Cannabis is finally being accepted as an effective medical treatment
Cannabis is fast becoming a highly sought-after medicinal drug. A notable change in perception is happening all over the world as concerns its use. Cannabis is now seen as effective in treating diseases, with few or no side effects, compared to other conventional drugs currently available on the market. Although it is still a relatively new treatment, cannabis is proving proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Australia wants in on the action.
Unlike the USA which has cannabis legalized (for medical use) in over 30 states already, Australia is still battling to fully legalize the drug but the ambition is certainly on the local political agenda. The country is looking to "step up" and has expressed the intent to be the number one exporter of cannabis in the world. Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt has publicly announced the country's desire to be the number one exporter of cannabis in the world.
Why Australia wants to be the world's number 1 exporter of medicinal Cannabis[caption id="attachment_10823" align="aligncenter" width="757"] Greg Hunt, Australian Health minister says he wants Cannabis to be a major Australian expert.[/caption]
Australia has a number of goals when it comes to exporting Cannabis. Their primary intent is to encourage economic growth. As the world's number 1 exporter the country would boost export revenue, as cannabis is cheap to grow, and is worth a great deal when sold.
For example, Canada, having recently legalized recreational use of the drug on October 17th this year, has already, almost, sold out, presenting a valuable export opportunity for Cannabis to Australia.
According to research, the first approved CBD (Cannabidols – the non-psychoactive component of Cannabis), drug Epidiolex is forecast to generate a substantial $625m in sales in just one year.
Growing marijuana in such large quantities is likely to help with the distribution of cannabis for medicinal purposes, within Australia too. Currently, obtaining cannabis in Australia is not easy; a situation that deprives citizens of the country of useful treatments for treating pain and a wide range of health issues ranging from anxiety-related conditions, cramps, insomnia, and even epilepsy.[caption id="attachment_10825" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Australia wants to grow enough medicinal Cannabis to provide for its citizens as well as to generate export revenues.[/caption]
In Australia at the moment, only 25 out of 38,000 medical practitioners are authorized to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients. In fact, the legislation includes a requirement that farmer's manufacturers first meet demand from local patients before exporting the remainder of their crop or product.
When everything is finalized and fully legalized, citizens of Australia will no longer have to go outside the country to get medicinal cannabis for treatment. By being the number one exporter, they would also be able to help people in other countries who cannot have access to it in their country because it might not be legalized there. This way, they can get it and also benefit from it.
Thinking beyond the bud – Australia will produce more than just the raw marijuana plant[caption id="attachment_10830" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Australian government will adapt the regulatory framework it has around Cannabis to make it easier to grow and supply.[/caption]
Australia’s strategic goals for cannabis are set to affect almost all sectors of their country. The acceptance of the drug for domestic medicinal use means that, over time, as more doctors are trained and able to prescribe Cannabis products, the health sector, and agricultural sector- farmers will be influenced first.
There is now a wide range of cannabis products for users to choose from oils, tinctures, salves, sprays, edibles, drinks, and so on. As the market expands, Cannabis will provide employment for marketers, sales people, shop assistants, companies which validate THC and CBD content, producers of the products listed above. There is an entire industry to be built. Some say cannabis might have an impact on the economy as significant and as ‘disruptive’ as internet giant Amazon.
All in all, the influx of medicinal cannabis will boost the Australian economy. Research has estimated a $1 billion medicinal cannabis market in Australia by the year 2020.
Ultimately, Australia’s goal is to go beyond the already legalized domestic Federally approved medicinal capability it has developed. Adapting the regulatory framework they have in place quickly, over time will allow the export of Cannabis outside the country. More doctors need to be accredited, laws preventing the movement of Cannabis across state lines within Australia must be adapted. We’re already starting to see progress towards these goals.
In February this year, the Australia's medicinal cannabis industry was given the go-ahead to start exporting medicinal cannabis. With time, if the government is prepared to offer the support required to overcome the difficult legal questions which surround Cannabis, still a schedule 1 drug seen as dangerous to the population, the country has every chance of taking on a role as the number one exporter of cannabis in the world.
Ralf works at Cannabis Express, a website dedicated to providing the facts and information Australians need to decide how to vote on the subject of whether Australia should legalize recreational cannabis for personal use.