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Australia to ease barriers on medical marijuana export

Australia has declared that it aims to become the world’s largest supplier of marijuana for medical use, which is predicted to reach a market size of approximately 60 trillion won ($56.5 million) by 2025.

ABC Australia reported Thursday that Greg Hunt, Minister for Health in the Australian federal government, is seeking make changes in current regulations on the export of medical marijuana products when parliament reopens next month.

Hunt claimed that lifting export regulations will increase Australian markets and eventually help supply marijuana to Australian patients with higher levels of stability and safety.

Medical marijuana (Yonhap)
Medical marijuana (Yonhap)

Australia first enacted legislation permitting marijuana cultivation in October 2016, and the first permit came in March last year. The government legalized cultivation of marijuana for medical use to help enhance the welfare of patients suffering from exacerbating pain.

However, many doctors are yet reluctant to prescribe marijuana for patients because of inconvenient procedures that are required.

Nonetheless, the demand for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is mounting, with countries such as Uruguay, Canada and the Netherlands already exporting and Israel anticipated to follow. A majority of US states also have legalized marijuana for medical use.

According to a 2015 report by the Journal of the American Medical Association, marijuana can be effective in alleviating chronic pain. However, there is still worldwide dispute on its effectiveness as well as possible side effects.

By Cho Yun-myung (