Australian Medical Cannabis News Roundup

Australian medical marijuana news
Cannabis Image: JonRichfield - CC BY-SA 3.0

Tasmania’s medical cannabis scheme floundering, an Adelaide company to commence cannabis extract production and MGC Pharmaceuticals powers ahead – recent stories from the land down under.

First to Tasmania, where a medical cannabis scheme open for just over a month is having its share of issues.

As we forewarned in September, Tasmania’s medical cannabis controlled access scheme (CAS) probably wouldn’t make accessing medicines either quick or easy – and that assessment appears to have been borne out.

The ABC reports the since the scheme commenced on the first of last month, the state’s Health Department has received just three applications from medical specialists – and none yet approved.

It appears it’s not a case of a lack of interest on the part of patients; but more to do with the plethora of paperwork taking several hours to complete for each patient and confusion over how the scheme operates. The ABC also states GP’s have been hesitant to refer patients to specialists, which is a necessary step.

GD Pharma To Start Extraction

South Australia’s GD Pharma says it will soon commence extracting compounds from cannabis and manufacturing products in secret laboratory in the state’s capital city, Adelaide.

Previously it had to import the compounds, but a new license allows it to import cannabis plant materials from which it will be able to extract the target components.

In a comment to the ABC which indicates issues affecting Tasmania mentioned above are by no means confined to that state, GD Pharma Chief executive Antony Condina said only around 100 patients in 11 months have been approved for medical cannabis products in Australia.

In May this year, we reported just 130 people in Australia had ever been given approved access to medicinal cannabis products up until that point in time and there were only 25 authorised subscribers nationally.

MGC Signs New Deal

In other news, Australian-based MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC)  has announced it has inked a 5-year supply and distribution agreement with Lenis, a European pharmaceutical distribution company. MGC will supply medicinal cannabis flower materials and pharmaceutical products to Lenis to sell in Central and Eastern Europe.

“This deal follows our recently announced API deal with leading laboratory supplier, Mikro+Polo which was signed in June 2017, making it our second European deal,” said¬† MGC CEO and Founder, Roby Zomer. “Furthermore, it broadens the products we sell into Europe from APIs to now include flower materials and our future medications.”