First export of Australian medicinal cannabis will soon be in British patients’ hands

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

A special delivery package that recently landed on British soil is sure to change the landscape of medical cannabis in the United Kingdom forever the first batch of Australian medicinal cannabis has been exported to the European country. Registered medical cannabis patients are eagerly waiting to get their paws on Little Green Pharma’s stash, which includes a mixture of oral products rich in the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and the non-psychoactive substance CBD (cannabidiol).

LGP is one of a handful of companies that has received GMP certification to produce medicinal cannabis products for the British market; GMP stands for ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’. This certification is essential for regulating the production, verification and validation of products to ensure they are safe for market distribution. 

Although this is the U.K.’s first ever shipment to be received from the Australian cannabis company, the British medical cannabis market is already poised for major growth. According to an MP-backed report, the U.K. medical cannabis industry is predicted to inflate to £1.05 billion – equivalent to USD $1.3 billion – by 2024. By this time, as many as 400,000 patients are expected to be enrolled in the program.

“This first export of Australian-produced medicinal cannabis oils to the U.K. marks an important step in fulfilling Australia’s vision of building a global medicinal cannabis industry capable of supplying quality medicinal cannabis products to both Australian and overseas patients,” said the Honourable Greg Hunt Australia’s Minister for Health.

Australia’s first medical cannabis export to the U.K.: LGP’s products will be distributed by Astral Health 

The U.K.’s first ever shipment of Australian medical cannabis was officially confirmed on April 15, 2020 by Elixxer Ltd. — the company that has teamed up with LGP for the export. A British company called Astral Health will be responsible for distributing LGP’s medical cannabis products throughout the U.K. market. Astral – a subsidiary of the LYPHE Group – specializes in the importation and distribution of medicinal cannabis products.

“Little Green Pharma is one of a few companies with GMP-produced cannabinoid medicines available in the U.K. We are proud to be leading the charge in helping patients across the globe access quality Australian medicinal cannabis products,” said LGP Managing Director Fleta Solomon. 

Initially confirmed with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on February 19, LGP’s medical cannabis export was finally completed one month after import permits were approved; the U.K. Home Office and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave notice on March 2 that said permits could be awarded for medical cannabis importation. However, permits are dependent on prescription quantities.

Combined, these announcements demonstrate evolution in the British medical cannabis market. The U.K. cannabis movement really started to take off on November 1, 2018, when Home secretary Sajid Javid announced that cannabis-derived medicines would become available on the National Health Service (NHS). By providing patients with greater access to pharmaceutical-grade plant medicines, more partnerships can be established between suppliers and distributors, thus enabling the market to continuously expand. 

Australia’s first medical cannabis export to the U.K.: About the companies involved 

Little Green Pharma – the vertically-integrated medical cannabis company that produced Australia’s shipment for the U.K. market – is heavily involved in various aspects of the market, such as cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and production. LGP is also renowned for educating its audience and organizing outreach programs, in addition to its involvement in carrying out clinical trials and research projects for the creation of medical cannabis delivery systems.

The company – which serves markets spread across Australia and overseas – prides itself on producing plant-based medicines in accordance with the regulations and testing requirements outlined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Boasting an indoor grow house in Western Australia, LGP transforms its plants into branded medicinal-grade cannabis products with help from a GMP-licensed pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Elixxir is a Canadian cannabis company that lists its stock shares publicly on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V: ELXR) and the US OTC-QB exchange (OTCQB: ELIXF). Not only is the company involved in partnerships throughout Australia and Canada but also, Jamaica, Switzerland, Italy and Canada.