$1 million in support

MMJ PhytoTech (MMJ) says it has invested $1 million for a 16.7 per cent ownership stake in Biologics Research Institute Australia, the owner of Cannabis Access, the online portal for medical cannabis access in Australia.

Cannabis Access operates an online portal (cannabisaccess.com.au) for healthcare professionals that showcases the products available in Australia and the conditions for which they are best suited to treat. It also provides research to support cannabis use for each condition and a “seamless end-to-end process for accessing and prescribing medical cannabis”.

In most circumstances, doctors need to obtain both Therapeutic Goods Administration and state approvals (which are no longer required in NSW). Cannabis Access’ online portal prepopulates the forms necessary for doctors to obtain these approvals using the details of the product they’ve selected. The application process is supported by a call centre that speeds up the process.

There are 500 healthcare professionals signed up to the online portal. Cannabis Access says it expects this number to grow rapidly over the next few years.

Cannabis Access Executive Chair Giles Craig said: “We’re delighted to have the support of MMJ as we roll out our strategy to work with doctors throughout Australia and make it easier for them to prescribe medical cannabis.

“Based on mature markets for medical-cannabis access such as California, we estimate the addressable market in Australia to be around 500,000 patients. Currently, there are only 500 patients who are legally using medical cannabis in Australia at a time when we understand up to 100,000 patients are accessing it through other means.”

MMJ CEO Jason Conroy added: “At the moment, there are significant challenges for patients who want to access medical cannabis and doctors who want to prescribe it. Cannabis Access is strongly positioned to address these challenges and we’re proud to support them.”