What’s claimed to be the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between an Australian business and a Japanese organisation concerning medicinal cannabis research has been signed.
In late October last year, a bill to amend what was then Japan’s nearly 75-year-old Cannabis Control Act was approved by the Japanese government and passed by the House of Representatives on November 14, 2023.
Renamed to ‘Law Concerning Regulation of the Cultivation of Cannabis Plants,” the amended legislation represented a significant change to the country’s stance on cannabis. Among the key changes is allowing domestic use of pharmaceutical products containing ingredients extracted from cannabis plants that were previously restricted to clinical trials.
Australian medicinal cannabis company Cannatrek has been closely following the evolving situation in Japan and has signed an MoU with Mie University in Tsu encompassing a multifaceted research agenda, clinical training, pharmaceutical supply chain, online healthcare, navigating regulation and a shared vision relating to plant-based medicine.
In terms of pharmaceutical supply chain, Cannatrek sees its facility in Victoria playing an important role in the arrangement.
“Cannatrek has the manufacturing capability to supply the highest quality of medicinal cannabis products for domestic and international markets via our Shepparton facility,” said Canntrek CEO Tommy Huppert. “The facility recently received Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) accreditation which further enhances export opportunities”.
The Shepparton manufacturing facility received support from the Victorian Government and is part of a planned $17 million investment by Cannatrek into the Shepparton region.
Part of the new collaboration involves establishing a medicinal cannabis breeding lab at Mie University with view to developing a genetic library.
Given its early-mover advantage, Cannatrek says it is well-placed to capitalise on emerging opportunities in the country.
“Leveraging our expertise in supply chain management, we are set to outline the most effective route for medicinal cannabis products in Japan, ensuring a seamless process from healthcare providers to patients,” says Cannatrek. “More than just a scientific venture, this partnership symbolises a fusion of Australian and Japanese expertise, poised to bring forth significant advancements in medical treatments and patient care.”
As well as being one of the largest pharmaceutical markets globally, Japan is Australia’s second-largest export market.