Australia approves record number of medical cannabis patients

Australia’s medical cannabis market continues to grow.

In September, more than 6,000 patients were approved for medical marijuana treatment through the country’s Special Access Scheme (SAS) Category B pathway.

That’s the highest monthly gain since 2016 – when the majority of approvals started occurring.

Roughly 67,000 applications for unapproved medicinal cannabis products have been granted since the beginning of the program.

September’s figure is 18% higher than the previous month.

Though Australia’s patient count is rising, the market remains relatively small.

North Sydney-based data firm FreshLeaf Analytics forecasts the Australian medical cannabis market will rise to about 95 million Australian dollars ($70 million) in product sales this year.

Approved medical cannabis products, such as Sativex, are not included in the statistics.

Meanwhile, the country is reportedly considering a mandate that imported medical marijuana meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) quality standards.

Australia’s Department of Health is expected to launch consultations by the end of the year on increasing quality requirements for all imported cannabis products, local publication Cannabiz reported.

The Australian patient data can be found here.