MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia will provide A$3 million ($2.03 million) for research on the use of cannabis to help cancer patients, its health minister said on Sunday, as the demand for medicinal cannabis products grows rapidly.
While legal in most of Australia, such products are allowed only to patients on the prescription of a doctor, and a license is required to grow and make medicinal cannabis.
On Sunday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said access had been permitted to more than 11,000 patients, with most approvals this year.
“There have only been a limited number of well-designed clinical studies on medicinal cannabis, and we need to increase the evidence base to support medical professionals,” a ministry statement cited him as saying.
Health ministry data shows 78 companies now licensed to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis, up from one in March 2017.
Hunt was speaking at a fundraising walk led by Olivia Newton-John, the English-born Australian singer and actress who…
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