The Government has announced it will invest an additional $1.7 million from 2020–21 to 2023–24 in the Office of Drug Control.

The increased funding will be dedicated to the administration of medicinal cannabis research, cultivation and the manufacture regulation scheme. 

In a public statement, the Government said: “This funding ensures that essential regulatory functions such as the assessment of licence and permit applications and compliance are undertaken in a streamlined and timely manner. 

“This measure will support the continued operation and growth of the Australian medicinal cannabis industry in supplying high quality products to patients both locally and internationally.

“It is important that the cultivation of medicinal cannabis is properly managed to ensure patients who need it benefit from it and product produced under these licences is used for its intended purpose,” said the statement.

The value of the domestic medicinal cannabis industry is approaching $1.8 billion. On 30 June 2020, there were 114 licences in force, including in rural and regional areas. It is expected that up to 140 licences will be in force by the end of 2020–21.