Cultivation and manufacturing of medicinal cannabis is ramping up since the production process was legalised in Australia almost 12 months ago.
The country’s first commercial crop of medicinal cannabis was harvested last Friday, through a secret facility in southern Melbourne.
And as the drug gains momentum in the pharmaceutical industry, University of New England Professor John Malouff has been researching whether warning labels on packaging should be used.
Mr Malouff has written two articles to identify what warnings experts would recommend based on their research findings.
“We [also] asked marijuana users what they would recommend,” he said.
“There was some overlap and different perspectives but we put together some ideas of what we would recommend for warnings.”
Suggestions included cautions relating to safety, physical health, fetal harm, mental health, withdrawal and dependence and adolescent development.
“In the United States this has fallen between the cracks and there are very few warnings there,” he said.
“I wrote to the head of Health in every state in America … some of the states do have it now and I hope that will spread all over the country and all over the world.”
Another line of research for Mr Malouff is how warnings change depending on the way the drug is taken.
“Having the vapour or when you eat it and nothing happens so you eat some more … it’s not easy to kill yourself with marijuana but that’s one way to do it, if you take a huge overdose,” he said. “People aren’t aware of all the risks.”