Australia aiming high, wants to become world’s top pot exporter when trade opens in February
Australia hopes to become the world’s largest exporter of medical marijuana by helping domestic growers expand their business and allowing them to sell the herb overseas.
Australia agreed to allow exports of medicinal cannabis starting from February and immediately set the bar for local growers by aiming to become the world’s largest exporter.
“This is actually a very important step for our domestic patients and our domestic supply,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said Thursday, ABC Australia reports. “By knowing they have an Australian market and an international market, that improves the likelihood of growing and production in Australia.”
Australia, Hunt noted, wants to become “the world’s number one medicinal cannabis supplier,” as long as it does not jeopardize the quality of marijuana being supplied to the local patients.
When the Australian Parliament convenes in February, it will amend existing regulations to allow for cannabis exports abroad, the minister said. Apart from the raw herb, the new rules will enable manufacturers to also export cannabis oils, patches, sprays, lozenges, and tablets. On 24 February 2016, Australia legalized medicinal cannabis on a federal level, subject to state and territory regulations.
Legal cannabis sales in the US have seen a sharp increase this year, with total purchases growing by 30 percent, a report by Marijuana Business Daily says.
It suggests sales could grow even more next year.
Legal pot sales could increase by another 45 percent in 2018, the latest annual report by Marijuana Business Daily said.
The publication, a trade news website for professionals in the recreational and medical cannabis industry in the US, further forecasts that legal weed sales in America could quadruple between 2016 and 2021, with the marijuana market eventually hitting highs of $17 billion in sales.
As sales figures rise, so too the debate around its legalization. It’s no longer a taboo topic as the number of people supporting such a move swells in the US.
According to Gallup’s October 2017 annual survey on cannabis, as many as 64 percent of respondents said they want to see pot legalized, an all-time record, according to some media outlets. The number of weed legalization supporters in the US has grown by almost 40 percent since 1995, when California became the first US state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Back then, only about 25 percent backed the idea to legalize the herb.
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