Frequently Asked Questions
What is Spring Sciences Australia's Vision?
SSA’s vision is to facilitate access to medicinal cannabis to relieve unnecessary pain and suffering of patients by developing Queensland’s premier cannabis growing, processing and medical product development business. The Company will focus on premium quality product cultivated in leading-edge automated climate and light controlled indoor facilities to maximize quality and yield for both domestic and international medicinal markets.
What is Spring Sciences Australia's business?
Building on our United States partner’s successful and expanding cannabis business in the state of Michigan, SSA is pursuing to develop Queensland’s premier Cannabis growing, processing and product development business with a goal of achieving a significant share of the rapidly expanding Australian market, augmented by supplying key international medicinal markets. Spring Sciences leading-edge research will aid in SSA’s fast-track development to produce desired cannabis cultivars for high quality medical cannabinoid product lines demanded by the market.
What is the regulatory status of the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia?
On 29 February 2016, the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 (ND Amendment Act) received Royal Assent resulting in a series of amendments to the ND Act and the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (TG Act).
The key purpose of the reforms was to legalise and facilitate a sustainable safe and secure supply chain of medicinal cannabis products to Australian patients – whilst also ensuring that Australia remains compliant with its international treaty obligations.
From 30 October 2016, individuals and companies could apply to the Commonwealth Government for a licence to cultivate cannabis and/or manufacture medicinal cannabis products for medicinal or research purposes.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in 2017 rescheduled certain medicinal cannabis products to schedule 8 of the Poisons Standard, making the prescription of medicinal cannabis legal in Australia.
Most Australian States have enacted or are also in the process of enacting legislation and a legal framework for allowing supply of, and access to, medicinal cannabis. Queensland introduced legislation to legalise medicinal cannabis.
The cultivation, manufacture and wholesaling of medicinal cannabis products is tightly regulated. For Industrial cannabis conditions, there are currently 3 primary licence types under the Act:
(1) a medicinal cannabis licence, covering cultivation, production or both, which is required where cannabis is to be supplied for human medicinal use;
(2) a cannabis research cultivation licence, covering cultivation, production or both, which is appropriate where cannabis is to be used solely for research purposes (supply for human use is prohibited); and
Importantly, an ODC licence must be accompanied by an associated permit which authorises the licence holder to engage in cultivation, production, research or manufacture. These are the "medicinal cannabis permit", "cannabis research permit" and "manufacture permit".
What is the size of the medicinal cannabis market today?
The Australian market for legalised medicinal cannabis use is valued at between A$40M-60M million in 2019, which could increase to A$1.3B by 2028, or up to A$3B in the event recreational use of cannabis be legalised.
The two factors positioning Australia as a global leader in medicinal cannabis are strict regulations and government-led research labs. Australia is also moving towards the full legalisation of recreational cannabis. The ACT has already taken the legislative lead with limited production for personal use.
While the Australian cannabis market has made great strides over the last two years, it is still in an embryonic stage of development. Despite arriving moderately late in the game, the country is well positioned to become a major global player in the export market—which is expected to be worth US$55B by 2025—on the back of its already thriving agricultural sector.
Although Australia only legalised cannabis exports in 2018, it already has plenty of experience in the agri-pharma business and is responsible for approximately 50 percent of the world's legal poppy supply. These poppies eventually are processed by pharmaceutical companies into medicinal grade opiates such as codeine and morphine.
However, the country still has several hurdles to overcome if it wants to fulfil its ambition of dominating the global cannabis export market, such as heavy financing requirements, a repressive and convoluted licensing system, and a medical profession that is reluctant to prescribe the product.