First crop harvested
The Victorian Government is working to establish a reliable, safe production pipeline for the supply of high quality medicinal cannabis for Victorian patients, as the first crop grown by a government agency has been harvested.
The first cannabis crop, grown by DEDJTR at a secret location, will be tested and formulated as part of product development and product validation to support Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification in preparation for treating the first patient cohort, children suffering from severe epilepsy.
‘‘We promised Victorians they would be able to access this life-changing treatment and every day brings us one step closer to delivering on this Australian-first commitment,’’ Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said.
The first cannabis research licence under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 has been granted by the Office of Drug Control to a Victorian-based company, Cann Group.
‘‘In April last year, Victoria became the first state to legalise medicinal cannabis and our scientists have been breaking new ground ever since,’’ Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said.
Construction has also been completed of a world-class purpose-built cultivation and manufacturing facility for the supply of high quality medicinal cannabis to patients in Victoria.
‘‘Every step along the way takes us closer to being able to provide product to Victorians who need it the most,’’ Ms Pulford said.
GMP certification will ensure the medicinal cannabis supplied will be manufactured to the highest quality and standards.
The Andrews Government’s 2016 budget included $28.5 million to establish the Office of Medicinal Cannabis and the Independent Medical Advisory Committee to map out the steps required to roll out this lifechanging treatment.
Victoria was the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis for patients in exceptional circumstances.
The product being developed will be the first locally produced medicinal cannabis to be legally available in Australia.
Australian first . . . The Victorian Government has harvested its first crop of medicinal cannabis. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong