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Australia’s Office of Drug Control has issued medical cannabis research licenses to two firms allowing them to cultivate and manufacture products for medical studies. The licenses were awarded to Canndeo LTD., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hydroponics Company (THC); and to a partnership between AusCann and Tasmanian Alkaloids.

According to a report from the Examiner, Tasmanian Alkaloids currently produces about 40 percent of the world’s opiate crop.

Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff called the license a “significant step” toward the cultivation of medical cannabis in Tasmania.

“This is a major milestone for the strategic partnership and represents significant progress in our joint strategy to become a leading producer and supplier of high quality medicinal cannabis to Australian patients,” said AusCann managing director Elaine Darby in the Examiner report.

Dr. Andrew Beehag, Canndeo CEO, said the license “effectively paves the way forward for future domestic supply” of medical cannabis “targeting multiple markets with high purity cannabidiol and enabling THC to continue its rollout of high quality imported products as well as locally produced medicines.”

“With Canndeo, THC will now advance research into medicinal cannabis to undertake both its own research exploring optimal cultivation and production methodologies and strain development, and look to implementation of THC’s epigenetic technology as a key innovation in the field,” said THC Chairman Alan Beasley in a press release.

The license will also allow Canndeo to build its exclusive plant breeders rights protected sativa strains. The company anticipates it will begin bringing products to market next year.

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