Australian newspaper The Herald Sun reports…
The multi-million injection will help establish the Office of Medicinal Cannabis and an Independent Medical Advisory Committee to make sure seriously ill kids can access the product by early 2017.
The announcement comes after Victoria’s first cannabis seedlings were planted in a top secret location in Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he was proud to be making the historic announcement.
“We promised families that their children would be able to access this life-changing treatment as early as next year, and we’re getting it done,’’ he said.
“Never again will families have to make the heartbreaking choice between watching their children suffer and breaking the law.”
The money will be awarded in the 2016/17 budget and will include manufacturing and developing the product along with funds for research grants to build an evidence base for medicinal cannabis
Under the trial, dozens of plants will be grown indoors at an undisclosed research location during the state-sanctioned trial, which is likely to include CCTV monitoring and high-level security checks.
A larger commercial manufacturing scheme will be set up next year, at which point the police chief commissioner will have power to veto licence applications, and rigorous security systems will be in place to ensure the sites are not infiltrated by criminals.
Each seed will be tracked throughout the process in the glasshouse setup.
Agriculture minister Jaala Pulford welcomed the news.
“We said we would make medicinal cannabis available from early 2017 and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” she said.
But Opposition spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge questioned the amount of money budgetted for the project.
“Daniel Andrews’ announcement reveals for the next two years it will cost taxpayers about $15,000 for each person who accesses medicinal cannabis.
“He is also refusing to come clean on how much each patient will pay on top of this taxpayer subsidy,’’ she said.