THC Global has forecast “exponential growth” in demand for low-dose CBD products if authorities make medicinal cannabis available over the counter.
Health officials will meet later this month to discuss proposals to downgrade low-dose cannabidiol from schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard to schedule 3.
Schedule 4 medicines require a prescription while those listed under schedule 3 are available over the counter in pharmacies.
A ruling, which will be closely watched by the industry, is expected in September with any change likely to come into effect on February 1 next year.
THC Global said it was “exceptionally well positioned” to capitalise on the widespread availability of CBD in the event of a positive decision.
“This will result in exponential growth in demand for pharmaceutical CBD products,” the company said in a statement. “THC Pharma, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, can manufacture cannabis medicines at its Southport facility at global scale.
“The capacity to manufacture cannabis-sourced medicines for hundreds of thousands of patients on an ongoing basis is matched with highly scalable sources of biomass from its own facilities, from additional local cannabis growers and from imported raw crude extract.”
The comments came as THC revealed that its first Australian-produced medicinal cannabis product, launched last month under its Canndeo brand, has been prescribed to its first local patient.
Chief executive Ken Charteris heralded its ability to “help Australians”, adding it was looking to expand its range of CBD medicines for doctors to prescribe.
“Australians may soon have access to CBD medicines without prescription at pharmacies and we look forward to these developments being progressed safely and responsibly,” he added.
The application to reclassify low-dose CBD was submitted to the Joint Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) and Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS) following a safety review conducted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The TGA said at low doses CBD “appears to have an acceptable safety and tolerability profile”.
“While there are some minor signals of adverse effects such as mild drowsiness and fatigue, this could be managed as for similar S3 medicines,” the report states.
That could include labels warning against driving or operating machinery.
The reclassification would mean Australians over the age of 18 could access up to 60mg of CBD oil a day.
It would also bring Australia in line with international markets including the US and Europe.