The medical cannabis Tasmanian Alkaloids will be growing is destined for chronic pain medication, with products expected within three years.
Under the partnership with AusCann announced on Wednesday, Tasmanian Alkaloids will provide research and development, manufacturing and formulation, and AusCann handles the technical side and market access.
Tasmanian Alkaloids develops proprietary poppy varieties for cultivation, harvest and extraction to produce alkaloid raw materials such as thebaine, codeine and oripavine for pain relief medicines.
Chief executive Doug Blackaby said Tasmanian Alkaloids had been looking for a partner to enter the medical cannabis field.
“We believe that moving into medicinal cannabis is a good fit with our current business operations and that our proven capabilities will serve the cannabis industry very well,” Mr Blackaby said.
“We are entering into this relationship to treat chronic pain, which affects five million Australians,” he said.
Medical cannabis can be used in a number of medications beyond chronic pain products.
“Medical cannabis can be delivered orally, topically via skin creams and transdermal patches, ingested or vaporised for respiratory delivery,” the AusCann website said.
“There is significant clinical evidence demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal cannabis in respect to the treatment of chronic pain, neuropathic pain, as anti-emetics in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and for improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity,” the website said.
Tasmanian Alkaloids is applying for the necessary licenses for medical cannabis in Tasmania, which will be used in addition to AusCann’s existing cultivation license in Western Australia.
While Tasmanian Alkaloids is developing these products and waiting for licence approval, AusCann will continue to import medical cannabis products into Australia.
AusCann will run clinical trials in Australia using proven medical cannabis medications and run an education campaign with medical professionals.
Medical cannabis use is now approved in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, 25 states of the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, North Korea, Spain, Uruguay, Chilé, Turkey and Australia.