Australia’s government is giving $466,000 to researchers who are hoping to improve how parts of the cannabis plant used for pain relief are extracted, according to a Herald Sun report. The pilot program, which will also research which cannabis crops grow best in Australia, will be conducted by the University of Melbourne, who have partnered with Under The Three Biopharmaceuticals.
The researchers say the project could lead to the development of a local cannabis industry – which they estimate could be worth $150 million annually with yearly demand for more than 17,600 pounds – and prevent patients from obtaining their medicine and treatments from the illicit market.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said partnerships between universities and businesses allow some of the “best minds…to come up with solutions to problems Australia faces.”
“We’re backing this project because we can see the clear benefits of having local medicinal cannabis production and a local supply chain for the many patients that stand to gain from the use of medicinal cannabis products,” Birmingham said in the report.
According to the Herald Sun, the Victorian government harvested its first medicinal crop this year, and last month medical cannabis was imported from Canada in order to provide immediate treatment to 29 children suffering from seizure disorders.
Last month, Cannoperations Pty Ltd. was the first company issued a license to grow and harvest medical cannabis in Australia.
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