Weed Week: Most Aussies still use illicit cannabis, but more are now turning to prescriptions
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
New research just released by the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative finds that most Australians are still medicating with illicit cannabis, although numbers accessing prescription products have risen dramatically.
The survey found that 37% of respondents had received a legal prescription for medicinal cannabis, up from 2.5% in the 2018 survey.
“The data suggests we have seen a transition from illicit to legal use of medical cannabis,” said lead researcher, Professor Nicholas Lintzeris.
Overall, respondents reported positive outcomes of medical cannabis use, with 95% reporting improvement to their health.
The main reason for using prescribed medicinal cannabis was chronic pain, consistent with data from the TGA.
Meanwhile, Aussies using illicit cannabis were more likely to be treating mental health or sleep conditions.
Asked why they were using illicit products, most cited the inability to find medical practitioners who are willing to prescribe.
This answer is consistent with findings from a recent 2020 Senate Inquiry into the barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia.
The survey also revealed that those using illicit cannabis were more likely to smoke their cannabis, compared to people using prescribed products who were more likely to use oral products or vaporised cannabis.
“There are advantages in using prescribed medical cannabis over illicit cannabis,” said Professor Iain McGregor, academic director at the Lambert Initiative.
“These include safer routes of administration, greater certainty of access, and better communication between patients and doctors.
“Patients can also be informed of the exact THC/CBD composition, which is an ongoing problem with illicit product. There should be further efforts to transition patients from illicit to regulated, quality-controlled, cannabis products.”
11 weed stocks rose during the week, while 14 stocks fell.
MGC pharma is set to expand its European footprints further after receiving permission from the Slovenian Ministry of Health to undergo scientific research on the psychedelic compound, psilocybin.
The permission allows MGC to develop analytical methods, research physical-chemical properties of psilocybin, and undergo the development of pharmaceutical forms that would be suitable for administration in Slovenia.
It will also enable MGC to provide services related to the growing industry of psychedelics.
“We are pleased to have obtained permission from the Slovenian Ministry of Health to undertake pharmaceutical research with psilocybin, which puts the company at the forefront of experimental, pharmaceutical research,” said MGC Pharma CEO, Roby Zomer.
“We are extremely grateful to the Slovenian Health Ministry for enabling us to utilise our research expertise in this area.”
Avecho fell 37% in the past week as the company conducts a cap raise for approximately $11 million.
The company is conducting an entitlement offer on the basis of one new share for every one existing share held by eligible shareholdes, at an issue price of $0.006 per share.
The offer also includes three free attaching new options for every two new shares subscribed for.
Funds raised will be used to conduct the Phase III clinical trial of its proprietary TPM enhanced CBD soft-gel capsule to manage the symptoms of insomnia, and associated manufacturing requirements.
LGP also announced that it has secured firm commitments for a $5 million placement from new and existing institutional and sophisticated investors.
LGP’s CEO Fleta Solomon also committed an additional $50,000 to the placement subject to shareholder approval.
The company said it will use the funds to repay the balance of the Canopy Loan Note, and for working capital and costs of the offer.
LGP continues its focus on targeting a break-even position, to be driven by new supply agreements in Europe and increasing sales in Australia,.
Emyria and Aspen Australia have signed an exclusive binding term sheet agreement for the licensing and commercialisation of EMD-RX5.
Under the deal, Emyria will receive a royalty of up to 10% based on annual net sales, with aggregate milestone payments of $400k for satisfying agreed milestones.
EMD-RX5 is Emyria’s first, ultra-pure CBD capsule targeting TGA registration as an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for the symptoms of mild stress and anxiety for patients with a chronic health condition.
The drug is is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and aiming to be the first to market. It is a solid capsule form medication, a preferred dosage form for patients and prescribers.
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