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Three Medical Cannabis Companies Fined in Australia For Advertising Products as Cancer and Epilepsy Treatments

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Sep 28, 2022   

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Three medical cannabis companies have received fines that total almost $1 million (Australian dollars) from Australia’s drugs regulator.

The companies have been accused of falsely claiming their prescription products could treat serious conditions, such as cancer and epilepsy.

Fines and punishment

In a notice published on September 27, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it had issued 73 infringement notices totaling $972,360 to MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (23 notices, $306,360) Cannatrek Ltd (22 notices, $293,040), and Little Green Pharma Ltd (28 notices, $372,960).

All three companies were alleged to have unlawful advertised their medical cannabis products on their websites and social media platforms.

In Australia, it’s illegal for an advert or product label to claim a product can treat a disease without express permission from the TGA because “Australians facing a serious disease or condition are a particularly vulnerable consumer group.”

All three companies have also been accused of promoting the use of prescription-only medical cannabis products that are unapproved medicines (not entered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods).

In Australia, many medicinal cannabis products – including those that are subject of these infringement notices – are considered unapproved prescription-only medicines that cannot be advertised to consumers.

“Ensuring compliance with the import, advertising and supply requirements of the Act in relation to medicinal cannabis is a priority for the TGA,” the TGA said in a statement.

“We will continue to investigate and take action in relation to alleged non-compliant advertising of medicinal cannabis products to the public.”

Analytical Cannabis has reached out to MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Cannatrek Ltd, and Little Green Pharma Ltd for comment.

 

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