May 19, 2020

Aussies, Kiwis Are the World's Biggest Marijuana Users

Julia Gillard
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Aussies, Kiwis Are the World's Biggest Marijuana Users

The Down Under culture has a worldwide reputation for being pretty easygoing, and perhaps the United Nations have uncovered the secret behind this laid-back lifestyle: ANZ is officially the #1 cannabis consuming region of the world.

According to the 2012 United Nations World Drug Report, between 9.1 and 14.6 per cent of the Oceania population was found to have used the drug, while the worldwide average stands much lower at 2.6 to 5.0 per cent.

"Cannabis remains the most prevalent drug in Australia, as well as the main substance accounting for demand for treatment for substance abuse (50 per cent),” said the report, released this month in Vienna.


Read the latest issue of Business Review Australia

In fact, the report, which compiled statistics gathered in 2010, went on to say that the annual use of all recreational drugs outside of heroin “remain much higher than the global average”:

  • Cocaine use, while dropping in North America, rose a full percentage point in Australia with 1.5 to 1.9 per cent of the population using the drug.
  • Ecstasy use declined in Australia from 3.7 to 3.0 per cent. This has been attributed to two sets of happenings: frequent ecstasy lab busts (17 were reported in 2010) and an increase in substance seizures.
  • In New Zealand, this decrease in ecstasy use has reportedly “been offset by the use of other substances mimicking its effects, including many piperazines, cathinone and mephedrone.” In essence, it’s been replaced by other illicit drugs.

“Despite a decline in reported ‘ecstasy’ manufacture, it is worth noting that some countries, such as Australia and Indonesia, reported an increase in the manufacturing capability or size of laboratories,” said the report.

Perhaps this ranking, coupled with The Netherlands’ ban on selling cannabis to foreigners, will open a new tourism market in Australia. In 2010, the northern NSW town of Nimbin ranked seventh on a list of “The World’s Top Marijuana Travel Destinations” and globally, cannabis is the #1 drug of choice.

However, this idea is pretty unlikely to take off while Prime Minister Julia Gillard is running the country.

Share article

Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


Share article