CSIRO grants medical cannabis manufacturing license


The Australian National Drug Administration has been granted a manufacturing license by Australia's national science agency to develop medicinal cannabis products.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said it will work to bridge the gap between cannabis cultivation and pharmaceutical production by developing protocols and the first prototype products before transferring the technology to manufacturers.

CSIRO scientist, Professor Peter Duggan, said: "We have been able to do early work on cannabis, but the new license will allow us to use innovative extraction, refining and formulation techniques to develop cannabis-derived cannabinoid drugs."

The news was welcomed by ASX-listed Cann Group, which has been working closely with CSIRO for more than three years.

Advertisement
Cannabinoid protein
"With this standalone license, CSIRO will be able to play a key role in helping to build a vibrant industry in Australia," said Peter Crock, chief executive of Cann Group.

Since 2017, CSIRO and the Cann Group have been conducting research to develop products to treat a range of conditions, including childhood epilepsy, chronic pain and loss of appetite in chemotherapy patients.

CSIRO has a secure facility called the Botanical Extracts Lab where commercial research on cannabis can be conducted. In addition to facilities for the formulation of cannabis products, the lab is equipped with a range of extraction equipment, including a supercritical CO2 extractor and instruments for conducting cannabinoid and terpene analysis.

In addition to ultimately benefiting patients, there are huge amounts of money involved. in its 2020 Oceania Cannabis Report, Prohibition Partners predicts that the value of Australia's cannabis market will jump to approximately $1.23 billion by 2024, up from approximately $40 million last year. Domestic revenue generated by the local cannabis industry.

However, in addition to domestic supply, Australian companies also export their products overseas. The global medicinal cannabis market is expected to reach $44 billion by 2024, and local companies are eager to capture a large portion of that.

CSIRO looks set to play a major role in all of this, with the organization noting that it is the only independent research body in Australia capable of developing protocols for the production of medicinal cannabis drugs.