Australian cannabis company Cannatrek has launched a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing support and access to medicinal cannabis therapies for vulnerable groups.
In Australia, there’s no government financial support for patients to acquire legal medicinal cannabis treatments and they are not covered by the country’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Medicinal cannabis is still quite expensive, and those who could potentially benefit the most from it are often those least able to afford it.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Victoria, Cannatrek is vertically integrated enterprise; operating along the entire supply chain from seed to patient. The Cannatrek Foundation will operate as a separate entity to the company, and its support may include.
“…access to subsidised or free therapies for eligible community members including veterans, first responders, health professionals, the elderly, children, cancer patients, and other vulnerable groups.”
This will build on the company’s existing activities of distributing and donating medicines to eligible patients under the Cannatrek group of companies. The Foundation’s activities will also include increasing awareness of the potential health benefits of medicinal cannabis, through promotion of research and education.
According to the company’s founder and CEO, Tommy Huppert:
“We believe in giving back,” he said. “We aim to make life-changing medicines accessible to all patients in Australia, regardless of their socio-economic status.”
In 2017, Cannatrek was awarded Australia’s second cannabis research licence (and has accumulated more licences since), and the same year the company launched its first research, development and production site in Brisbane, Queensland that operates on a pesticide-free basis.
Last year, Cannatrek started construction of a major medical cannabis facility in Victoria’s Shepparton region. When it reaches full production, Cannatrek aims to produce 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis per year from the facility. As well as the production of locally grown and processed medicines, the venture is and will continue to generate jobs in the local area.
The Shepparton project has received support from the Victorian Government and was also granted Major Project Status by Australia’s Federal Government; which provides among other things assistance in coordinating and facilitating Commonwealth Government approvals.