On a back country road in northern NSW, up a nondescript dirt driveway, sits a highly secret facility.
Surrounded by strict security, thousands of cannabis plants are being carefully cultivated in state-of-the-art greenhouses for the medicinal cannabis market.
The Australian Natural Therapeutic Group facility, near Armidale, is about to start producing medicinal cannabis oil on a commercial scale – the first such manufacturing licence granted in the state.
The company’s chief executive Matthew Cantelo said he had noticed quite a large increase of approvals under the Special Access Scheme, as well as a rise in the number of authorised prescribers.
“[That] tells us that doctors are having more confidence in the safety and efficacy of the products,” he said.
“Also, the research is catching up.”
Professor Iain McGregor, from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney, said there was “increasingly good evidence” that cannabis was effective.
“It helps people get off more sinister drugs, particularly prescription opioids and Lyrica-type drugs as well, which can be very problematic,” he said.
Cannabis has two main chemical components. THC is the psychoactive ingredient, responsible for giving people the “high” feeling. Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not have the same psychoactive effect. Both are used in different levels as treatments for various conditions. [Read more @ The Sydney Morning Herald]
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