Special Report: Cannabis company Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) is welcoming a big shift in how Australia regulates CBD oil. As of today, registered low-dose cannabidiol products can be sold in Australian pharmacies.

February 1 marks the effective date of a decision in December by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to down-schedule CBD oils and pills as schedule 3 substances, rather than schedule 4.

This means that products containing up to 150mg of cannabidiol (CBD) can be sold by pharmacists without a prescription, if they’ve been included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. Right now, such products require a doctor’s prescription, making access cumbersome.

While CBD-only cannabis products won’t get users high as they lack THC ( the psychoactive component of marijuana), users say they still work to reduce stress and promote well-being. They’ve become mainstream enough that American domestic diva Martha Stewart launched her own line of CBD gummies in September.

“Today is a major milestone for the Australian medicinal cannabis industry, which we anticipate will grow rapidly over the coming months,” said non-executive chairman Adam Blumenthal.

Sydney-based FreshLeaf Analytics has estimated that the market could exceed $200 million per year.

With its existing portfolio of CBD products already available in Australia via prescription – including its CannaQIX 50 CBD lozenges sold under the LozaCan brand – Creso says it is well-placed to capitalise on this market opportunity.

The company has already signed a heads of agreement with leading natural health and lifestyle brand supplier Martin & Pleasance to bring Creso’s cannabis products to the Australian market.

The company has its own in-house regulatory team and an extensive workforce that directly services over 4,000 pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand, supplying them with products such as the company’s Ener-C multivitamin drink mix; Schuessler Tissue Salts; and Zen Joint & Pain relief.

Creso says that discussions with Martin & Pleasance are progressing very well, with both parties sharing information to progress potential regulatory pathways and defining business cases.

“We will continue to work with Martin & Pleasance to define the specific regulatory pathway for our product in the Australian market and look forward to proving its superiority through the ARTG registration process,” Blumenthal says.

“Creso continues to progress a number of growth initiatives in Australia and internationally and looks forward to updating shareholders as developments materialise.”

The company is currently also manufacturing recreational cannabis in Canada via its Mernova Medicinal subsidiary, and making hemp-based animal health products in Switzerland it has been selling to Latin America.

Creso’s CannaQIX CBD nutraceutical lozenges are also sold in South Africa, and Creso’s distribution partner plans to expand sales elsewhere in Africa.

This article was developed in collaboration with Creso Pharma, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.