Australia could be a global leader in medicinal cannabis if proposed laws pass, a pharmaceutical firm says.
The federal government has introduced draft laws to parliament allowing the cultivation and supply of marijuana for medicinal or scientific purposes.
ASX-listed MGC Pharmaceuticals says that apart from the obvious health benefits for patients suffering chronic pain, the laws could create a lucrative new export industry.
"A medical cannabis scheme also presents an opportunity to establish a booming domestic industry and the potential in the future for a significant export industry," the company said in a statement.
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"It would also enable Australia to become a global leader in the cultivation and supply of medical cannabis." MGC managing director Nativ Segev said his company had experience growing and supplying medical cannabis in Israel and Europe, and is optimistic about potential investment opportunities in an Australian market.
"This legislation indicates that the government has recognised the potential and is starting to take the industry and its benefits for all Australians seriously," he said.
Meanwhile, fellow pharmaceutical firm Medlab Clinical said the proposed laws could reduce clinical trial times for its pain treatment mouth-spray.
The ASX-listed pharmaceutical firm, has been developing a marijuana-based pain treatment mouth spray, NanoCelle, since July 2015.
Medlab chief executive Sean Hall said, if passed, the laws could reduce clinical trial times and speed up the product's launch.