Australia joins a small list of countries that allow medical marijuana exports to other nations.
While U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is threatening a possible crackdown on state-approved marijuana, which helped shield residents and businesses that follow state laws from federal prosecution, Austrailian authorities have announced a very different course of action.
Today, the Australian government announced that it plans to allow medical marijuana exports.
“In an important step for the development of the medicinal cannabis sector and to secure long-term supplies for Australian patients, the Federal Government will permit the export of medicinal cannabis products,” Australian health minister Greg Hunt in a statement today.
Hunt felt that the move could provide a boost for the Australian manufacturers and the country’s economy.
“This decision will help both the domestic supply and Australian producers by strengthening the opportunities for domestic manufacturers,” Hunt said.
Hunt also said the government’s focus was on the patients in Australia.
“This change will not come at the expense of Australian patients,” Hunt said. “In fact, by helping the domestic manufacturers to expand, this, in turn, helps to ensure an ongoing supply of medicinal cannabis products here in Australia.”
The plan will have to be approved by Australia’s federal parliament before becoming official. But the Labor Party, who is considered to be the main opposition to marijuana reform in Australia, has already signaled that they support the plan.
Australia joins Canada, Uruguay, the Netherlands, and Israel as countries that have approved similar measures.
Recreational marijuana use is still outlawed in Australia.