Australia’s medical cannabis companies better get ready for a rebranding, as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced they are reviewing complaints against medical cannabis companies. Some of Australia’s medical cannabis companies have been allegedly providing subpar products.
According to TGA, several medical cannabis companies are selling products that were not tested nor approved. While many of these companies have already fixed the issue, others may face a tongue-lashing.
Consumers may be at risk because the medicinal cannabis products offered for sale have not been through regulatory checks.
While quality standards in medication are extremely important, you can’t help at laugh at the fact that this makes the Australian government the ultimate critiquer of good hash. Forget Snoop Dogg, look out for the Cannabis Cup’s next guest judge – Johnny Government!
However, many of the complaints TGA are addressing do not have to do with cannabis itself. Instead, these companies have failed in their advertising.
Under TGA’s guidelines, medical cannabis is treated as a prescription medication (which may change next year). This means that medical cannabis companies cannot advertise their products to the public, but they can advertise directly to health professionals.
Under these rules, any statement designed to promote cannabis products cannot be included on the label or packaging of a product. Even pamphlets given to patients cannot be seen to promote the drug.
Depending on how far TGA is looking to take this, many medical cannabis companies may also be in for an unexpected name change. Under the 2018 changes to the Therapeutic Goods Act, you cannot promote cannabis through referencing it in your company name – as this is technically advertising.
For example, while calling your clinic ‘Far East Musculoskeletal Clinic’ is fine ‘Far East Med Can Clinic’ is not fine.
Even using abbreviations or acronyms for cannabis is not allowed, as these promote the company as a medical cannabis provider. If we go by some of the many cannabis companies listed on the ASX, many are facing trouble – as even the abbreviation ‘cann’ is forbidden. Not to mention those dreaded leaf drawings that promote wickedness!
Of course, Australia isn’t the first country to deal with this problem. Over in Canada, a $500 million lawsuit is ongoing after it was alleged that cannabis companies were lying about the levels of THC and CBD in their products. Some of those companies, including Medifarm, also operate in Australia.