Victoria’s first medicinal cannabis commercial permit has been awarded to Melbourne-based company Cann Group, with the business given the green light to start commercial cultivation.
The permit marks a significant step forward in the state’s medicinal cannabis industry with the company’s first plants now transferred from an undisclosed Agriculture Victoria growing facility into Cann Group’s care.
Cann Group Limited chief executive officer Peter Crock said the company has plans to expand.
‘‘Cann is focused on our first cultivation and expanding our facilities to ensure we can provide medicinal cannabis products to patients across Australia in the shortest possible timeframe.
‘‘Motivation is not an issue for our team; knowing we can make a difference to so many people in need, and to spearhead the development of a whole new industry is a challenge we relish.’’
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the announcement marked the birth of a ‘‘life-changing’’ industry that would support patients that needed it the most.
Victoria is the first state to legalise access to medicinal cannabis for patients in exceptional circumstances, with the 2016-17 budget providing $28.5million to establish an Office of Medicinal Cannabis and the Independent Medical Advisory Committee to oversee the rollout.
The office is responsible for all clinical and manufacturing regulations, with the committee providing advice on the types of medicinal cannabis products that should be approved for use.
The office has begun working with clinicians, doctors and general practitioners to help them understand their role in prescribing medicinal cannabis, as well as patients and families to educate them about the scheme and its eligibility criteria.