First crop har­vested

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY NEWS -

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

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