FreshLeaf reveals medicinal cannabis report

Tuesday, 13 April, 2021

FreshLeaf reveals medicinal cannabis report

FreshLeaf Analytics has released a comprehensive report on the current status of the Australian medicinal cannabis market. The FreshLeaf H1 2021 product, pricing and patient analysis report found that the last six months were defined by intense medicinal cannabis product competition, keeping downward pressure on prices. The report has also been welcomed by the sector.

Cassandra Hunt, Managing Director of FreshLeaf, said, “The Australian medicinal cannabis market continues its strong growth trajectory, with revenue expected to more than double in 2021 from around $100 million last year. There’s good news for patients, too, with the price of medicine continuing to fall.”

The number of patients taking medicinal cannabis has grown by a factor of 15x over the past two years, with a significant increase in authorised prescribers noted in the report.

In addition to medicinal cannabis revenue expected to reach more than $200 million, 2021 is expected to bring an evolution in the regulatory landscape of medicinal cannabis, a greater emphasis on product quality, growing investment in research and development, and further industry consolidation.

Dr Mark Hardy, Addiction Specialist and CA Clinics Medical Director, said, “When you consider that there were only about 3000 active patients just two years ago, and that FreshLeaf projects that active patient numbers may climb to 75,000 by the end of 2021, clearly more people have been able to gain access to legal medicinal cannabis. It is of the utmost importance that patients have treatment options, and these figures suggest that cannabinoid medicine is increasingly being accepted as a viable option by the mainstream.”

Southern Cannabis Holdings CEO Tim Drury said, “While we’re excited by the continued growth in the industry, the fact that the illegal market is still more than 10 times larger than the legal market means that we still have a long way to go before we can consider that Australia has the right ecosystem for helping patients.”

The report noted that the average daily dose and average monthly spend have stabilised, with a slowdown in delivery format innovation — only one new format was introduced in the last six months.

It is expected that a sizeable patient cohort will migrate to the pharmacy channel once low-dose cannabidiol products become available over the counter in pharmacies.

“The proliferation of medicinal cannabis products to a total of 190 now available for Australian physicians to prescribe seems like a positive for patient choice on the surface, but it also makes it harder for doctors to differentiate between them,” Entoura GM Clare Barker said. “This means that product and delivery format innovation is more important than ever. We brought the only new format in the last six months to market in the form of chewable tablets, which are proving to be convenient for active patients and may be more palatable for those who dislike the taste of oils or for children.”

Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia Chairman Peter Crock said, “The report shows that the industry is maturing and local product is coming on stream. This will improve with regulatory reforms currently being worked through. The increase in patients also demonstrates the valuable role for medicinal cannabis and reinforces how important it is that the evidence base catches up, and we can bring products through the registration pathway.”

Image credit: © Studio

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