Early last year, Australia’s first crop of medical marijuana was being planted behind the closed doors of a top-secret hydroponics facility. It was April 2016, and Victoria had just become the first Australian state to legalise the production and consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Now, almost a year later, the premier batch of the nation’s historically above-board bud is ripe for the harvest. The crop, which is heavily monitored by security guards and CCTV, will shortly undergo testing and pharmaceutical processing before it is officially rolled out in a few months’ time, with some 450 severely epileptic children being among the first in line to reap the benefits of the stuff. Adults undergoing palliative care, as well as those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV, are expected to follow.
Having been granted Australia’s first cannabis research licence, Melbourne-based company Cann Group has effectively been given the green thumbs-up to legally cultivate, research and manufacture marijuana into a range of pharmaceutical products– including oils, sprays and vaporisers. A commercial company in Canberra has been authorised to start growing the plants for similar reasons, while it is hoped that more Victorian companies will be able to apply for cultivation and manufacturing licenses over the coming months.
Before you budding entrepreneurs start rubbing your hot little hands together, however, it’s probably worth noting that all license applicants are required to pass a security test and meet a rigid set of requirements before they can start legally peddling pot.
Don’t quit your day job, in other words, if your day job is dealing weed.
Feature image: Pineapple Express