Major Project Status (MPS), managed through the Department of Industry, is awarded to projects which could drive exports, jobs and industry development, particularly in rural and regional areas.
It is now being extended to support medicinal cannabis companies through a number of measures, including by making the process of obtaining a licence easier.
Successful applicant companies will be fast tracked into gaining their medicinal cannabis licence under the supervision of the Office of Drug Control in the Department of Health.
The Office of Drug Control has so far issued 69 licences to cultivate, produce or manufacture medicinal cannabis.
Among them are 24 licences for cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use, 16 for cultivation for research and 23 for manufacturing of medicinal cannabis products.
Australian health minister Greg Hunt said: “Cutting red tape and streamlining processes will strengthen this important and evolving industry, and ensure medicinal cannabis is available to Australian patients under proper medical supervision.
“The government will also work towards a single licence model so there will now be one application for a medicinal cannabis licence covering cultivation, production, manufacture and research activities.”
To date over 10,000 prescriptions have now been written in Australia for medicinal cannabis products.
Approximately 7196 patients have been authorised to access medicinal cannabis products through the Special Access and Authorised Prescriber Schemes
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