Australia has amended pertinent legal guidelines in an effort to put its medical cannabis and hemp exporters ready to “come out firing” after the COVID-19 disaster eases, the nation’s agriculture minister mentioned.

The Export Control Legislation Amendment (Certification of Narcotic Exports) Bill 2020 was authorized within the House of Representatives on June 10 and within the Senate on June 17.

“The amendments will remove unnecessary and unintended regulatory barriers imposed on Australia’s exports,” in accordance to the invoice’s explanatory memorandum.

“This will facilitate trade and the growth of Australia’s legitimate export markets for low-THC hemp, medicinal cannabis industries, as well as other legitimate narcotic goods exports.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud mentioned the bill broadens current legislation to enable for certification of medical cannabis and hemp exports.

“As this industry gains scale, markets will require export certification from the Australian government. The proposed amendments will allow Australian exports to meet the biosecurity import requirements for any market that requires a phytosanitary certificate,” the minister instructed parliament.

He mentioned international locations with strict import guidelines – similar to a requirement for phytosanitary certificates for unprocessed plant merchandise – embody Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.

“These are all markets that require official phytosanitary certification – certification that the passage of this bill will finally allow Australian authorities to issue,” Littleproud mentioned.

“This bill will enable the growth of export markets for hemp and medicinal cannabis industries. The bill will support the initiatives of the government to reduce red tape, bust congestion in regulation and enable agricultural industries to come out firing, after the threat of COVID-19 has passed,” he mentioned.

Australia’s export ambitions come because the nation hit a file of 4,133 affected person approvals for medical cannabis in May.

Faster entry

The authorized modification will enable Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to difficulty phytosanitary certificates for the export of medical cannabis and hemp merchandise, Rhys Cohen, principal marketing consultant for North Sydney-based information agency FreshLeaf Analytics, instructed Marijuana Business Daily.

“The lack of phytosanitary certification was identified as an issue in 2018,” he mentioned. “Since then, government assurances have been used in place of certificates.”

The strategy of gaining such authorities assurances is a time-consuming affair, placing native producers at an obstacle, in accordance to Sen. Perin Davey.

“For our legal narcotics, we want to ensure that our growers are not at a competitive disadvantage in international markets, and this bill deals with that quickly and efficiently,” she mentioned.

The invoice successfully eases restrictions so Australia’s producers can entry extra markets.

“This legislation is designed to give our producers of legal narcotic products the same chance as we give to our wool-, beef- and wine-producing farmers, who enjoy the status of being leading Australian agricultural exporters,” she mentioned.

Sen. Kristina Keneally mentioned, “We think it is time for the government to harness the full potential of this crop.”

Competition grows

The variety of international locations hoping to capitalize on medical cannabis exports is rising extra shortly than the markets they’re hoping to attain.

That may create a serious downside for companies underneath the misunderstanding there’s a multibillion-dollar international export market.

Canada, for instance, exported a file 5,372.Three liters (1,419 gallons) of cannabis oil merchandise in 2019, together with 3,740 kilograms (8,245 kilos) of dried cannabis for medical and scientific use.

However, most of these exports went to only some markets – one among which was Australia.

To faucet the leftover markets, Australia’s cannabis producers should compete in opposition to these from the Netherlands, Canada, Colombia, Denmark and Israel.

Countries with a eager eye on the export market additionally embody Jamaica, Greece, Portugal, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and New Zealand, and the checklist is rising.

In the meantime, among the world’s largest cannabis producers, together with Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth have scaled again their lofty worldwide ambitions.

The explanatory memorandum for Australia’s new law is obtainable right here.

The textual content of the law is obtainable right here.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s worldwide editor, primarily based close to Toronto. He could be reached at [email protected].

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