Last week, Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford was keynote speaker at Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce event focusing on medical cannabis.
The “Breaking the Green Frontier: The Canadian-Australian Cannabis Story” event was designed to assist business, legal and financial professionals and the medical-health sector get up to speed on the myriad issues surrounding medical cannabis and do some networking.
Minister Pulford provided a report on Victoria’s progress to date, including the state government’s recent release of the Medical Cannabis Industry Development Strategy.
Ms. Pulford also acknowledged the important role played by partners in Canada in Victoria’s emerging cannabis industry, saying Canada is “widely seen as representing global best practice”.
As elsewhere in Australia, there’s been criticism the wheels of Victoria’s government have been turning too slowly on getting the state’s industry up and running – and medicines to patients.
“What we are doing here in Victoria is ground-breaking,” said Minister Pulford. “It’s important we act quickly, but even more important that we get this right – we won’t get a second shot at being the national leader in this sector.”
The Victorian Government says the sector is expected to generated 500 new jobs and $90 million annually for the state’s economy within the next ten years. As we mentioned last month, a Memorandum of Understanding between Victorian Agriculture and Canada’s Canopy Growth Corporation has been signed, relating to further research and technical capabilities in medical cannabis production.
“Close collaboration with Canadian businesses has already helped Victoria develop cultivation and extraction facilities, obtain knowledge of industry development and help us develop world-class approaches to strain development, cultivation and manufacturing,” said Minister Pulford after the event.
“Every day, the Andrews Labor Government continue to break new ground making sure patients who need it most have access to life changing treatment.”
Aside from the Minister, speakers at the event included Elaine Darby from AusCann (ASX: AC8) – which has a partnership with Canopy Growth, Peter Crock from CannGroup Limited (ASX: CAN) and Matthew Cantelo from Australian Natural Therapeutics Group.
On a related note, further information on accessing medicinal cannabis in Victoria can be viewed here.