The government of the Australian state of New South Wales has applied to the Federal Government for a license to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes.
According to the ABC, Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the state had lodged an application last week. It appears New South Wales is keen to cultivate medical cannabis in relation to its clinical trials; which are currently being supplied with medications from companies in Canada and the UK.
“We might even have to start the cultivation ourselves, as a Government, on DPI [Department of Primary Industries] sites, so that we can progress this as quickly as we can,” said Minister Blair.
In October last year, we reported the NSW government was scouting for land suited to cannabis cultivation – and there’s plenty of that in the state. The ABC report notes conditions in northern NSW are perfect for cultivation of the crop.
Australia’s first medical cannabis trial for terminally ill adults began in the state last year and NSW is investing $9 million over five years on clinical trials of cannabis products for treating the terminally ill, severe paediatric epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation was also established in 2015.
The green gold rush across Australia is picking up pace.
Last month, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, opened what is likely to be the nation’s first medicinal cannabis farm; situated near Tamworth in New South Wales.
In December last year, Australia’s Federal Government announced cultivation of marijuana for medicinal or scientific purposes will be carried out under uniform guidelines across the country. In April 2016, health ministers in each state and territory agreed to steps to coordinate use and control of cannabis for medical and research purposes.
Also in April, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration announced an interim decision to create new Schedule 8 entries for some medical cannabis products; paving the way for a more relaxed regulatory environment in anticipation of broader use of these medications.
The increased activity relating to medicinal marijuana has also seen Victoria, New South Wales’ neighbour, legalise some forms of medicines after the Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2015 passed state Parliament a few weeks ago.