Date published: 
8 March 2017
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Access to medicinal cannabis has taken another major step forward today with first licence being granted for an Australian company to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis.

This major development will lead to improved access to domestically produced medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients.

The Department of Health’s Office of Drug Control has issued the licence under the medicinal cannabis provisions of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 to Cannoperations Pty Ltd — a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian company Cann Group Limited.

This heralds the beginning of Australian domestic supply of medicinal cannabis products.

The Turnbull Government is committed to facilitating faster access by qualified doctors to medicinal cannabis for patients with the necessary approvals.

We are now making it easier to access medicinal cannabis products more rapidly, while still maintaining strict safeguards for individual and community safety.

Supply from the licence granted today will initially be for the Victorian medicinal market. But other licences for other Australian jurisdictions are expected to be issued shortly.

While the Australian supply of medicinal cannabis continues to develop, the government has authorised the importation and storage of the product from international sources for interim supply in Australia.

This will give faster access by qualified doctors to medicinal cannabis for their patients.

Cannoperations was subject to the necessary fit and proper person and security tests associated with processing licence applications, resulting in the Office of Drug Control granting a research licence on February 17 and the commercial licence on March 8. Cannoperations now hold licences for both research and domestic patient supply purposes.

Prior to granting the licence, the Office of Drug Control undertook a rigorous on-site security assessment of the Cannoperations facility and operating procedures. Similar assessments for other licence applicants are in progress.