Patients across Australia set to have access to Medical Marijuana

The cannabis plant has eventually been realised as, not a harmful drug, but rather a plant from
which many medicinal properties can be extracted. Across the world it is starting to be used to treat
pain and discomfort where other drugs just won’t work. Cancer patients have reported of the relief
felt from cannibanoid based medicines and there have been many instances of sick children, with
the likes of epilepsy, cerebral palsy, cancer and brain damage, being given a far better quality of
life thanks to the herb. With many doctors and scientists alike now claiming that the once forbidden
drug is the “medicine of the future” it was about time it was legalised for medicinal use, and the
Australian government have followed in the footsteps of many others around the world and done
exactly that.

With the passing of a bill to legalise medical marijuana earlier this year, it hopefully won’t be long
before cannabis products start appearing in pharmacies across the nation. For years now there
has been a movement to legalise the once chastised drug that has been proven, time and again, to
help people with a range of painful and debilitating illnesses. Thankfully, the government have
decided to listen and people will get the help that they need.

Since the bill was passed, several major medical marijuana companies across the world have
voiced their support for the move and have been discussing the options of importing the herb to
Australia and opening growing facilities here.

One such company is Tilray, based in Canada they are specialists in medical marijuana. Their
Canadian facility houses 50 different strains of the plant, all of which have different medicinal
properties that they can extract and turn into helpful medicines. The company has now begun the
world’s biggest clinical trial of cannabis’s effects on cancer patients who are receiving
chemotherapy, and the New South Wales Government and the University of Sydney are set to be
their partners throughout the trials. The company have stated that if everything goes to plan they
will eventually establish a plantation somewhere in Australia.

This is good news for the country and its sick and we would surely welcome such experts with
open arms, but theirs will not be the first farm on Australian soil. On the 15th of April the first
medical marijuana plantation opened in New South Wales, just outside of Tamworth. They have not
yet started growing, as there are several pieces of legislation that must first be passed by the
government in order to allow this, but it is definitely a step in the right direction, and one that will
give hope to many of those suffering from illness across the nation. The farm was named “Dan
Eden” after Dan Haslam, a victim of bowel cancer who campaigned for medicinal marijuana to be
legalised for years, stating that it was the only thing that could give him relief.

While the New South Wales Government are likely to be working hard to ensure that the required
legislations are passed as soon as possible, so that people like Dan can get the much needed
relief offered by the herb’s medicinal properties, these things can take time and no one has given
an exact timeframe as of yet. Taking this into consideration, along with the fact that the plant will
then need to be grown and processed, it is realistic to say that it could take up to a year before
homegrown products are ready for use. So are there any alternatives in the meantime?
MJJ is another Canadian based company that has branches in Israel and a subsidiary called
Satipharm that distributes some cannabis products across Europe, and they may offer the
alternative we are looking for. They have already listed themselves on the Australian stock market
and they have recently taken the step of signing an agreement with NSW’s Fresh Therapeutics
Compounding Pharmacy to import and distribute Satipharm products.

The first product likely to be accessible will be the “Gelpell oral capsule”. This is a CBD based
product that can be used for the treatment of all sorts of ailments, from chronic pain to epilepsy to
insect bites. On top of what looks to be some positive work from the company, they have also
signed a letter of intent with Epilepsy Action Australia to promote access to medicinal marijuana for
epilepsy patients around the country. ​

Their plan to enter the Australian market sooner rather than later has been welcomed across the
nation and while it may still be a couple of months before those in need can get their hands on the
products, it is a whole lot better than years. The new legalisation on medicinal marijuana across
Australia is sure to help millions of people and the fact that so many businesses from across the
globe are getting involved is refreshing.

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