Many pounds of cured and trimmed cannabis bagged up inside of a large plastic bin.

Sarah Climaco

Australian Firms React to Federal MMJ Importation Plan

Under new medical cannabis rules in Australia, approved companies can legally import, store, and sell cannabis to approved patients until domestic production can meet the nation’s needs, the West Australian reports. The announcement was met with overwhelming support by Australian medical cannabis companies.

Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli, Creso Pharma CEO and co-founder, called the move “great news for all Australians,” adding that the move could change hundreds of lives.

“By effectively establishing a legal marijuana trade, the government is showing that compassion for patients can extend beyond just family and friends and is an issue for society,” she said in a statement. “People with serious or terminal conditions should not be treated like criminals for trying to ease their pain.”

Auscann Managing Director Elaine Darby said the new rules will “drastically” improve the company’s timelines for supplying patients with medical cannabis products.

“Yesterday we welcomed the news from the Office of Drug Control that we can now import cannabis medicines from our Canadian partners Canopy by being able to demonstrate a potential process for a supply chain to patients through medical practitioners through the special access schemes,” said Darby in a statement.

Nativ Segev, CEO of MGC Pharmaceuticals, praised the plan by the federal government as a “great step forward.”

“The most important next step is to ensure that medical professionals are ready and willing to prescribe products to their patients,” he said in a press release. “This is an important hurdle to overcome and can be achieved through better education and working closely with leading research institutes in Australia, including working together on further clinical trials.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt indicated the program would allow for an “effective national inventory” while a national scheme is established.

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