Despite a gloomy day on the ASX yesterday, Australian cannabis companies ended it very well upon news of the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) announcing they will amend legislation that will open a clear path for Australians to purchase cannabidiol (CBD) products without a prescription.
The notice of interim decision was released confirming that the TGA will amend the current Poison Standard to reassign CBD from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3. This will allow Australains to purchase CBD products over-the-counter upon consultation with a pharmacist, without the need for a prescription.
The interim decision still has some way to go in the bureaucratic process but industry participants widely expect the regulatory committee to formalise it by 1 February 2021, when the final decision is scheduled for announcement.
Upon news of the notice, leaders of Australian cannabis companies were quick to applaud the TGA, National Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) and Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS) which are overseeing the regulatory process.
“We applaud the TGA’s interim decision in this matter and see it as one of the biggest developments in our industry to date,” said Althea Group CEO, Josh Fegan.
“The interim decision reflects the significant shift in community and government attitudes towards medicinal cannabis since it was legalised in Australia in late 2016, which has seen it move from a fringe alternative towards an accepted mainstream option.”
At present, many Australian cannabis companies are growing cannabis in Australia with some producing products however the bulk of CBD product revenue is generated from European customers.
“AusCann remains committed to supporting an evidentiary approach to medicine classification, which provides ease of access for Australian patients, while ensuring patients receive medicines that are safe and of the highest quality,” said AusCann CEO, Nick Woolf.
“The proposed amendment for CBD products is a major change for Australia and for Australian patients. We will continue to work with the regulator as this moves to a final decision and comes into effect.”
The second consultation period has a closing deadline of October 13 2020, prior to the scheduled February 2021 final decision.
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