The Australian cannabis sector must put clinical research and product innovation at its core as it enters a new phase of growth and maturity, according to senior business leaders.

But it must also tackle familiar issues that continue to hamper progress and frustrate local producers.

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In a wide-ranging discussion at the GCI cannabis summit, industry executives identified different quality standards for local and imported products, and the promotion of cannabis as a “cure-all” medicine, as on-going issues that need addressing.

The need for clinical trials and new product was also imperative, with companies needing to demonstrate their potential to attract funds from increasingly savvy investors.

The days of over-eager fund managers jumping on the bandwagon appear over, the discussion heard.

Now, investors want details of when and how revenue will be generated, and “what the medicine may look like”.

Fleta Solomon - Medical Cannabis Australia - Cannabiz
Fleta Solomon: Product innovation is where the focus needs to be

Little Green Pharma (LGP) chief executive Fleta Solomon said the mindset of the investment community has changed “even in the short life span of LGP”.

“They are now looking at the revenue pathway, when and how long before a company might break even, when it will realise a profit and when they will see a return on their investment,” she said.