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Victoria Just Planted It's First Cannabis Seeds On 420 Day

Children with severe epilepsy will be able to legally access the pain-relieving treatment from early 2017.

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UPDATE: The Victorian government has planted its first legal cannabis seeds, one week after announcing its historic trial

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The pictures above were taken at the top secret, secure location.

Premier Daniel Andrews has fast tracked the program so children with severe epilepsy will be able to start using the drug from early next year.

Andrews will pledge $28.5 million in next week's Victorian budget to support the cultivation trial, as well as funding to subsidise the cost of the drug for needy families.

The Access to Medical Cannabis bill passed Victorian Parliament 45 to 38 on last Tuesday night, and will go down in history as Australia's first medical cannabis cultivation program. The state will establish an Office of Medicinal Cannabis which will advise doctors and families while overseeing the manufacturing and dispensing of "safe and high-quality" cannabis.An independent medical advisory committee on medicinal cannabis will also be set-up to monitor and advise on the process.
Tracey Nearmy / AAPIMAGE

The Access to Medical Cannabis bill passed Victorian Parliament 45 to 38 on last Tuesday night, and will go down in history as Australia's first medical cannabis cultivation program.

The state will establish an Office of Medicinal Cannabis which will advise doctors and families while overseeing the manufacturing and dispensing of "safe and high-quality" cannabis.

An independent medical advisory committee on medicinal cannabis will also be set-up to monitor and advise on the process.

Somewhere in Victoria, cannabis seeds will be planted at a top-secret location and monitored around the clock by high-tech security.

Earlier this year, the federal government changed the national laws to allow the state to import cannabis seeds from overseas to plant.For bio-security reasons the location of plants remains confidential, but BuzzFeed News understands scientists will tend to the hydroponics at a research facility. The rigorous security systems monitoring the undisclosed crop includes guards and CCTV monitoring, to ensure sites are not infiltrated by criminals.It will be a small-scale strictly controlled cultivation trial, that aims to be expanded into a commercial manufacturing industry. Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford says the first plants will be ready for harvest within three to four months.
Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Earlier this year, the federal government changed the national laws to allow the state to import cannabis seeds from overseas to plant.

For bio-security reasons the location of plants remains confidential, but BuzzFeed News understands scientists will tend to the hydroponics at a research facility. The rigorous security systems monitoring the undisclosed crop includes guards and CCTV monitoring, to ensure sites are not infiltrated by criminals.

It will be a small-scale strictly controlled cultivation trial, that aims to be expanded into a commercial manufacturing industry. Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford says the first plants will be ready for harvest within three to four months.

Around 450 children with severe epilepsy will have first access to Victoria's medical cannabis products through selected pharmacies by early 2017.

Palliative care patients and adults suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV will gradually get access as the drug is rolled out. Within a year a commercial medicinal cannabis scheme will be set up, allowing companies to apply for cultivation and manufacturing licences.
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Palliative care patients and adults suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV will gradually get access as the drug is rolled out.

Within a year a commercial medicinal cannabis scheme will be set up, allowing companies to apply for cultivation and manufacturing licences.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews told BuzzFeed News no parent should have to face the choice of breaking the law to simply try and improve their child's quality of life.

"The time has come for us to drag the law into the 21st Century", Victorian premier Daniel Andrews told BuzzFeed News."There’s no high out of this. This is not a recreational drug." "This is a medical product, a pharmaceutical product and the evidence is very clear, and it is quite amazing to see the turnaround in patients, particularly kids."
Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

"The time has come for us to drag the law into the 21st Century", Victorian premier Daniel Andrews told BuzzFeed News.

"There’s no high out of this. This is not a recreational drug."

"This is a medical product, a pharmaceutical product and the evidence is very clear, and it is quite amazing to see the turnaround in patients, particularly kids."

Medicinal cannabis is currently legal in 23 U.S states, as well as Spain, Israel, France, and Canada.

Queensland and NSW state governments have yet to fully legalise medinical cannabis, but both states are running clinical trials into the success of the drug.
Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Queensland and NSW state governments have yet to fully legalise medinical cannabis, but both states are running clinical trials into the success of the drug.

The premier of Victoria claimed victory when the bill was passed, tweeting that history had been made in Australia.

First state in Australia. History made. #auspol #springst

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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