Australia’s medical cannabis sales might surpass Canada’s in near future

Australia’s medical cannabis industry continues to experience brisk growth in patients and sales, and experts say the market could even surpass Canada’s medical sector this year.

Australian patients generally access medical cannabis via two government-regulated programs: the so-called Special Access Scheme Category B (SAS-B) system or from an Authorized Prescriber, typically a physician.

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Australia legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

According to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) data, the number of SAS-B patient approvals for medical cannabis increased sharply every year from January 2018 to January 2022.

Patient approvals rose from 25,160 in 2019 to 57,710 in 2020 and almost 122,000 in 2021.

However, that number dropped to 117,000 in 2022.

Industry sources say SAS-B approvals declined last year partly because of reforms implemented in late 2021, which effectively pushed some patients to pick an alternative pathway for securing medical cannabis – through an Authorized Prescriber (AP).

TGA

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