Business benefits from medicinal cannabis

A study claims the medicinal cannabis business in Australia could reap more than $100m a year.

The medicinal cannabis business in Australia could reap more than $100 million a year, according to a new study.

The initial demand is estimated to be as high as 8000kg of the drug, involving up to 51,000sq m of greenhouse space to meet the demand.

Four students from the University of Sydney business school led the study titled Medicinal Cannabis in Australia: Science, Regulation & Industry.

The federal parliament passed new national laws in February allowing seriously ill people to access medicinal cannabis products, and permit the growing of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

The university analysis found that a medicinal cannabis industry in Australia could help tens of thousands of patients suffering from a range of medical conditions including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.

It draws on data from a number of existing markets including those in Israel, Canada and Netherlands.

The report was produced in partnership with medical cannabis company MGC Pharmaceuticals, one of many involved in the emerging industry.

The business school's Michael Katz said medical cannabis will not only benefit seriously ill people but also provide employment and "wealth creation" opportunities.

"You've got the technical agriculture side of it, the medical processes such as extraction and dosage, the technology side such as scalable standardisation tools, supply chain logistics and so on," he said.