By Rhys Cohen, Director, Cannabis Consulting Australia
Whether it’s the huge medical potential for cannabis treatments, the exciting new opportunities for pharmacology and biotech, or the commercial success of cannabis industries in other countries, Australians are completely embracing medical cannabis.
The legalisation of medical cannabis in February 2016 finally started to allow people to access cannabis medicines. It also made it much easier to engage in scientific research, and millions of dollars of research funding has already flooded into the Australian cannabis industry.
With the exciting opportunities presented by such a neglected field of study, Australia is currently home to some of the largest ever medical cannabis clinical trials in the world. By the end of 2017, dozens of universities and research centres across Australia will be researching cannabis treatments for cancer, epilepsy, MS, chronic pain and more. As well as the development of new strains, and how best to grow them.
The commercial side of medical cannabis is also very attractive to many Australians who have seen the success of similar industries in California, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands. Across the globe, medical cannabis is a multibillion-dollar industry – and Australia is uniquely placed to lead the world in this field. We are renowned for our biotechnology sector – especially in the State of Victoria – and our innovative approach to science. We are already a world leader in high-quality agricultural production, poppy straw manufacture, and science education. We have strong trading relationships with Europe, North America and Asia. And our Governments – at the State and Federal level – are committed to making these medicines available to Australians and around the world.
The opportunities are there, but many people are unclear about what this industry looks like, where it’s going, and how they might be able to contribute. Scientists and health professionals want to find out where the cutting-edge research is focused, and what kinds of clinical treatments might become available. Young people want to gain the skills that cannabis companies are looking for so they can get a job in the industry. And prospective entrepreneurs and investors want to know the lay of the land, and where the strategic opportunities are.
Rhys Cohen’s Cann10 group is running a holistic training program spanning commerce, science and regulation with a strong focus on networking and practical industry knowledge. More info here.