Australia: Freshleaf Analytics Report Paints A Positive Report On Medical Cannabis…Then There’s Reality

FreshLeaf Analytics say they have released Australia’s most comprehensive medicinal cannabis Patient, Product and Pricing Analysis.

The study was conducted in Q3 2019 and includes insights into the pricing and availability of legal medicinal cannabis products in the Australian marketplace including:

  • Number of products in market jumps 40% in 6 months
  • Patient growth continues at break-neck speed, up 1000% year on year
  • Overall spend declines as doctors go for cheaper products
  • Issues around vehicle driving and government subsidies remain

The report has been welcomed by the sector, with key players commenting:

Dr Sanjay Nijhawan, Medical Director of Cannabis Access Clinics: “It is encouraging to see that more patients are getting access to medicine that may help their condition”

Yet the Sydney Morning Herald report today

Medicinal cannabis may be legal but obtaining it has been an exercise in the absurd.

What I discovered was that there is only one cannabis clinic in Sydney, albeit with a few outlets. The closest to us was George Street in the city. First, Mum had to obtain a referral from her GP. He was unaware of medicinal cannabis and so had to be educated.

Next, I made an appointment with the cannabis clinic. This was scheduled weeks ahead as the clinic doctor only works for half a day on Wednesdays. Mum had to be assessed to determine whether she was in enough pain to warrant a prescription. That meant a 20-kilometre cab trip, with her walker, to the clinic. It’s on level 11. Thankfully there’s a lift.

The doctor assessed my mother as a worthy candidate and charged her a $200 consultation fee, to be paid on the spot. He explained that she would also have to hand over another $250 for him to process the paperwork and send it to Canberra. It was a government charge, he explained. When I asked how long this would take, he said anything from 10 minutes to a month, depending who was standing at the other end of the fax machine. Fax machine?

And so, $450 out of pocket, we left to wait to hear.

Two weeks later the good news arrived. Canberra had approved my mother. However, she would need to return to the clinic to pick up the prescription. I explained she was too frail and in too much pain to do that so it was agreed for me to be the surrogate.

This visit lasted all of 10 minutes, cost another $125 and came with the instruction that I had to find a pharmacy that was government-approved to fill the prescription and distribute the drug. Luckily my mum’s local chemist was one such entity.

And that’s not all the Dantean drama continues apace read on at


Meanwhile back in the land of corporate cannabis everything is hunky dory

Tim Drury, CEO of Southern Cannabis Holdings: “The market has hit a tipping point here in Australia, and other pharmaceutical-style cannabis markets are looking to Australia as a source of best-practice in product standards, patient monitoring, clinical services and research”.

The report was developed using patient data that was analyzed over a period of July – August 2019. A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the FreshLeaf Analytics website.




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