Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG) has announced a A$92m deal to export cannabis flower to Europe, marking the beginning of a trade partnership with a region which could become the world’s largest legal market.

The landmark 10-year deal will initially see around two tons of ANTG locally cultivated dried medicinal cannabis shipped to Germany over the next 18 months and distributed via pharmaceutical wholesaler Cannamedical Pharma.

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ANTG CEO Matt Cantelo hailed the deal as a victory for Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry and its ability to meet the European Union’s strict regulations on imports.

He said: “The high benchmarks in Australia… set us up as the best in the world and keep the cowboys out. Australia also has the reputation and climate for growing excellent produce in general – it makes sense that we would produce the highest quality, non-irradiated medicinal cannabis product as well.

“While the German cannabis industry is still in its infancy, it is the third largest market globally behind the US and Canada.”

ANTG’s growing and manufacturing facility complies with international quality standards, which Cantelo said would further boost its international ambitions.

“Now that we have the gold standard in growing and manufacturing medicinal cannabis – in line with the most stringent in the world – it means our product also qualifies for export to every other nation,” he added.

The market for medicinal cannabis in Germany is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade, with an average price per gram of 5-7 Euros and Prohibition Partners forecasting it will reach $12.4 billion by 2028.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia is poised to become a recognised leader in the global supply of the highest quality medicinal cannabis.