Medicinal cannabis company Althea Group (ASX: AGH) has bagged its second licence in as many weeks after securing an export licence from the Australian Government’s Office of Drug Control (ODC).
The licence grant means Althea now has full authority to export medicinal cannabis products and extracts manufactured in Australia to other countries around the world.
Two weeks ago, Althea was granted a manufacturing licence which allowed the medical cannabis newcomer to start work on its production facility, with an ultimate goal of creating a “vertically integrated, seed-to-sale, state of the art medicinal cannabis operation” in Victoria, Australia.
According to Althea’s CEO, Josh Fegan, the licence to export brings Althea a step closer to becoming a global medicinal cannabis producer with a production facility due to be completed sometime next year.
“Whilst we have only been listed publicly for seven weeks, the recent granting of key licences from the Office of Drug Control is a culmination of nearly two years of hard work.”
Althea’s path to the present
Mr Fegan founded Althea Health and Wellbeing in 2016, coinciding with the registration of the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016, in effect legalising the sale of medicinal cannabis patients under the scheme.
The overarching Althea company entity was created a year later in 2017 with the intention of acquiring the necessary licences and permits to import, cultivate, produce and supply medicinal cannabis for eligible patients across Australia.
Mr Fegan said that Althea now has a “full complement” of approved cannabis licences in addition to a growing patient base that has now reached 156 patients in Australia.
Althea’s products are being supplied a variety of individuals suffering from a range of ailments, with products being prescribed by around 54 general practitioners at the current time – a number that Althea is looking to expand over the coming months and next year in parallel to its intention to ramp up its Australian production line.
“The TGA received 329 SAS B applications in October, which is the highest number I’ve seen to date; although we credit the increase of Althea patients to our Althea Concierge medical education program,” said Mr Fegan.
“Concierge launched in late September and already 285 patients and 93 doctors have registered to the platform. Doctors are choosing Althea Concierge to educate themselves about medicinal cannabis and to initiate TGA applications, especially once they witness their peers achieving great outcomes,” said Mr Fegan.
Furthermore, Althea has confirmed that its planning permit for a fully-scalable 4,080 square metre medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction and manufacturing facility – lodged earlier this month – is “on track” to be commenced in 2019.
“Progress of the Melbourne facility is well and truly on track, having received great support from council and the Victorian Government,” said Mr Fegan. “The project is looking good to be completed on time, towards the end of 2019,” he added.