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Australian firm Althea enters UK medicinal cannabis market

Published on 13/02/19 at 11:11am

Melbourne-based medicinal cannabis company Althea has become one of the first companies to enter the UK market after the British government made cannabis products available on prescription.

Althea will supply the UK in a partnership with Canadian firm Aphria, one of the largest medical cannabis supplies around the world. The deal will last until 2020 at which point Althea’s Australian production facility is expected to become fully operational.

Having set up an office in London Althea says it will begin supplying the UK with cannabis by next month.

The entry into the market comes after NHS England decided that hospital doctors should be allowed to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis products for three specific indications: children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy, adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy, and adults with muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.

The company is adamant that its first venture outside of Australia is an opportunity to expand its business.

“The UK's highly regulated framework for prescribing, supplying and possessing medicinal cannabis products is very similar to that of Australia,” Althea CEO Joshua Fegan said.

“We know focusing on improving patient access to medicinal cannabis and educating medical practitioners on treatment is the key to establishing market share, so the UK market entry will be based on our three-phased business model successfully implemented in Australia.”

Shares in Althea are up on the news of the firm’s entry into the UK market.    

Louis Goss

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