Colombian producer Foliumed has fulfilled its first export order for an Australian licensed producer in a move which founder and CEO Oliver Zugel claims will make medicinal cannabis more affordable and help it move from a niche to a mainstream treatment.

Zugel said FoliuMed and other Colombian companies can cultivate and extract cannabis at less than 1/10th of the cost of producers in North American or Australia.

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He added while these producers were previously hampered by the lack of EU-GMP certification or TGA 93 compliance, this is no longer the case.

Writing exclusively for Cannabiz, Zugel said: “Celebrating its fifth anniversary, remarkable progress has been made in the Australian medical cannabis industry in terms of regulation, patient access and awareness.

Foliumed founder and CEO Oliver Zugel: Australian patients pay more for cannabis than anyone else in the world.

“However, to fully unlock their potential, cannabis medicines need not only be efficacious and available, but also affordable.

“At over A$200 for a monthly dose and without insurance reimbursement, Australian patients pay more for their medicine than anyone in the world.”

Under the export arrangement, Foliumed worked with the local producer – a publicly listed company with its own cultivation and GMP extraction capability – to formulate a primary ingredient which it can process and purify as a starter material under its own Australian GMP manufacturing authorization.

Zugel said the arrangement lowers operating costs for importers by more than 50% and saves significant investment in cultivation infrastructure.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...