Medicinal cannabis THC Global (ASX:THC) advised the market this morning that the time has arrived — it’s now ready to commence production at Southport.

The company said it’s now the holder of a manufacture permit from the Australian Office of Drug Control (ODC). The permit gives clearance for Southport to manufacture products using plant material from licensed growers.

In turn, THC said it expects to “immediately commence” medicinal cannabis production. While shares have struggled in the second half of the year, today’s announcement was the catalyst for an 8 per cent rise in morning trade.

Getting things moving

The permit approval follows a provisional clearance measure that THC obtained back in July, when the AODC granted a manufacturing licence for the Southport facility.

Speaking with Stockhead, CEO Ken Charteris clarified a key difference between licenses and permits in the sector.

“I’ve said continuously over the last 12 months — licenses just mean you’ve got a right to apply for a permit, you need to have a high-grade facility. We’re now a fully permitted facility compliant with the ODC,” he said.

Getting that level of certification is “tough, and it’s tough for a reason”, Charteris said. “We are the first European-grade pharmaceutical S8 facility that’s capable under the Narcotics Act to produce and deliver finished medical cannabis for Australian patients.”

Stockhead has contacted THC for comment to provide additional details about how the approval process works, and whether the receipt of a permit gives THC a competitive advantage in the local market.

The company said its Southport facility gives it the “largest extraction capacity for medicinal cannabis in Australia”.

Product validation for both packaged goods and bulk medicinal cannabis products will be approved by December, laying the groundwork for a commercial rollout “in early 2020”.

“Our scale and technology will enable us to offer patients a higher quality, more consistent cannabis medicine at a significantly lower cost than the current imported products available to Australian patients,” CEO Ken Charteris said.


THC just got those long-awaited narcotics licenses
THC Global has landed its manufacturing licence for Southport