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Australia Approves Medical Marijuana Exports as US Threatens Crackdown on Industry

Australia Approves Medical Marijuana Exports as US Threatens Crackdown on Industry

The plan will have to be approved by Australia's federal parliament before becoming official.

The ability to sell in overseas markets-including Germany, Holland, and Spain-will help Australia's formative industry, which isn't permitted to stockpile product and faces delays in securing approvals for patients to be treated.

Only a small group of nations now allow medicinal marijuana exports, among them Canada, Uruguay, and the Netherlands, with Israel and some others planning to follow suit. Experts believe that the strategic move will result in the country generating huge revenues through medicinal cannabis exports over the coming years.

"This is actually a very important step for our domestic patients and our domestic supply", Health Minister Greg Hunt told broadcaster ABC. "By knowing they have an Australian market and an worldwide market, that improves the likelihood of growing and production in Australia".

"This decision will help both the domestic supply and Australian producers by strengthening the opportunities for domestic manufacturers", Hunt said in a statement.

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Anthony Albanese, the opposition frontbencher, described the changes as a "sensible move forward" for Australia.

Recreational marijuana use is still outlawed in Australia. "Being able to export will allow us to have the scale to increase production". The government legalized patient access to medicinal cannabis at the federal level in 2016, though rules differ at the state level. "This will really strengthen the industry, enabling it to supply Australian patients - in addition to global patients - with high quality, cost-effective cannabinoid medicines", Darby said on Thursday.

He said it was likely there would be "more than enough" for both Australian patients and global consumers. There are some concerns, however, that doctors are hesitant to prescribe the products.

Among the conditions of licences for export, Hunt said, is that medicinal cannabis be made available to Australian consumers first.

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