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WIRE: Australia’s Parliament votes to permit medical marijuana production

Canberra, Australia: Australian lawmakers approved legislation to permit the licensed production and distribution of cannabis to qualified patients.

The measure amends the Narcotic Drugs Act of 1967 to allow “for the cultivation and production of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal and scientific purposes,” and to authorize “a state or territory government agency to undertake [in the] cultivation and production of cannabis and [in the] manufacture of medicinal cannabis products.”

The move by Parliament follows recent efforts by several Australian territories to provide patients participating in clinical trials with access to the plant.

“This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals,” Minister for Health Susan Ley said in a statement. “This is the missing piece in a patient’s treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy.”

Government officials still need to develop and approve regulations for the new program before any production licenses can be issued.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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