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Canada’s Canopy Growth partners with Australia’s AusCann to develop medicinal cannabis business

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Industrial scale cannabis farm. Canopy Growth says its experience in the Canadian medicinal cannabis market will help AusCann develop its own medicinal cannabis production facilities to provide for Australia’s newly legal market.

Canada’s Canopy Growth Corporation, parent company of licensed cannabis producers Tweed, Tweed Farms and Bedrocan Canada, and Australia’s AusCann have announced a medicinal cannabis partnernship to produce medicinal cannabis for Australia’s newly legal market.

Canopy Growth will provide AusCann with assistance in production, quality assurance and operations, as well as strategic advisory services, in exchange for a 15% ownership stake in the Australian company.

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton said that the company’s experience starting Tweed and its sister companies after legalization in Canada makes it experienced in facing the same “opportunities and challenges” that Australian medicinal cannabis companies can expect to encounter as the country develops a legal market for the product.

Linton will join AusCanna’s Board of Directors and share with the company the best practices Tweed Farms established over recent years. Commenting on the partnership, AusCann Managing Director Elaine Darby said:

“We chose to work with Canopy Growth because they’ve established themselves as leaders in the Canadian and global industry. We are excited to establish the same success here in Australia.”

Medicinal cannabis was officially legalized in Australia in February, and new regulations governing the legal medicinal cannabis market are in the process of being implemented.

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Representatives of UN member states meeting at the UNGASS on the World Drug Problem in Vienna on April 20 2016 (2016 UNODC)

Representatives of UN member states meeting at the UNGASS on the World Drug Problem in Vienna on April 20 2016 (2016 UNODC)

Canada’s Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, told a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem that Canada would be introducing legislation to legalize marijuana consumption in the country.

The special session was called after Latin American countries called on the world to change the global strategy on combating drug abuse away from the War on Drugs approach that they say is harming their countries, making Minister Philpott’s comments consistent with the theme of the meeting.

The Minister said that consultations with NGOs, lawyers doctors and activists, as well as her experience as a medical doctor in both Canada and sub-Saharan Africa informed her opinion that the current drug policy was not working.

In building the case marijuana legalization, Philpott said:

“Our approach to drugs must be comprehensive, collaborative and compassionate.  It must respect human rights while promoting shared responsibility. And it must have a firm scientific foundation.”

She said that her government will “apply these principles with regard to marijuana.”

The Minister added that legislation affecting marijuana would be introduced in Spring 2017, and remarked that it would both keep marijuana out of the hands of children, suggesting age restrictions in the new law, and criminals, pointing to full legalisation of the supply, instead of decriminalization.

Philpott acknowledged that Canadian legalization would conflict with policy in many countries, but that the Canadian government believes it’s the best way forward for the country.

The announcement is part of a raft of developments toward greater legal tolerance toward cannabis and its derived products. Australia recently passed legislation legalizing medicinal cannabis in the country. That legislation would not legalize cannabis for recreational use however.

 

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