Tag: Australia

Australian Cannabis Stocks Climb Amid Licensing Announcements

Last week was a good one for investors in Australia’s nascent medical cannabis industry, with gains across several key cannabis stocks.

Cann Group (ASX: CAN) charted a new high on the back of news that it had secured an import/export license for cannabis products, while penny stock The Hydroponics Company (ASX: THC) was also up after announcing it received a license to grow and produce medical marijuana.

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Cann Group’s import/export licence will be used by the company to send its Australian-grown cannabis to Canada for analysis and testing. On the import side, Cann Group’s CEO detailed plans to bring in a range of cannabis products to be sold alongside its own.

“The granting of this import/export licence is an important milestone in the Company’s goal of building a genetic database of locally and internationally sourced cannabis strains for cultivation under its medicinal cannabis licence, while facilitating the development of a plant breeding program under its cannabis research licence,” Cann Group CEO Peter Crock said in a statement.

Although the national Office of Drug Control had sought community feedback on a streamlined process for exporting Australian cannabis back in July, no formal changes have been made. Cann Group’s license was issued under a generic drug-export scheme. It will need to be renewed after 12 months, and a permit is still required before the company can export any cannabis material.

But despite the remaining red-tape, investors responded favorably to the news, with share prices jumping 15% following the announcement. Cann Group opened on the ASX in May, trading at AU$0.65 a share. On Wednesday it closed at AU$2.11.

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The Office of Drug Control’s expanded license grants have brought joy to smaller stocks, too. The Hydroponics Company climbed from its lowest-ever price of AU$0.20 a share to a high of AU$0.33 last week after announcing that subsidiary Canndeo had been granted a cannabis cultivation and production license. It closed at AU$0.33 on Wednesday.

The Hydroponics Company has built its business by manufacturing and selling hydroponic equipment to cannabis growers. But Australia’s cannabis boom has been slower, more concentrated, and more tech-focused than expected. As such, the company is branching out from its shovels-and-picks play.

Canndeo received its research license in July, but the medicinal license announced last week will allow it to begin creating commercial products. CEO David Radford called it “a major step in the transition of the company towards commercial supply and monetisation of the opportunity that exists in the medicinal cannabis market.”

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Meanwhile, Australia’s regulatory wheels are rolling slowly. The Office of Drug Control has granted 21 licenses for the cultivation, production, and manufacture of cannabis, but the Australian federal government has so far blocked Senate bills which would open access to medical cannabis for patients, feeding frustration among the country’s medical cannabis community.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Australian Universities Receive $2.5 Million for Cannabis Research

The National Health and Medical Research Council gave Australian cannabis research a major shot in the arm this week, with the council awarding the research body $2.5 million for research.

The funds will be used to establish the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), a national center to coordinate research into medicinal cannabis use. ACRE will focus on investigating quality and safety issues, including growing methods and safe formulation of plant material into medicines, and will eventually develop clinical trials.

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Researchers and clinicians from all over Australia will be involved in the national effort, which will be based at the University of Newcastle and University of Wollongong.

Federal funding for the new center was announced by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Oct. 11.

In Australia, access to cannabinoids for medicinal purposes have been difficult due to restrictive licencing and import laws, along with a lack of ready-to-prescribe cannabis-based medicines for specific medical conditions.  ACRE hopes to change that.

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The center will be co-led by University of Newcastle professor Jenny Martin and professor Nadia Solowij of the University of Wollongong School of Psychology and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute. Together, the two aim to make Australia’s eastern seaboard a hub for cannabis research.

“In many Australian states, people can now access cannabinoids for medicinal purposes under the supervision of a medical specialist, but it can be difficult to source reliable, consistent and suitable products that are known to be safe and effective for specific conditions,” Martin said.

“Recent legislation has improved the situation,” she added, “but appropriate research is needed to enable evidence to guide doctors on products and dosages that are safe and effective.”

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ACRE will undertake medical cannabinoid research, consolidate existing data into guidance, and link health outcomes from people currently accessing local and imported products to guide plant growing and product formulation into appropriate medicines, according to a press release.

The center’s investigators will link scientific research teams with specialist and national primary health care infrastructure to support information sharing, national monitoring, and linkage with government. They’ll also be training a new medical research workforce in the field and conducting basic research leading to clinical trials.

“At this critical juncture, where legislation around cannabis and cannabinoids is rapidly changing in Australia and worldwide, there is tremendous opportunity for Australia to establish world leadership in cautious and appropriately balanced management of the implementation of medicinal cannabinoids into specialist and primary health care settings,” Solowij said.

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The announcement comes as New South Wales’ conservative government has taken a hard stance on cannabis, moving to block laws decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis for those suffering from serious medical conditions.

Despite the government’s stance, NSW is becoming one of the greenest states in Australia, attracting significant investment in medical cannabis industry and research. Already home to the $33.7 million Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney, the state also recently attracted an enormous investment from Canadian firm PUF to build the largest legal cannabis facility in the southern hemisphere.

As the economic, technological, and medical benefits of becoming a hub for medical cannabis start to flow in, the NSW government may find it more difficult to maintain its hard-line stance cannabis.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Canadian Firm Invests in Massive Australian Cannabis Venture

The economic promise of medical cannabis in Australia has taken some time to realize. So far, the few legal cannabis production facilities in the country have created only a handful of jobs.

However, if Canadian cannabis giant PUF gets its way, Richmond Valley in the state of New South Wales could soon become the home of the largest cannabis cultivation operation in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Through an Australian subsidiary, PUF has agreed to a strategic partnership with the Richmond Valley Council in the state’s Northern Rivers region to construct a nine-hectare (roughly 22-acre) greenhouse operation. The facility will feature substantial manufacturing, processing, and office facilities for the cultivation, production, and manufacture of medical cannabis and associated products in Australia.

“We are continuing our strategy of global expansion by building a state-of-the-art, 1 million-square-foot facility which, when complete, will be the largest cannabis cultivation operation in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world,” Derek Ivany, president and CEO of PUF, said in a statement.

“Our analysis shows that the cannabis market in Australia is approximately where the Canadian market was 4 years ago,” Ivany continued. “By entering this market through a strategic partnership with the local land-owning government, we are positioning PUF to become a leader in both Australian and global cannabis production.”

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When up and running, PUF anticipates the facility will produce 100,000 kilograms of cannabis annually.

Richmond Valley Council’s general manager, Vaughan Macdonald, described the deal as a “game-changer” for the region.

“We are very excited by the prospect of working with an international company like PUF to support the development of this important new industry which will significantly add to our gross regional product, create approximately 300 direct new jobs in our local economy, and lead to other follow-on local and regional employment opportunities,” Macdonald said in a statement.

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“This locally supported project will go a long way to meet our commitment to reduce unemployment through economic development and improve the prosperity of our community,” Macdonald said. “We look forward to working closely with PVA (PUF Ventures Australia) to bring this project to reality and working to create a new agricultural industry of medicinal cannabis in our region and across Australia.”

PUF is getting an exceptionally good deal on the property. The farm will be set up on a council-owned 27-hectare parcel of land in North Casino. And the Richmond Valley Council is providing the land for five years at no cost, with an option for the company to purchase “on favourable terms” at the end of that period.

PUF has also announced ambitious profit projections and optimistic forecasts about the size of Australia’s cannabis industry, going so far as to speculate in their press release about the size of an eventual adult-use market despite the fact the country’s medical program is off to a slow start.

“Assuming recreational cannabis becomes legal and with a population of more than 24 million people, roughly two-thirds of Canada’s population, it is suggested that the cannabis market in Australia could grow to $9 billion over the next 7 years,” the press release said.

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Recreational cannabis isn’t necessarily a pipe dream, but suggesting it could happen in a short time frame is optimistic. And the exportation of medical cannabis products from Australia is currently prohibited, meaning a giant production facility might find itself producing more than it can sell through the domestic market.

Australian agriculture and farming publication The Land wrote critically about the agreement, calling the proposed facility “monstrous” and noting that PUF’s partner, AAA Heidelberg, still hasn’t received the required federal license from Health Canada to produce medical cannabis. PUF also hasn’t yet submitted its Australian application for medical cannabis licensing and permits.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Australian Biotech Company Wants to Treat Autism Symptoms With Cannabis

Australian penny stock Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) announced last week that it has completed an observation trial in Chile, and is reporting successful results for treating core symptoms of autism with medical cannabis extracts. Zelda officials say they now plan to build on those results with clinical trials in the second half of 2017.

The trial, in collaboration with a Chilean medical cannabis and alternative healthcare non-profit called Fundación Daya, aimed to treat core autism symptoms including difficulties with social interaction, language and repetitive behaviour.

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The results found that in a cohort of 21 patients (median age of 9 years and 10 months), cannabis extracts were significantly more effective than the conventional medicines the children were using, including atypical antipsychotics.

Patients in the study were treated over a 12-week period and were examined by EEG, neuropsychological analysis, metabolism and genetic tests.Those treated with cannabis extracts demonstrated significant improvements in at least one core symptom (social interaction, language or repetitive behaviors) in 71.4% of cases and 66.7% of treated patients showing significant general overall improvement.

Harry Karelis, Executive Chairman of Zelda was excited with the results, as he sees a promising future with treating autism symptoms with cannabis.

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“The results from this observational study are very exciting and supports the anecdotal evidence we have, showing the positive effect medicinal cannabis has on treating autism symptoms,” Karelis said in a statement.

“Zelda will use this baseline data to design its clinical trials and generate rigorous scientific data that validates the clinical benefit of medicinal cannabis,” Karelis added. “We hope that in the near future Zelda Therapeutics can provide an alternative treatment for sufferers of this condition which is of major global significance.”

There is little scientific literature covering the use of cannabis to treat autism. In 2011, a study published in Current Neuropharmacology demonstrated that Δ9-THC improved mobility and mood in a breed of mice which exhibit autism-like behaviour. However, a study in mice is a long way from solid peer-reviewed studies in humans.

Clinical trials are critical for establishing the safety and effectiveness of a treatment, but also for ensuring its acceptance by regulators like Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. In the case of cannabis as an autism treatment, the lack of published studies makes successful clinical trials all the more important for Zelda.

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But clinical trials of unproven medicines are time consuming, expensive, and far from certain. Zelda should take heed of the troubles of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals – a cannabidiol company which has a string of unsuccessful clinical trials behind it. Initially testing its cannabis-based medicine on epilepsy sufferers, Zynerba switched to treating osteoarthritis after poor results.

But following another lengthy and expensive trial, no significant improvements were seen in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, and Zynerba’s stock (NASDAQ:ZYNE) took a serious hit.

Curiously, Zynerba has reported some initial success in using its cannabis-extract formulation to treat Fragile X, a genetic condition which frequently overlaps with autism spectrum disorders.

Zelda may find room for collaboration – or face competition – as it builds out its cannabis-based autism-treatment medicine trials.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Olivia Newton-John Joins Aussie Senator to Improve Medical Cannabis Access

Senator Richard di Natale, leader of the Australian Greens party, has introduced a new bill which he hopes will fix two impediments now standing in the way of Aussie patients trying to access critical medicine.

And now, di Natale and the Greens have an unexpected ally in their mission: Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John recently declared that when it comes to medical pain relief, she prefers cannabis.

In an interview with Today, Newton-John spoke candidly about using cannabis to medicate severe pain and inflammation connected to her cancer treatment.

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“People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around, you know, getting stoned. It’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant,” she told Today. ” I think we need to change the vision of what it is. Because it helped me greatly. And it helps with pain and inflammation.”

Newton-John also disclosed that her husband John Easterling grew the cannabis and created tinctures for her to use. Easterling sat in the Senate gallery as Senator di Natale introduced and defended his bill.

In June, Sen. di Natale successfully motioned to reverse stricter importing regulations introduced by the Australian government, re-opening an important channel for patient access to medical cannabis. But the government hit back, defying the Senate, by threatening to suspend importers’ licences and permits if they went ahead and imported medical cannabis.

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The Australian government may have defied the Senate thus far, but when a national treasure takes up the cause, things step up to a new level.

Senator Richard di Natale (Kate Ausburn/Flickr Creative Commons)

In a recent speech before the Senate, di Natale lambasted the Australian government for ignoring dying patients and the Senate’s will on medical cannabis access.

“Instead of a pathway to access, we have regulation and red tape preventing people from getting access to these treatments that relieve people of pain and suffering,” he said.  “We know that there is a problem when over 100,000 patients stand to benefit, yet under the government’s legislation only 200 or so people have got access to medicinal cannabis.”

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If passed, the bill will make two amendments to the Customs Act and the Narcotic Drugs Act which together will ease restrictions on medical cannabis imports. The bill is the latest blow in an ongoing battle between the country’s conservative government and a bipartisan group of senators who have found a common cause in medicinal cannabis reform.

“This bill that the Greens are introducing will make sure that the government can’t block the importation of medicinal cannabis under the special access scheme,” di Natale said.

Although the bill won’t fix all of Australia’s medical cannabis problems, if passed it would strengthen and stabilize patient access to medical cannabis.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Blockchain Company Aims to Transform Australia’s Medical Cannabis Sector

Blockchain, the technology that powers digital currencies like Bitcoin, will make a cannabis-sector debut in Australia with the help of Canadian cannabis app developer Global Cannabis. The company has announced that it will launch an Australian subsidiary called Global Cannabis Apps (Australia), and has tasked the new company with the development of blockchain software for use in the medical cannabis industry.

A blockchain, sometimes called distributed ledger technology, is distributed secure information recorded across a network of computers. Exciting, right? Surprisingly, yes. Blockchain is being seriously hyped by financial tech experts—drawing comparisons to the printing press, combustion engine, and even the internet in terms of its impact on society.

Why are people so excited about it?

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Blockchain is the basis of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because it uses a large peer-to-peer network to verify and record transactions, filling the “trust gap” between transacting individuals which has traditionally been bridged by a third party like a bank. By decentralizing and distributing the ledger (the record of transactions made in the currency), blockchain makes it very difficult for anyone to tamper with that record. This prevents fraud and double spending without having to pay a bank, lawyer, or other authenticator.

Proponents of the technology believe that allowing for individuals to make direct, trusted transactions will revolutionize commerce. But they also say that blockchain has many broader applications, such as verifying title in real estate, collecting taxes, or even managing health records. In the health sector, a distributed, trusted ledger could, for example, massively simplify the prescription of medicine to patients.

But critics of blockchain are skeptical, particularly when it comes to health data. One major concern is how to ensure the security of individuals’ private health records. Other critics have claimed that the technology is outrageously overhyped and has few real applications outside of cryptocurrency.

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Now blockchain will be put to the test in Australia’s emergent medical cannabis sector. An early project for Global Cannabis’ Australian arm will be a partnership with BuddingTech, a medical cannabis accelerator focused on providing better data for clinical trials in the medical cannabis industry. Collaborating with BuddingTech, Global Cannabis Australia will task a software team with the development of both a blockchain technology and a regulatory artificial intelligence technology for the medical cannabis industry.

As Australia completes legalization of medical cannabis, clinical trial data will become more and more important to Australian companies developing cannabis-based medicines. Clinical trials are not only a prerequisite for registration of a drug with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, they are also critical for building confidence in a product or company and thus attracting investment.

A distributed ledger of clinical trial data could therefore have huge potential in Australia’s fledgling cannabis industry. The software could also provide the foundation for controling and securing prescriptions of medical cannabis products, which would go a long way to addressing concerns about diversion of medical cannabis into recreational black markets.

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Global Cannabis see even broader applications. CEO Brad Moore wants to build in Australia and the roll-out to other markets. “By establishing the most trusted data supply for the medical cannabis industry in one of the toughest regulatory environments, we will have a model that we can expand into other emerging medical cannabis countries,” he said.

This won’t be the first marriage between blockchain technology and cannabis. In the US, where cannabis is still technically illegal under federal law, Potcoin allows for transactions between patients and cannabis businesses in states where medical cannabis has been legalized.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Australian Doctors Clash With Government Over Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

Hundreds of Australian doctors and health-care workers have signed an open letter to the federal government asking officials not to implement mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.

A Senate committee is currently considering a trial program that would screen 5,000 of Australia’s Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients. If the government is successful in implementing the changes, new recipients would be required to submit to drug testing for ecstasy, methamphetamines, cannabis, and other drugs—or have welfare payments restricted. The program would start in 2018 and run for two years.

Individuals who test positive would have 80% of their welfare payments quarantined onto a debit card that could be used only for certain purchases, such as rent, childcare, and food. Upon a second positive test, and individual would be referred for medical treatment.

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The idea behind the tests isn’t a new one. Australia’s conservative government has argued that lawmakers should take steps to ensure that no taxpayer money be spent on drugs. Minister for Social Services Christian Porter, in his reading of the bill to Parliament, invoked the same justification.

“The community has a right to expect that taxpayer-funded welfare payments are not being used to fund drug and alcohol addiction and that jobseekers do all that they can reasonably do to find a job, including addressing any barriers which have prevented them from doing so,” he said.

“This trial is not about penalising jobseekers with drug-abuse issues,” he added. “It is about finding new and better ways of identifying these jobseekers and ensuring they are referred to the support and treatment they need.”

Many in the scientific and medical communities, however, see it differently. In their open letter, they argue that drug testing welfare recipients will make things worse. “We do not and cannot support policies that will push people suffering from difficult alcohol and drug problems further into the margins,” the letter says. “Making it harder for people struggling with drug and alcohol problems to access income support will push people who need treatment into poverty, undermining their chance of recovery.”

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The evidence seems to be on the scientists’ side. In 2013, the Australian National Council on Drugs published a position paper on drug testing, which concluded, “There is no evidence that drug testing welfare beneficiaries will have any positive effects for those individuals or for society, and some evidence indicating such a practice could have high social and economic costs. In addition, there would be serious ethical and legal problems in implementing such a program in Australia. Drug testing of welfare beneficiaries ought not be considered.”

Under the government’s plan, any positive drug test is seen as evidence of addiction—and notably, there’s no exception for medical cannabis use.

Similar programs in the US have been deemed costly and ineffective. In results from a screening program in Tennessee, only 65 out of 40,000 recipients returned positive tests. A Missouri program that cost the state $1.35 million over three years found just 48 positive tests out of 39,000. And in Michigan, drug testing program implemented in 1999 was successfully challenged by the ACLU, though the state launched a similar program in 2014.

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Given the ample evidence of failed programs in the United States, skeptics say the Australian’s government’s plan is more about ideology than outcome.

Even other Australian politicians, such independent Sen. Jacqui Lambie and Greens Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, have called out the government for failing to lead by example. They’ve argued that Australian politicians should be the first to be drug tested. After all, critics say, lawmakers are on the taxpayer payroll, too.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Drug Use up Among Australian Baby Boomers

A new article published in the British Medical Journal says that baby boomers in the UK and Australia had greater increases than younger age groups for both past year and lifetime illicit drug use over the last 15 years.

The article, written by Ann Roche of the National Centre for Training and Addiction at Flinders University, Adelaide, and Rahul Rao of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, expresses concern about the risks caused by baby boomers’ libertine tendencies. The authors expect that the number of people over 50 who will receive treatment for substance misuse (including alcohol misuse) will triple in the UK and the US by 2020.

After alcohol, cannabis is the top choice for boomers, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. According to a study referenced in Roche and Rao’s article, cannabis use among Australians 50 and older more than doubled from 1.5% to 3.6% between 2004 and 2013.

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But while there was an uptick in consumption by boomers, cannabis use substantially decreased amongst younger Australian demographics during the same period. According to a report from the University of New South Wales, past-year use of cannabis by Australian teenagers dropped from 24.4% to 14.8% between 2001 and 2013. Similar declines were observed in 20-to-29 year olds, and 30-to-39 year olds.

Public health experts are worried that the increases in drug use among older populations represents a serious public health issue. Professor Steve Allsop of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University warned of growing consequences.

“Alcohol and other drug-related problems among older Australians are critical public health challenges now, and will increase in the coming years,” he said. “The increase in the proportion of Australians over the age of 50, levels of alcohol and other drug consumption and the particular risks for aging Australians sees this issue impact on our drug specialist and our aged care services and across our community.”

One concern is that older people face specific physiological challenges, such as poor balance, that can be exacerbated by the use of cannabis or other substances.

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Roche and Rao argue that future healthcare for older people will require greater physician education about substance misuse, as well as the development of age-specific diagnostic skills. But one factor not addressed by the article which may be responsible for the increase in illicit cannabis use is more people in the demographic turning towards cannabis for relief from pain and other symptoms of disease.

As Australia’s medical cannabis options become more mainstream, it would not be surprising to see a drop in illicit use amongst baby boomers as patients begin to access medicinal cannabis legally in larger numbers. But recreational use will still account for a significant proportion of overall use, and it doesn’t seem likely that Australia will make recreational cannabis legal any time soon.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Australian States Split on Medical Cannabis

Access to cannabis for people with terminal illnesses and chronic pain was delayed last week when the New South Wales (NSW) state government blocked a law that would have decriminalized possession of marijuana for those suffering from serious medical conditions.

The legislation, which would have decriminalized possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis in cases where it was being used to treat chronic pain, was introduced by the opposition Labor party and blocked by the majority Liberal Legislative Assembly. Despite the fact that the proposed law grew out of the recommendations of a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into the use of cannabis for medical purposes, no bipartisanship was present when it was voted down.

“By refusing to pass this legislation, the NSW Government has put up an unnecessary hurdle for sufferers of terminal and chronic illnesses.” NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley said in a statement.

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“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has denied legislation that will restore dignity to those people seeking temporary relief from the pain and suffering of their affliction. Those who are suffering from terminal and serious medical conditions deserve sympathy and support—and they should not be treated like a criminal for seeking respite from relentless and unwavering illness,” Foley continued.

“We are particularly concerned that the government has done little to ensure a consistent supply of regulated and affordable product.”

Sen. Lisa Singh, Tasmania

Further south, in the island state of Tasmania, another Labor politician has taken up the cause of medical cannabis in a different way. Sen. Lisa Singh has been campaigning in the senate for a quicker and more consistent cannabis licensing program.

In a speech to the Australian senate last week, Singh urged the government to enable the establishment of the medical cannabis industry in Tasmania. Specifically, she wants to ensure that the global opioid supplier Tasmania Alkaloids (which has partnered with medical cannabis company AusCann) can secure a closed-loop cannabis production chain.

“Closed-loop production is key to a successful Tasmanian medical cannabis industry,” Singh said, “The opportunity to grow, manufacture, and distribute directly from one location alleviates legitimate security concerns.”

Rather than focus solely on patient access issues, Singh is also eager to realise the economic benefits of a thriving medical cannabis industry in her state. “Tasmania is ideally positioned to become a manufacturing base both for the domestic and international markets in medicinal cannabis,” she said, “The Australian domestic market for medicinal cannabis has alone been estimated to be worth AU$100 million a year.”

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“If Tasmania is able to seize the opportunity of becoming a global leader in the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis, then there will be similar substantial economic benefits to reap for my home state like we have from cultivating the world’s legal opium crops,” she said.

But before that economic dream can be achieved, Singh says the federal government needs to develop a more consistent application of its medical cannabis laws across states.

“We are particularly concerned that the government has done little to ensure a consistent supply of regulated and affordable product, or to drive consistency across states on the legal treatment of people currently accessing medicinal cannabis.” Singh told Leafly.

The Tasmanian senator isn’t the only politician taking up the torch for the medical cannabis industry. Victorian Minister of Agriculture and Regional Development Jalaa Pulford recently visited medical cannabis facilities in Canada with CannGroup CEO Peter Crock.

This state-level support for medical cannabis is good news for growers and patients in some parts of Australia, but frustration will continue to rise in states like New South Wales if their governments continue to block efforts to extend compassionate treatment to medical cannabis patients.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Does Cannabis Make You Walk Funny?

Researchers at the University of South Australia have published a study in the September 2017 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence that looks into the relationship between cannabis consumption and altered gait—or a person’s manner of walking.

The scientists set out to investigate balance and walking gait in adults with a history of cannabis consumption. The hypothesis was that cannabis consumption may be associated with subtle changes in gait and balance.

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Previous studies had indicated that cannabis intoxication resulted in acute motor deficits, including changes in balance (Ramaekers et al., 2006). Also, in 2008, there was a study that found an acute concentration-dependent disturbance in balance, with increased levels of THC resulting in increased body sway (Zuurman et al., 2008).

Leafly has obtained this exclusive video of the study in question.

The new study closely observed two groups of adults aged 18-49 years.  22 subjects had no history of illicit drug consumption. 22 other subjects had a history of cannabis use, but no history of illicit stimulant or opioid use.

Participants then completed screening tests, a gait and balance test that included a motion capture system, and a clinical neurological examination of movement.

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Their results suggested that cannabis consumption is associated with long-lasting changes in certain elements of a person’s walking gait—but the magnitude of those changes is so small as to be clinically undetectable. The study found no difference between the two groups in term of how their balance changed over time.

Individuals with a history of cannabis consumption exhibited abnormalities in the lower limb during gait. In other words, the velocity of a person’s knee during the swing phase of gait was greater by seven percent in cannabis users than in non-drug users. The velocity of the knee during a swing phase of gait is indicative of increased cadence; however, no difference in walking speed was observed between the two groups.

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