"There is a lot of trust put into domestic production" James Gaskell, ANTG

Australian-grown cannabis hits domestic supply chain

Even before the global pandemic broke out, the cannabis supply chain experienced some hiccups. The main issue was supplying the market with consistent quality products at a reasonable price, to increasingly drive people away from the black market. With the Corona crisis hitting many parts of said supply chain, it was almost inevitable that a number of people resorted once again to the illicit market. This trend has been seen also in the Southern Hemisphere, namely in Australia. The Australian medical cannabis supply chain has always been slightly problematic, as domestic supply has been generally lacking, thus forcing the country to get products from abroad, with unavoidable consequences on the price.

This is why Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG), the only GMP and GACP cannabis producer in Australia, has striven to provide Australia with a steady and reliable domestic cannabis supply. “There is a lot of trust put into domestic production,” James Gaskell with ANTG explains. “It has to do with consistency and reliability, other than improving access to it and considerably lowering the price.”

Locally grown cannabis
And now, for the first time in Australia, locally grown cannabis flowers are going to be released via the TGA’s Special Access Scheme, thus ultimately providing patients with accessible and affordable medical cannabis. “The Australian patient base is growing,” James remarks. “But supply has been erratic, until now. We want to change that, and solidify the supply chain where Australians can rely on local products.”

In order to achieve that, ANTG has been using its great experience to grow premium flowers. “The whole process is important,” Matt Cantelo, CEO and founder of ANTG, says. “The breeding, the mother stock, and the strength of the clones so that they can get through the veg and have enough time to grow healthy. Each strain is different, that’s why we dial in a custom process for each of them. We have been focusing on consistency since the inception of the company: if you are always rushing, you tend to overlook something. But if you prepare yourself properly, and carry out extensive R&D work, then you can achieve the goal that you set for yourself.”

Extensive R&D
And indeed, ANTG has been doing a lot of R&D for a very long time. “We started the genetic R&D project years ago,” Matt points out. “We did trials for many years before we got to a point where we were satisfied with the results. The R&D takes a long time to see the rewards, it is a long process with many stress tests to carry out. Therefore, it was of the utmost importance to plan all of that ahead, which ultimately led us to the point where we are at today.”

The extensive R&D of ANTG allowed the company to comply with the strict European regulations – which has been the market they have been tackling first – and at the same time, will ensure that the dried flowers destined to the Australian market will not undergo any irradiation. “It is well known that the problem is in both quality consistency and the need of irradiation,” James explains. “We avoid that thanks to the stability of our genetics which constantly produce the same quality.”

On top of that, ANTG is also very active in academia, supporting many clinical trials. “Our materials have been used for some clinical trials that explored the effect of high CBD on cancer,” Matt explains. “There is going to be an academic paper about that to be published soon.”

Improving the Australian cannabis supply chain
Therefore, the Australian cannabis producer is addressing the different issues of the Australian supply chain by carrying out a responsible operation, while at the same time pushing the field of medical cannabis forward. “We are making sure that our products are affordable and easy to access for the Australian patient base,” Matt says. “So not only the price will be similar to the one with which the black market keeps attracting people, but we will also provide a COA that will show what’s in the product that a customer is about to consume.”

For more information:
Australian Natural Therapeutics Group 

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