Australia Cautious as it Explores Medical Cannabis

Despite current restrictions, advocates Down Under look to join Israel and other countries in developing homegrown industry.

July 12, 2017
The Times of Israel
International Legislation and regulation Medical

Following Canada, Israel, and more than half the US states, which through varying approaches have legalized medicinal marijuana, Australia has signaled its intention for a homegrown industry.

But a patchwork of regulations that guard access for many desperate patients, and a lack of confidence among doctors in prescribing the drug, are acting as impediments.

While recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Australia laws passed last year permit medical use, with a dozen licences since issued, ranging from cultivation and research to manufacturing.

But unlike the US, Canada and Israel markets, which have liberal patient-access, Australia has a “very conservative government” that wants a regulatory framework in place up front, says Adam Miller, founder of medical cannabis start-up BuddingTech.

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