Only the big end of town is allowed to play in Australia…
The Australian government has announced plans to boost the nation’s medicinal cannabis by speeding up the licensing process for ambitious firms.
Any projects that can create jobs, improve export prospects or develop the industry will be assigned Major Project Status and those licensing applications will be expedited. The Office of Drug Control has already issued 69 licences to cultivate, produce or manufacture medicinal cannabis, but it now wants to give the nascent industry a shot in the arm.
“The Morrison Government is committed to making it as streamlined as possible for companies to invest and do business in Australia, so we can grow the economy and create new jobs,” said Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. “The projects will still have to meet all of the approvals required, but this arrangement will make sure that they are not being held up by unnecessary delays.”
The new, streamlined process will come into force on September 1, 2019. It follows Professor John McMillan’s strategic review of the Narcotic Drugs Act. He made 26 recommendations around improving efficiency in the medicinal marijuana sector, and the government has agreed in principle to adopt all of them.
Businesses qualifying for Major Project Status must ensure that estimated investment exceeds AU$50 million ($34 million). They must also prove their ability to make a significant contribution to economic growth, export, employment or infrastructure development.