who grows medicinal weed

Two medicinal marijuana companies have fast-tracked plans to build a large cannabis farm in the conservative heartland of Queensland.

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The Australian Government gave Asterion's facility "major project status" in 2019, and the Canadian cannabis company has already gained a medicinal cannabis license, a cannabis research license, and a manufacturing licence from the Australian Office of Drug Control.

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"It gives the Australian patient market and also the overseas market the ability for accessibility and it gives us the ability to scale up and meet the growing demand for cannabinoid medicines," Mr Cantelo said.

That research will help to develop guidelines for Australian medical professionals wanting to prescribe the drug.

This means the first lot of Australian-grown medicinal cannabis products could be on the domestic market towards the end of the year.

Most of the existing research into the health claims of medicinal cannabis relied on crop grown overseas, so medical professionals in Australia are waiting to see the outcomes of studies into locally made cannabis drugs.

However, despite the surge in public support for medicinal cannabis and the issuing of licences for companies to grow or process medicinal cannabis, the TGA said there is only limited evidence from clinical trials and in medical literature to back its health claims.

A crop as precious as gold

"It is not something we want to see or see it get into the wrong hands."

Only 12 have been approved, and while no applications have been rejected, some applicants have withdrawn their proposal due to the difficult security requirements.

The AMA said there is some overseas evidence to show medicinal cannabis has a role to play in reducing the symptoms of epilepsy, as well as easing the nausea experienced by anorexia sufferers or people taking HIV medication.

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However, farmers wanting to do so first have to prove their crop will not fall into the hands of thieves and end up on the black market.

"These [local studies] are also occurring to ensure that what the guidelines and evidence show is based on locally produced and sourced products as well."