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New medical cannabis body launched

20:00 EDT 22 Jun 2017 | Australian Life Scientist

With more than 20 known applications for medical cannabis, as well as 12 companies already listed on the ASX, the medical cannabis industry is growing at a fast pace. The global industry is predicted to be worth $50 billion in 2025.

The cultivation and production of medical cannabis has been approved in Australia, but the industry is still navigating regulations around cultivation licensing and patient access.

To address this, industry participants have come together and formed a new industry body, the Medical Cannabis Council. Their aim is to develop best practice and standards for producing, supplying and distributing medical cannabis.

The council will position Australia as a world leader in research and the production of safe, scientifically backed, medical cannabis products, and provide a unified voice for the industry to engage with government and the community.

The launch coincides with a gathering in Melbourne of medical cannabis industry figures and health experts to mark Australia’s commitment to a robust and accessible local industry.

“Medical cannabis research continues, but the early indicators of our research is that medical cannabis treats areas of epilepsy that traditional medicine has hitherto been unable to have an effect,” said Carol Ireland, the CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia and board member of the Medical Cannabis Council.

Its board comprises industry leaders and medical experts who have long advocated for the regulated access to and use of medical cannabis products. Members include health experts, researchers, and medical cannabis producers and manufacturers.

The founder of BuddingTech, a medical cannabis technology start-up, Adam Miller, said an industry body is essential for providing patients, doctors and the community with the right information and access to safe and proven products.

“The aim of the Medical Cannabis Council is to remove any confusion still surrounding the legal framework and accessibility of medical cannabis so the most at-need patients can understand their rights and the availability of the products,” Miller said.

Australian Cardiologist and Medical Cannabis Council board member Dr Ross Walker has been a fierce proponent of medical cannabis use in recent years, after being shown the overwhelming evidence supporting its efficacy.

“There are recent studies showing the effectiveness of low THC and CBD products in patients with schizophrenia and also anxiety. Access to regulated products for patients, as well as commencement of clinical trials and research, is essential for the industry.”

Professor Mark Cook, head of Neurology at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, has also joined the board of the council. Professor Cook has been supporting clinical trials in the efficacy of medical cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy.

Original Article: New medical cannabis body launched

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