The Australian government has provided A$3 million ($2.03 million) fund to aid research on the medical use of marijuana for cancer patients. The Health Minister, Greg Hunt announced on Sunday, amidst rapidly growing demand for marijuana. While Cannabis products are legal in most parts in Australia, only approved patients with a doctor’s permit are allowed to use it for medicinal reasons a license is needed to grow and sell Medical Cannabis.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Mr. Hunt said the government’s efforts has seen more than 11,000 patients granted access with most approvals made this year.
“Due to a limited number of professionally-designed clinical research on marijuana, there is an urgent need to increase the evidence base,” a report by the ministry cited him saying.
Health ministry statistics show 78 corporations certified so far to grow and develop medical Cannabis, up from one in March 2017.
Hunt was speaking at the Olivia Newton-John led fundraising walk, the English-born Australian artist has been diagnosed with cancer and is an ardent advocate for medical Cannabis for cancer patients.
“Medicinal marijuana is suitable for general health, sleep disorders, severe pain, and anxiety,” Newton-John said on TV last week, adding that she considers it essential for her treatment journey.”
The singer’s efforts and experience had helped shed light on benefits associated with medical marijuana,” Hunt said.
“The government would increase access for Australian patients but only when it is prescribed by a certified expect,” he added.
Commercial federal regulation prohibits recreational use of Cannabis, even though a landmark ruling “the Australian Capital Territory ACT) legalized cannabis for personal use for the first time in the six states in the country and two predominant territories.
Christiana Porter who is the Attorney-General is expected to make a ruling on whether the federal government needs to uphold the territory law after receiving a replica of the final ACT, the Weekend Australian newspaper reported on Saturday.
However, the act legislation contravenes the countrywide drug legal guidelines that ban possession of Cannabis.