TGA makes interim decision on CBD products official but cannabis stocks actually dropped
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
Link copied to
The cannabis sector got more good news today with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration finalising its interim decision to let consumers obtain low-dose cannabinoid (CBD) oils and pills from pharmacists.
Currently CBD oils and pills are classified schedule 4 drug, meaning they require a doctor’s prescription.
But as of February, they will designated as class 3 substances, meaning they can obtained from pharmacists without a prescription – as long as they have less than one per cent THC.
Further icing on the cake was the TGA increasing the dose to 150mg per day (up from 60mg/day in the interim decision) and the TGA bringing forward implementation to February 2021.
However, products may take longer to formally hit the shelves and companies have to proactively apply to be included.
Cannabis analytics firm Freshleaf welcomed the TGA ruling, particularly regulatory specialist Tony Whittaker who said he was excited.
“This gives a great opportunity for industry to develop products that consumers can access directly after consultation with their pharmacist,” he said.
However, Whittaker warned would-be pot providers not to get too complacent.
“[The] TGA has exacting standards, which will present a significant challenge to this young industry,” he said.
Freshleaf managing director Cassandra Hunt predicted there would be a race to get products to market.
“History suggests that the first movers among product companies will be the winners, with the first movers in the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia still dominating the industry today,” she said.
“The race is now on to get products in the market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, assuming companies are able to overcome the challenge of proving efficacy.”
However, ASX cannabis stocks actually retreated yesterday, unlike in September when the TGA made its interim ruling. Nevertheless, the average sector gain is still high – at 47 per cent.
One of the few to rise yesterday was Althea Group (ASX:AGH) which announced another capital raising.
Also commenting was THC Global (ASX:THC), whose shares fell five per cent yesterday.
“With one of the world’s largest cannabis extraction facilities, THC Global is well-positioned to take advantage of this move towards over-the-counter CBD medicines sales with the capacity to commence high volume production in the near term,” it said.
THC also said that the decision to increase the maximum recommended daily dosage would result in better potential patient outcomes.