Australia Has Issues A Quarter Million Cannabis Prescriptions Since 2016
Medical cannabis is increasingly prescribed for a multitude of conditions. Where does this indicate that the market ‘down under’ is headed?
According to researchers from the University of Sydney at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, anxiety, chronic pain and sleep disorders are the top three reasons that Australians seek a cannabis prescription. This is despite the limited number of trials supporting its use for either anxiety or sleep disorders.
Prescriptions have also increased dramatically over the last two years – although researchers were unable to determine if the rise in such requests was due to the Pandemic. Another unexplained trend revealed by the data set that has been gathered since the beginning of medical reform showed that Queensland prescribers represented over half of the prescriptions written nationally.
How Does This Compare with Germany?
Australia is perhaps the closest “Western” country to Germany in terms of timing and approach to initializing the legal cannabis market. Both countries approved medical use on a federal level about the same time (within a year of each other). And while Germany’s total number of prescriptions outnumbers the Australian total so far, they are certainly comparable.
The difference between the two countries, however, is that Germany is now moving solidly towards a recreational market. Australia seems mired in indecision.
When Will It Get Dank Down Under?
In Europe, there is now a pressing regional political issue to deal with. Namely, there is no way that Germany can sit the recreational reform question out with countries all around it (and in two cases bordering it) now proceeding with federally regulated recreational cannabis markets. Australia is a bit isolated in this regard, although it is, as a country, clearly following the global trend.
Australian producers are also trying to export to Germany (as well as eastern Europe).
The latest poll numbers show that Australians are currently split, 50-50 on whether the country should proceed with a recreational market. That has moved fairly dramatically in the last several years.
For this very reason, it is also highly likely that, at a bare minimum, the initiation of a recreational market in Germany might tip the scales. Everyone right now is looking for a new industry or line of revenue post Covid.
And then of course there is the ability to export to a fully recreational market or two in Europe.
Given all the possibilities now at stake, it is very likely that Australia will be one of the next major western economies to make the switch. Even if so far unannounced.