Some of the world’s leading cannabis scientists, researchers, regulators, and business owners will descend upon Australia this month to discuss the potential of the industry Down Under.

Medical cannabis spending in Australia is forecast to rise from $52 million in 2018 to $1.2 billion by 2027.

CannaTech Sydney, held on Darling Island from October 29-30, will focus on innovation, policy, regulation, science, medicine, and regulation. Israeli firm CannaTech has already held summits in Tel Aviv, London, and Panama, and it chose Sydney as its next destination as it is “a key and growing player in the exploding cannabis field”.

Cannabis is legalized for medical use in Australia, although recreational use remains outlawed. The Arcview Group forecasts that medical cannabis spending in Australia will rise from $52 million in 2018 to $1.2 billion by 2027. CannaTech’s chief executive, Saul Kaye, is Australian and he claims his countrymen are outraged over the lack of easy access to products for epilepsy, pain, and cancer treatments. Nine in ten Australians support the use of medicinal marijuana and there is a campaign to make it more readily available. This is an obstacle that the conference will seek to overcome.

“Many Australian cannabis companies are on the cutting edge of the market and we are thrilled to bring some of the world’s leading companies and investors to Australia to meet with their counterparts to discuss a range of business and technological issues,” said Kaye.

MGC Pharma, Spectrum, CannaGroup, AusCann, MediFarm, Canngea, Little Green Pharma, Cresco, Everblue Capital, CannaTrek, Nutrition Care, BOD Australia, BioCeuticals and WHG are among the firms signed up for the event.

There are now 25 cannabis firms listed on the ASX. Most of the medicinal cannabis consumed in the country has been imported from Canada, but Australian-made products are starting to hit shelves, cutting the cost for local patients.

The first cannabis clinic has just opened in Queensland, charging AU$300 ($215) for an initial consultation before patients are allowed to buy marijuana. Cannabis Access Clinic has been set up to treat people suffering from chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions.

The firm is headquartered in Sydney, with clinics in Sydney and Melbourne already up and running, and it has plans to open further dispensaries across Australia and New Zealand. Its products must meet the quality assurance standards that are mandated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, ensuring they’re tested for potency, microbiological contamination, residual pesticides and toxins, and that they come from a 100% natural source. These sorts of clinics will be key drivers of growth in Australia as it veers towards that forecasted $1.2 billion industry.

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