Australia may have been the “tortoise” of the cannabis industry, but it is now preparing to become the dominant exporter of medicinal cannabis in the world, a conference has heard.

Fleta Solomon, managing director of WA-based Little Green Pharma, predicted Australia will “catapult” other international markets and is ready to “supply the rest of the world” with locally manufactured products.

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But she warned the cost of doing business locally continues to be a major obstacle, and stressed the education of doctors remained critical if patients were to get the medicine they need.

Speaking at a virtual conference organised by data and intelligence firm Prohibition Partners, Solomon conceded the Australian industry had been slow to develop. But is has now maneuvered into a position of strength, largely because of the EU-Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) quality of the product.

Fleta Solomon - Medical Cannabis Australia - Cannabiz
Little Green Pharma MD Fleta Solomon: Australian cannabis is ‘second to none’

“It was a little slow to begin with… but that has its advantages as it means we are abiding by true and already practiced rules and regulations for other medicinal products and narcotics, and it’s treated just the same,” she said. “And that results in the best quality because of our rigorous testing.

“In the long run, it’s like the tortoise and the hare. I think we’re going to come through as the tortoise, because we are now ready to supply the rest of the world.

“The number one factor is the quality of the product that is coming out of Australia. It is second to none. The EU-GMP quality is just incredible and that helps Australia catapult ahead of some of the other countries because we already have that framework set up. Now it’s just a matter of producing and exporting into other jurisdictions.”

Prohibition Partners co-founder Stephen Murphy agreed that Australia has cultivated and manufactured some of the world’s highest grades of cannabis.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...