Australia Is The Fastest Growing Medical Cannabis Market in the World
Prohibition Partners report that Australia is rapidly evolving as a medical cannabis market as authorities have got a grip on the plant’s potential and are positioning themselves to take advantage of international regulatory change.
This report first appeared in the Prohibition Partners newsletter on 25 January 2024.
Prohibition Partners has launched its Oceania Regulatory Report as global commentators flagged Australia as the fastest-growing medical market in the world.
Speaking at the launch of the data and intelligence firm’s Global Cannabis Report – released alongside its Oceania study – PHCANN International CEO Sasho Stefanovski said he expected Australia to repeat its stellar 2023 growth in the next 12 months.
“If I need to highlight one of the most evolving markets, I would pick Australia… the fastest-growing market [in] 2023 and this will continue in 2024,” he said.
“Australian patients recognise the need for medical cannabis and the authorities are quite understanding of that need.”
Prohibition Partners industry analyst/consultant Lawrence Purkiss agreed Australia is “probably the most promising country for international medical cannabis at the moment”, adding that the prospects for adult-use legalisation have also improved recently.
However, despite the growth, he flagged last year’s reforms to TGO93 as strengthening the hand of domestic producers at the expense of international exporters.
“Up until now it was easier for exporters coming into the Australian market to treat patients, there were [fewer] quality requirements for those products versus domestic products.
“Australian producers have been quite prominent in the export market, but their hand is now strengthened in the domestic market as well.”
Turning to New Zealand, Purkiss said regulatory changes lowering the barriers to entry for NZ exporters should boost international business.
“There’s already a little bit of export activity, but not as much as they would’ve hoped. But there has been regulatory change which has lowered the quality requirements [for exports] so we should see more New Zealand [products] entering the market.”
Purkiss said both countries saw regulatory changes in 2023 “directed towards making their companies more competitive and levelling the playing field between their domestic and the international cannabis industries and that’s something we will see more of going forward”.
He added: “One of the things missing in the international cannabis industry is the harmonisation of regulations and this is just one – or two – more steps towards that.”
Prohibition Partners’ Oceania Regulatory Report provides in-depth analysis of the regulatory environment for stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand including investors, operators and suppliers looking to accelerate their presence in the region.