Tag: Australia

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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The authors of the study called for further research to investigate if the gait disturbances diminish with increased time between cannabis consumption.


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.

License Allows Australian Medical Cannabis Company to Vertically Integrate

Australian medical cannabis company AusCann got one step closer to completing the sought after farm-to-pharma model this week when it was granted a manufacturing licence by the Australian Office of Drug Control (ODC).

Although 17 medical cannabis licences have been granted to Australian growers, according to the ODC, AusCann’s license is one of only four that also allow manufacturing. In combination with the company’s licenses to cultivate and produce in the states of Tasmania and Western Australia, the newly granted manufacturing license creates the potential for AusCann to build a highly independent, vertically integrated production chain.

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The company already has a partnership with Johnson & Johnson-owned Tasmania Alkaloids, which reportedly produces 40% of global opioid supply. Elaine Darby, managing director of AusCann, told Leafly that the partnership will allow the companies to jointly produce medical cannabis products in Australia.

“We have entered into a strategic alliance with Tasmanian Alkaloids, one of the largest producers of opiates, for us to jointly produce Australian cannabinoid products in Tasmania. The next step in the process will be an amendment to Tasmanian Alkaloids TGA Manufacturing licence to enable the manufacture of cannabinoid pharmaceuticals.”

If all goes well, AusCann expects to have Australian-produced products available for prescription by mid-2018. If that isn’t soon enough, AusCann plans to stock Australian pharmacies with cannabis products sourced from their Canadian partner, Canopy Growth, later this year. “AusCann intends to have products in Australian pharmacies within the next couple of months,” Darby said.

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The products imported from Canada will be the blueprint for AusCann’s first Australian-made products. “Our initial products will be based upon Canopy’s formulations,” Darby said. “The three products we are importing from Canopy initially are predominately for the treatment of chronic pain and palliative care symptoms.”

The manufacturing license announcement boosted AusCann’s share price 15% to $0.60 on Wednesday. That price is the highest it has been since May, but it’s still a steep drop from its high of $0.90 in late March. The Office of Drug Control announced on Tuesday that the response to its request for comment on the export of Australian cultivated and manufactured medicinal cannabis products had been one of overwhelming support.

Australia’s medical cannabis licensing scheme has been framed around ensuring domestic need is met by adequate supply, but the push to allow exports appears to be gaining traction with the ODC. If approved, this would open up huge new markets for Australian cannabis producers, although it remains to be seen whether the high cost of doing business in Australia’s regulatory framework will allow for competitive pricing at a global level.


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 Report Assesses Diversion for Cannabis Offenses

Have you ever been cautioned or warned for a minor cannabis possession instead of being hauled into court on a formal charge? Chances are that both you and society are better off for it, at least according to a new report from the Australian National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund.

So-called diversion programs for minor cannabis offenses—including warnings and cautions issued by police as well as the replacement criminal penalites with civil fines and drug treatment—have been in place in Australian states for between 15 and 30 years. In most states, police who catch someone with a small amount of cannabis are unlikely to issue a formal charge to appear in court, but will instead warn, caution, or “expiate” the offense.

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The policy is often based on the idea that employing less punitive measures will reduce drug use and future offending. Another common policy justification was to protect “experimental users,” (such as former US President Bill Clinton or former Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott) from facing serious criminal consequences for simply trying the drug.

The report found that “those who were diverted report fewer barriers to attaining or retaining employment, less conflict with family, partners and friends, and improved perceptions of legitimacy of the police.”

In terms of cost, the sheer amount of time and paperwork involved with charging someone for a minor offense means a diversionary approach tends to cost far less.

“Included are the costs of police time on the street with the offender, in the police station, in court and for necessary recordkeeping; court costs; costs of penalties; costs of assessment, educational sessions and treatment when it occurred, plus any subsequent costs related to follow-up for those respondents who reported non-compliance and subsequent penalties,” the report says.

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Paying all these costs results in no actual improvement of outcomes, the report found. From a policy perspective, the data provided strong support for the police diversion of minor cannabis offenders.

“By considering impacts on drug use, offending and social domains, it shows that diversion does not necessarily reduce drug use. However, it is associated with reductions in offending and a reduction in adverse social outcomes, such as impact on employment. It also reinforces that cannabis diversion is much less expensive than a traditional criminal justice response.”

Discretion Still an Issue

If diversion is cheaper, just as effective at meeting policy goals, and results in better social outcomes for the individuals affected, what are the downsides?

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One concern could be discretion. The report found that offenders in urban areas were more likely to be diverted with a caution only than were those in rural, more remote areas. That could also translate to racial disparities in enforcement, as 89% of Australians live in urban areas but the majority of indigenous people live in rural and remote regions.

In Australian states like New South Wales and Tasmania, diversion is at the discretion of individual police officers. Placing that decision-making power into the hands of an individual allows for human bias to enter the equation.

In a country where indigenous people represent just 3% of the population but 27% of the prison population, addressing selective criminalization of harmless cannabis offenses should be a priority.


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.

Online Portals Guide Australian Doctors Through Medical Cannabis Maze

Doctors in Australia aren’t big prescribers of medical cannabis—not yet, at least. One of the main reasons is a complex prescription process, which requires jumping through regulatory hoops and coordinating with appropriately licensed pharmacies. Although the Australian Senate recently rejected tighter medical cannabis controls proposed by the federal government, the path to a prescription can still be a slog.

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In an effort to streamline the process online portals are stepping in, offering doctors education on available products available and scientific evidence around treatment. Many even help streamline the process to secure the necessary regulatory approvals.

Such services have enjoyed early success in other markets. California-based HelloMD, for example, recently raised $1 million to expand its telemedicine business to medical cannabis.

In Australia, however, medical cannabis is considered an unapproved medicine, meaning it cannot legally be advertised or marketed. A narrow exception to that rule allows for information to be given to health care professionals who actively enquire about cannabis treatment. We took a look at some of the online portals trying to span the gap in a market still hamstrung by strict regulation.

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Cannabis Access

Navigating Australia’s strict regulations forms a key part of the Cannabis Access proposition. The site offers a simple, streamlined process to doctors interested in obtaining government approval to prescribe cannabis. The site lists products that have been approved by the Office of Drug Control for legal import, and it provides comprehensive reviews of clinical studies that have been conducted. The site even allows registered health care professionals to apply for approval directly through the site, minimizing paperwork and improving success rates by ensuring all information submitted is correct. Access to the portal is restricted to health care practitioners, who must register using their professional ID (an “AHPRA” number).

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Cannahealth

Cannahealth rocks a modern-looking website, and, like CannabisAccess, has a streamlined process in place. While doctors still need to sit down with patients to actually prescribe products, Cannahealth takes care of almost everything else, filing applications and setting up the link between patient and pharmacy.

Unlike the other portals, Cannahealth also bills itself as an information source, and plays up the not-for-profit nature of its owner, the Australian Institute for Medical Cannabis (AIMC). The group was registered in 2016, and it received a medical cannabis research license in March of this year, but little else is known about the entity.

As Cannahealth can’t advertise products, it’s so far unclear which will be available. Still, the site lists a range of conditions for treatment, including “head concussion,” “skin disorder,” and “women’s health.”

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Medical Cannabis Clinic Australia

It’s the internet, and some portals push the limit of what’s allowed. Medical Cannabis Clinic Australia’s online portal has thrown caution to the wind, apparently ignoring Australian laws about advertising unapproved medicine to patients. The company’s site proudly advertises two products to potential patients: a transdermal cream and sublingual drops. They don’t specify what medicine the cream and drops actually contain, however.

Despite the advertising, no products are available to order, and the site stopped updating in June 2016.


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.

Video Footage Offers Glimpse of Australia’s Secret Medical Cannabis Crops

Just two years ago, the idea of the premier of the Australian state of Victoria sharing a video on Facebook of his cannabis crop—or just about anything cannabis-related—would have been unthinkable. But today it’s a political homerun, netting Aussie politician Daniel Andrews more than half a million views and tens of thousands of positive reactions, comments, and shares.

The video, posted to Facebook last month, offers a glimpse inside the Victorian government’s secret cannabis facility. Workers in protective clothing tend cannabis plants as they grow, then harvest and process the plants into extract.

The Victorian government was the first entity to be granted a research license for medical cannabis. It harvested the first crop in February. Due to security concerns, the government has extremely tight-lipped about the facility. The video shared by Andrews, however, makes clear that the indoor facility is sizeable and sophisticated.

A worker in protective clothing tends to plants in the Victoria state government’s top-secret cannabis cultivation site. (Courtesy Daniel Andrews/Facebook)

The same week Andrews shared the video, ABC’s Lateline aired a segment in which correspondants visited one of Cann Group’s Victorian facilities, where another medical cannabis crop is coming along. That video gives a look at Australia’s first commercial cannabis crop.

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Cann Group hasn’t been growing for as long as the government, and its facility appears less spacious. The company received its commercial grow license in early March of this year, but for unknown reasons it has only recently started to grow commercially.

In fact, much remains shrouded in mystery about the grows—including their locations. The Lateline reporter begins the segment by with what feels like an ominous warning: “We can’t show you where we ended up or how we got in. Suffice to say you wouldn’t have a clue from outside what’s going on in here.” He then puts on pants with their pockets sewn shut so samples don’t walk out with the news crew.

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Despite a slower than expected start, Cann Group is clearly proud of its crop. The company has been working closely with the Victorian government, and CEO Peter Crock recently traveled with Victorian Minister of Agriculture and of Regional Development Jaala Pulford to Canada to tour a more established cannabis facility, owned by Aurora Sky, that produces 7,000 kilograms (nearly 15,500 pounds) of cannabis every year.

Aurora Sky, a Canadian company with a 19.9% stake in Cann Group, has been selling cannabis only since the beginning of 2016. It was able to invite foreigners such as Crock and Pulford because, unlike Australia, Canada doesn’t shroud its cannabis facilities in secrecy. Aurora Sky’s new production center, we know, is nearby to Edmonton International Airport.

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Both Crock and Pulford are hoping to learn from Canadian expertise as Australia gets closer to the launch of a large-scale medical cannabis program. Sowing the right seeds now—literally and figuratively—will let the state of Victoria reap significant benefits over the next few years.


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.

Is CBD the Next Big Thing for Acne?

Blackheads? Zits? Say goodbye to acne with a brand new cure—synthetic cannabis!

That, at least, is the hope of Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a dermatological company that just announced the completion of its Phase 1 clinical trial for an acne drug that incorporates synthetic cannabidiol (CBD). Called BTX 1503, the goal is that the drug could one day be an answer to acne.

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Botanix began clinical trials of the drug in Australia last year. Twenty participants, all without acne symptoms, applied the synthetic cannabinoid-based topical over the course of a month to test its safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics (the amount of the drug detectable in the bloodstream after use).

The company plans to start a pilot program for acne patients later this quarter.

Clinical trials tend to be expensive, lengthy, and uncertain. A Phase 1 Study is preliminary—it determines whether a drug is safe enough to test on actual patients. Botanix managed to complete its Phase 1 trial within 12 months, and they say it has been a huge success. “Top line data demonstrates that BTX 1503 has an excellent safety profile, with little to no skin irritation, and no severe adverse events were recorded,” the company said.

Botanix attributes the relatively small levels of the drug which were recorded in participants’ bloodstreams to its so-called Permetrex delivery technology. According to the company, the product “ensures that the majority of BTX 1503 is delivered across the outer layer of the skin and into skin tissue,” rather than entering the bloodstream.

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The company plans to start a pilot program for acne patients later this quarter.

Why synthetic cannabidiol for acne? Although acne affects millions and has been studied extensively, there are relatively few effective medications that are free from side effects. While CBD as a treatment for acne isn’t a very well studied, Botanix points to one 2014 academic paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. That study used biopsies of human scalp and arm skin to try to determine whether CBD could suppress acne.

The researchers found that CBD inhibited both lipogenic action (the way the body converts energy to fat for storage), and the production of sebocytes (cells in the sebaceous glands which produce the oil which coats the hair and skin of mammals). Both processes are known to contribute to acne. The study also suggested that CBD had an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. An important caveat, however, is that the study didn’t test CBD on actual, living humans.

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Now Botanix is trying to put the research to the test in human trials.

The use of synthetic CBD, which doesn’t require growing cannabis plants, allows the company to avoid certain regulatory obtacles, which is one factor behind the company’s quick movement in the sector.

Meantime, Nasdaq-listed Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has been conducting, in collaboration with Aussie contract research organization Novotech, a Phase 1 study in Australia of its drug ZYN002, a synthetic CBD formulated to be a gel. The product, applied to the skin, is aimed at treating epilepsy and osteoarthritic knee pain. The says the clear gel is designed to provide consistent, controlled, and sustained drug delivery in twice-daily dosing.


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.