One really has to wonder, talk about wasted opportunities.
Here’s the piece via Potnetwork
These Are The Top 3 Cannabis Companies to Watch in The Australian Marijuana Market
AUG 20, 2018
Experts agree that any marijuana stock worth the investment should have a global growth strategy to bring cannabis to other parts of the world. Australia is a critical player in the international cannabis market, certainly with the medical marijuana already legalized down under.
The Australian continent’s location forms a hub for exports to Asian markets as well, giving the cannabis industry a worldwide distribution port. These are the top three cannabis companies to watch in the Australian marijuana market.
Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) (NYSE:CGC) entered the Australian market last year when they announced an exclusive supply agreement with AusCann Group Holdings. With plans to legalize recreational cannabis still treading water in Australia’s Parliament, Canopy only supplies medical cannabis to the nation at this time.
A strictly medical strategy works, especially with Canopy’s medical subsidiary Spectrum Cannabis snatching up deals across the globe. Canopy is making significant moves with Spectrum in Latin America as well as Australia, and the company announced Spectrum Cannabis Australia this spring will the full support of the Victoria state government.
“Collaborating with international experts on cultivation and manufacturing will build Victoria’s capacity to develop our medicinal cannabis industry to be able to supply reliable and high-quality medicinal cannabis products,” said Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford in April.
Canopy will also build a facility in Victoria that will make it possible to cultivate and produce high-quality cannabis locally. According to a statement, the facility will act as a distribution hub, which Canopy hopes will give them an export advantage across the continent while other marijuana stocks are still in the process of building their Australian consumer bases.
GW Pharmaceuticals Down, plc
GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) continues to follow their groundbreaking success with Epidolex, the FDA-approved CBD drug for childhood epilepsy, this time with a marketing strategy for new cannabis-based medicines in Australia.
Their latest is Sativex, a drug that is still awaiting Phase 3 results in the United States. Sativex was developed for elasticity symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis. It contains both THC and CBD in a one-to-one ratio that its makers hope will work to relieve the muscle tightness and pain that is common with the disease. Sativex is one of the first cannabis-based medicines to be administered as an oral spray.
According to the company, Sativex is only marketed to patients with MS who have not found relief through traditional treatments or medications.
Since GW does not market its own cannabis-based medicines, the company looks for marketing companies that specialize in pharmaceuticals. In April, GW signed a licensing agreement with Novartis to market Sativex in three different continents, including Australia. In Australia, Emerge Health is the pharmaceutical brand acting as the sponsor for the drug. They continue to work with health professionals in Australia and New Zealand to bring Sativex to the people.
Aurora Cannabis Inc.
Last week, Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) (OTCQB:ACBFF) updated their shareholders with the latest news regarding their global strategy. The statement covered the company’s moves all over the world, most notably in Australia.
In Australia, Cann Group partnered with Aurora and their subsidiary Aurora Larssen Projects to design and construct a GMP-compliant facility. Over twelve acres near the Melbourne Airport have already been approved for the site, and cannabis genetics are on their way to Australia from Aurora’s Mountain facility in Canada.
However, Aurora Cannabis clarified back in April that they did not reach an agreement regarding a takeover transaction with Cann Group Ltd. Cann Group is Australia’s first licensed cannabis producer, and Aurora owns nearly one-third of the company. And although the two companies met and discussed a potential transaction earlier this year, according to a statement “no offer has been submitted.”
That does not mean Aurora’s strategy is stagnant. It is quite the opposite. While investors wait on a possible Australian acquisition, Aurora is exploring other options. On Friday, the company announced that Australis, their spin-off company, received a receipt for its final prospectus. Once approved, shares in the new company will be distributed to Aurora’s shareholders, and Australis will be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Australis will be Aurora’s tool for investing in the budding American cannabis market. “Australis provides its shareholders with access to deal-flow in the U.S market, where many successful operators have struggled to access growth capital in an opportunity-rich market,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said in a statement last week. “With a deeply networked and experienced management team, and a strong balance sheet, Australis is well positioned to capitalize in the U.S. by acquiring attractively priced cannabis assets with high growth potential.”
As one of the biggest pot stocks in the industry right now, Aurora is keeping all of their options open as they continue to expand into the global cannabis market.
And here’s an article published 23 August 2018 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that explains exactly why things won’t be changing any time soon
Australia ‘missing out’ on nutraceutical cannabis extract market due to current federal laws
Updated August 23, 2018 09:54:38
Key players in the emerging industrial hemp business say Australia is missing a golden opportunity to develop a nutraceuticals industry based on the non-psychoactive ingredients in the cannabis plant.
New research suggests that so-called cannabidiols or CBDs are found in plants grown for fibre or seed grain and they can treat a wide range of medical problems including serious forms of epilepsy.
But under Australian law, growers cannot harvest this material unless they are licensed by the Federal Office for Drug Control under strict security conditions.
Last January Health Minister Greg Hunt gave the green light for a medical cannabis industry in Australia.
“Our goal is very clear, to give Australian farmers and manufacturers the best shot at being the world’s number one exporter of medical cannabis,” Mr Hunt said.
Since then 19 licenses have been issued for medical cannabis cultivation and another 13 for cannabis narcotic manufacture.
But fewer than a thousand Australians have access to cannabis medication through their doctors and none of the imported products they have used are clinically proven.
The all-powerful American Federal Drug Agency only approved its first prescription medication derived from cannabis in June. Epidiolex has been found to reduce seizures in paediatric epilepsy.
Some of Australia’s largest producers of hemp seed food say the current laws shut them out of a potentially lucrative nutraceutical market where CBDs are sold in whole-of-plant cannabis extracts.
The products would have low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is the mind-altering cannabinol.
CEO of Hemp Foods Australia, Paul Benhaim, said his parent company Elixinol Global, sold CBD products without restriction in the United States.
“What we sell in the US is hemp derived CBD supplements, which can be sold over the counter, it’s sold in health food stores, it’s completely safe for many people to consume,” Mr Benhaim said.
“In Australia that is considered a highly dangerous prescription medicine only so we can’t actually sell the products we sell everywhere else in the world for people in Australia without having a license from the Office of Drug Control.”
Andrew Kavasilas is another leading player in the hemp food industry. His company Vita Hemp hopes to manufacture 1,500 tonnes of hemp seed into food and oil products by March next year. Although Vita Hemp’s parent company is licensed to grow and manufacture medical cannabis, its food growers could not exploit the CBDs in their crops
“When we talk about 5,000 years of historical evidence of cannabis being used for medicine it was always high THC in various doses, whereas it’s quite clear that industrial hemp derived cannabinoids weren’t really considered as a medicine,” Mr Kavasilas said.
“Now we have science showing us what we have in these plants and I think that’s kind of a game changer as well and we should be looking seriously at exploiting and using those cannabinoids.”
One of Australia’s most experienced hemp producers is Phil Warner, who has been growing and manufacturing products for more than 20 years. In 2014 he relocated his company to Kentucky in the United States because he believed Australian politicians were thwarting the development of the industry.
In 1999 he launched the first application for hemp food to be legalised in Australia, but governments then ignored nearly two decades of recommendations from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand that it be approved.
In Kentucky his company Ecofibre took on new partners and developed fibre products and a nutraceutical for a booming US wellbeing market.
“What you look at in the [United] States is a whole-of-plant extract, which is a bit like echinacea or any other sort of nutraceutical plant based wellbeing product, but in Australia you’re not allowed to harvest this unless you’ve got it behind a 12 foot fence and barbed wire and dogs and swipe cards and all sorts of stuff,” Mr Warner said.
The 66-year-old retired from Ecofibre this year and returned to Australia to develop a hemp research foundation but he said politics was again limiting the industry’s potential.
Hemp growers in Australia were struggling to compete against cheap imports from China and Canada but if they could exploit the CBD’s in their low THC crops they could develop a profitable industry.
“Australia has a wonderful opportunity here, we have from latitude 16 down to 42, we can grow crops on a continual basis throughout the year, harvesting in the south, moving all the way to the north throughout an eight month period,” Mr Warner said.
“We can produce better product than anybody else can but if it has to be behind a 12-foot barbed wire fence with security guards, lights and swipe cards to get in and out — it’s not going to happen.
“And at the end of the day what we must realise in Australia is this is for everybody, not just the pharmaceutical companies to make money out of.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt’s office declined to answer questions but his department said Australia was bound by the United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs which prohibited cannabis extracts from being used for non-medical purposes.
CBDs were now scheduled as prescription only medicine, a spokesman said.
By some estimates up to 100,000 Australians are now using medical cannabis products illegally.
The United Nations will conduct its first review in November of marijuana’s classification under international drug treaties.
It follows a report by the UN World Health Organisation which found that pure CBD should not be scheduled as a dangerous narcotic.