Auscann Adds Cannabis License, QBL’s Winter Hemp Crop Success

Australian cannabis industry news
Image: Chmee2 - CC BY 3.0

Australia’s cannabis industry is continuing to move forward, with significant announcements from two industry players yesterday – one related to medicinal cannabis and the other to industrial hemp.

First, to Auscann, which announced it has been granted an Australian medicinal cannabis manufacturing licence by the nation’s Office of Drug Control.

Securing the licence means the company is now one of a few in Australia able to legally cultivate, manufacture and supply Australian produced cannabinoid-based medicines.

“AusCann was established to provide high quality, cost effective cannabinoid medicines for Australian patients,” said the company’s Managing Director, Elaine Darby. “Securing both a cultivation and a manufacturing licence will enable us to achieve this aim and demonstrates our leadership position in the industry.”

The company has continued to build on its position this year, recently teaming up with Tasmanian Alkaloids – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medicinal opiates – in a strategic partnership relating to the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of cannabis products.

Among AusCann’s other partners are Canopy Growth Corporation, Fundacion Daya, Phytoplant Research, Zelda Therapeutics, Murdoch University and the Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre.

In other cannabis company news from Australia, Queensland Bauxite Limited (QBL) has reported winter trial hemp crops planted by its subsidiary have been a success.

“There have been very few serious winter trials in Australia and information as to the success of these trials is scarce and uninformative,” said Director Andrew Kavasilas  “We began a winter growth of cannabis so as to be ready for production as soon as hemp food becomes legal in Australia at the end of this year.”

After years of struggle, an end to a ban on foods made from the seeds of industrial hemp plants came firmly into sight in July, when Food Standards Australia New Zealand declared low-THC hemp seed foods to be safe for human consumption.

Mr. Kavasilas says the lessons learned from this year’s trials will serve the company well for achieving an even more successful winter cropping next year.

The company, which has licenses to grow industrial hemp in New South Wales, says it has a unique cannabis seed bank that will ultimately allow it to grow the crop year-round.

If the name “Queensland Bauxite” has you puzzled in terms of its relationship to cannabis and industrial hemp, it’s been a fairly common practice in Australia for cannabis companies to access the Australian stock market via mining and other unrelated listed companies. In March this year, QBL announced it would acquire 55% of  Medical Cannabis Limited (MCL).