking the total number to eight.

Despite advocates’ frustration at the industry’s “slow” growth, the federal Health Department insists there has been “quite rapid” progress.

GD Pharma is one of just five Australian companies to receive Therapeutic Goods Administration approval to import medicinal cannabis.

Eight further companies have received permission to grow medicinal cannabis in Australia, with five research and five manufacturing licenses also handed out. It’s understood none of those have been granted to SA companies.

A federal Health spokeswoman said the progress may seem slow, but said Canada had only granted about 40 licenses in the four years since their scheme started.

She said it was “inevitable” it would take time for the industry to gear up.

“However, it is less than two years since this was announced, so progress has been quite rapid,” she said.

Under its import license, GD Pharma brings in the powdered form of active ingredients from the Netherlands, where it is mixed into an oil base and bottled.

Both medicines can only be accessed by patients when prescribed by doctors.

An SA doctor is yet to become an “authorized prescriber”, with all approved users so far receiving one-off approval.

The federal spokeswoman said the TGA had yet to receive an authorized prescriber application from SA.



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