3 November 2016

If you have been reading CLR none of this will be news but worth a quick read if you have the time as it covers where the Australian market currently is and is likely to head

Here’s the introduction to their piece

Australia’s MMJ market likely to develop slowly, with big players dominating

By Bart Schaneman

Cannabis entrepreneurs hoping to enter Australia’s new medical marijuana market will confront obstacles at the federal and state level, with industry observers predicting a limited number of big companies will come to dominate the business.

Australia’s MMJ market also is expected to develop slowly, given complex licensing procedures and strict, costly regulations.

MMJ dispensaries will be absent from the market, under rules unveiled by the federal government on Oct. 30. Instead, pharmacies will sell MMJ to patients, who must get a doctor’s prescription to receive the medicine.

Growers will face stringent licensing requirements. And before they can sell medical marijuana products, manufacturers will face a regulatory approval process that is expected to take months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, particularly for THC-based medicines.

Consequently, industry watchers anticipate the black market will remain the go-to place for patients looking for medical cannabis for the foreseeable future. Smaller players, meanwhile, will have only limited opportunities to participate in the legal industry.

“There won’t be much of an opportunity for small-scale, or family farm-style farmers to cultivate medical cannabis,” said Blaise Bratter, a government relations expert at Australian consultancy BuddingTech.

Nevertheless, the Australian government would like to position itself as a global player, so U.S. cannabis companies likely will be able to develop opportunities Down Under if the regulatory restrictions aren’t too strong of a deterrent. For example, Dixie Brands has announced a partnership with Australian-based Cann Group to bring CBD and medical marijuana products to Australia and, perhaps, New Zealand if it legalizes medical cannabis.

Rhys Cohen, director of Cannabis Consulting Australia, agreed a few large players will likely dominate the market.

Cohen added that “at the moment” the “major players” appear to be: Australian-based MMJ Phytotech; Bedrocan Australia, which is linked to the Dutch company Bedrocan BV; Canadian-based Tilray, which is owned owned by Privateer Holdings of Washington State; Australian-based MGC Pharmaceuticals; AusCann, in collaboration with Canadian-based Canopy Growth; and Cann Group.

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Australia’s MMJ market likely to develop slowly, with big players dominating