Australia legislates for 100% GMO Biotech Cannabis not Marijuana

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A recent Survey by Roy Morgan Research shows 91% of Australians are supportive of medical Cannabis.

Medicinal Marijuana

However, what most do not know is Australia is allowing Cannabis to be grown and imported for the first time, but it is all GMO. GMO or Genetically Modified Organism Cannabis has been around since 2011 due to breakthroughs in research and Biotechnology by Ethan Russo and GW UK helping in the process. In 2014 even newer GMO Cannabis strains has been introduced.
In early April 2016 as we speak, an Australian delegation is traveling to Asia to look at GMO Cannabis that specialize in Cannabis with no THC, and in mid-2016 brings the who’s who of the GMO Biotech Cannabis community to NSW for a conference. GMO has totally taken over.

What is Wrong with GMO Cannabis? – Too early to tell, and that is the problem. The medicine people have been using and having success with is not even being offered in Australia for those that need it most. The GMO Biotech Cannabis has seen deaths (Epidiolex) in trials that have ‘passed’ and other GMO (like Sativex) have failed trials and tests. In Fairness it would be wrong to say with Cannabis with over 100 cannabinoids including CBD and THC, and totaling over 483 other compounds GMO might hold many wonders for medicine. Outside of Australia GMO is being used, tested or trialed but not instead of real Cannabis or real Cannabis products. This is where Australia is differentiating.

So What is Cannabis Now? – This hit home about a year ago on a visit to large grow in California USA, and to Denver, where I was discussing the issue people had in Australia with calling weed, ‘Marijuana’ “so we tend to call it Cannabis as it is the genus name anyhow (sort of)”. The large grower with an acre of plants asked the question. What is Cannabis exactly? This was no prank, they had heard the word, but were confused over it. As silly as that seems this is also one of the largest issues hiding the GMO in Australia in 2016, and most are not even aware of it yet, but they will be. Currently, there is a massive lack of clarity on what Cannabis is with the government choosing not be transparent over this and in 2016 they have made this worse in new Federal and State laws and Bills. I personally got the question asked and answered in the Senate in Victoria with a new more detailed, and still foggy definition.

GMO Biotech Cannabis Vs Real Cannabis (Marijuana)

Even in a recent (30 March 2016) survey from the Australian Department of Health (DOH) on Cannabis usage via the NCPIC, it offers 3 distinct definitions of their own for Cannabis that HAS not been used in bills or recent law changes. They are;

  1. Non-medical Cannabis: – Marijuana/Cannabis defined as being greater than 3% THC
  2. Cannabis for medical purposes-: – is the same Cannabis/Marijuana but used for Medicinal Purposes
  3. Medicinal Cannabis: – Pharmaceutical Cannabis products in a form other than flower/plant.

Unfortunately, this leaves another 2 Cannabis terms not properly defined, yet covered off in the same survey.

GMO Cannabis – Cannabis made from genetically modified seed science and used by the likes of GW UK, some call this synthetic Cannabis mostly from seeds by Hortapharm BV in the Netherlands, and the preferred supplier per the Australian Government and is legal in Australia when provided by an authorized supplier in a non-flower form.

Industrial Hemp  is typically defined by the TGA as Cannabis being less than 3% THC.

What We Know So Far – Not Confused Yet?

By itself, all of this is confusing but manageable. Unfortunately, in recent, state Bills (QLD, and Victoria) and recent Federal Framework Bills, they have chosen not to define things this way and instead are reverting to older 1937 UN definitions of Cannabis combining all 5 different products per above as simply “Cannabis”. These old 1937 definitions have not been used for decades so their re-introduction is purposeful and with intent.

This makes the interpretation of new bills and legislature difficult as when words such as Medical Cannabis are then used since it combines 5 different possibilities of products all with different issues to consider. Outside of Australia some of these problems also exist where CBD / Cannabis Oil can be any of the 5 items. In recent legislation in Australia MPs discussed how Cannabis Oil helped this person or that person and was purchased illegally (this makes it Marijuana/Cannabis/CBD oil) then goes on to say medicinal Cannabis trials will take place (providing pharma like Epidiolex, or Nabiximol).

This sort of action then starts the wheels in motion of confusion for the majority and embeds distrust for those that understand the impact of that statement. Even some self-defined Cannabis Activist messiahs, have ignored the issues, further splintering progress on law reform as they also pursue GMO Cannabis hoping the population does not see the difference until it is too late.

Recent announcements in the media that medical Cannabis is now going to be legal has stopped many from pursuing the facts any further. Whilst the media chooses to not ask questions, filing it in the it is too hard basket.

Some Facts – Due to something called the “Entourage Effect of the Plant” was discovered by GW UK (Dr. Ethan Russo) in 2009-2011 and the ECS (endo cannabinoid system) complimenting the discovery of THC and the discovery of the entourage effect of the body in 1968. It simply says Marijuana (that in its natural state has a ratio of 10-15:1 THC to CBD and) as a medicine acts a certain way. Any deviation from this requires some form of biotech where that medicine works differently than natural Cannabis/Marijuana (and is where GW UK Epidiolex, or Nabiximol were created out of) has different ratios of CBD and THC compared to the natural ratios discussed above.

Cannabis chart

Medical Implications – When a new modified strain of marijuana was offered to a child with seizures in Denver USA, years ago for a girl name Charlotte Figi, with Dravet syndrome a new Cannabis strain called Charlotte’s Web was born. It had very low THC and very high CBD. Unfortunately, over time it was reported that Charlotte needed a different strain due to the low potency of THC meaning the CBD did not work as well, and due to what is believed a tolerance was built up to the very low THC. This problem has been repeated by many leading people to believe Dravet syndrome would be effectively an ECS deficiency, when CBD stops the seizures 100% but strong full spectrum Cannabis products work when the GMO biotech strains do not.

There’s No Place like Genome – When Canadian Dr Jonathan Page and his team mapped the marijuana genome in 2011, using the Purple Kush strain of Cannabis they also looked at hemp with no THC. It was highlighted the chemical pathway with hemp and marijuana is different so is a different medicine, that acts differently.

Summary Links

  • QLD has announced it will follow NSW in GMO Cannabis – http://bit.ly/QLD-GMO-1
  • NSW Announces GMO Trials – http://bit.ly/Epi-trial , http://bit.ly/Epi-trials-2016-1,
  • Victoria announces GMO Medical Cannabis Products – http://bit.ly/Vic-Trials
  • Medical Hemp Association warns against CBD only medicine and laws – http://bit.ly/CBD-med

Lose the High, Lose 90% of the Medicine*  – effectively THC and CBD work in harmony, as mentioned due to the entourage effect. Marijuana has naturally a 10-15:1 ratio of THC to CBD normally. This means Cannabis with potency of 15% THC (which is pretty high) might only have 1% CBD. When concentrated to oil this can be 4-5 times stronger increasing the potency to 60% THC and 1% CBD. This means High CBD and Low THC GMO Cannabis works on some conditions, some of the time. Full Spectrum Natural Cannabis and Cannabis Products works on those same conditions and many more.

* The Biotechnology of Cannabis (2nd edition) Sam Zwenger PhD – Extreme Publications inc New York – 2014.

By Loren Wiener, writer and commentator on Medicinal Marijuana and related issues. Producer of This week in Weed TV.

Group pushes for Canberra cannabis dispensary

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Medicinal cannabis supporters are pushing forward with plans to establish a dispensary in the ACT, similar to those found in some states of the United States where the drug is freely sold from shopfronts.

Launching advocacy group The Med Shed at the Hellenic Club in Woden on Sunday afternoon, group co-ordinator Matthew Holmes said a large number of pain, nausea and seizure sufferers were forced to break the law to seek relief. Despite overseas evidence of the drug’s effectiveness, the medical community in Australia remained slow to accept it as a viable treatment option.

Laura Bryant spoke to the group about her illness and what cannabis oil had done for her.
Laura Bryant spoke to the group about her illness and what cannabis oil had done for her.  Photo: Melissa Adams

By establishing the group they wanted to take advantage of the October ACT election to pressure candidates and parties to change the law and make cannabis use legal for medical purposes in the ACT.

In February the Senate passed changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act that will allow cannabis to be grown legally for the first time in decades. A national body will be established that can issue licences to growers and regulate local crops of medicinal marijuana, however possession and use remain illegal. Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said in February that the Department of Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration were well advanced with plans to help lower barriers that prevented cannabis access for those with a genuine medical need.

But Mr Holmes said the changes were not happening fast enough, and called on ACT Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury, a supporter of medicinal cannabis use, to provide an amnesty from prosecution for those currently using the drug.

“We do think Canada has the best arrangement (for providing cannabis to patients) and we’d like the Assembly to take us to a similar model,” Mr Holmes said.

“However, if that doesn’t come about in the one-to-two-year timeframe we will take matters into our own hands and we do have the support to open a dispensary.”

Twenty-one-year-old chronic pain sufferer and cannabis oil user Laura Bryant told the group that she wanted to see the dispensary opened by 2017. Ms Bryant said since deciding to go public with her own story through The Canberra Times last year she had been overwhelmed with people wanting more information and to get help.

“Eighteen months ago I would have to crawl the 12 steps from my bedroom to the toilet some days. I’m now studying nursing and paramedicine, I’ve moved out of home, things that no one thought I would ever be able to do. But I live in constant fear of being arrested,” she said.

Laura’s mother Bernadette Bryant, who had spent years acting as her daughter’s primary carer, said the group wanted to offer legal, medical and moral support to those with a need for access to cannabis.

“My life’s plans never included watching my husband roll a joint for my daughter … but this drug was life-saving and has given our family our lives back,” she said.

Mrs Bryant said the group was organising a petition to be presented to the Legislative Assembly, seeking advocates and support from across the community to attend public events.

Mr Holmes said the group was also planning to establish a centre where those in need could visit once a week to meet qualified doctors and seek advice on whether cannabis might be a suitable treatment for their condition.

ACT Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury could not be reached for comment.

What is THCA and What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?

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THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a cannabis compound that is beginning to demonstrate immense therapeutic potential despite the infancy of its research. You’ve heard of THC, and while they may sound similar, THCA actually has drastically different properties. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. As marijuana dries, THCA slowly converts to THC. Heat expedites this conversion in a process known as decarboxylation, a fancy word that describes what happens when you smoke or vaporize flower.

If you’ve purchased lab-tested cannabis, you may notice that the most abundant cannabinoid is either THC or THCA, either of which can stretch between 12-20% on average. While THCA is the more accurate label for flower that hasn’t been decarboxylated, they essentially mean the same thing if you assume the patient intends on smoking or vaporizing the product. But will this chemical misrepresentation make a difference when patients start to discover the unique medicinal properties of THCA?

 

What are THCA’s Effects and Benefits?

There isn’t enough research on THCA to definitively state what it can treat and with what degree of efficacy, but preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggest that THCA will play a pivotal role in cannabis medicine as the industry propels forward. Here are some of the potential benefits studies have started to unveil:

Other possible medicinal avenues supported by patient stories include insomnia, muscle spasms, and pain. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for more studies to substantiate all of the above benefits before we can fully understand what THCA means for the future of cannabinoid-based medicines.

 

Where Can I Find THCA?

Every high-THC strain that has not yet been decarboxylated contains THCA, and these cannabinoid levels are particularly high as a live or freshly harvested plant. For this reason, raw cannabis parts are popularly juiced for their THCA benefits (sweet potato pear smoothie, anyone?).

We’re still waiting for dispensaries to stock their shelves with more THCA-rich alternatives, but that doesn’t mean trailblazers aren’t already looking ahead to a time where research confirms what patients are already figuring out for themselves.

Business benefits from medicinal cannabis

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The medicinal cannabis business in Australia could reap more than $100 million a year, according to a new study.

The initial demand is estimated to be as high as 8000kg of the drug, involving up to 51,000sq m of greenhouse space to meet the demand.

Four students from the University of Sydney business school led the study titled Medicinal Cannabis in Australia: Science, Regulation & Industry.

The federal parliament passed new national laws in February allowing seriously ill people to access medicinal cannabis products, and permit the growing of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

The university analysis found that a medicinal cannabis industry in Australia could help tens of thousands of patients suffering from a range of medical conditions including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.

It draws on data from a number of existing markets including those in Israel, Canada and Netherlands.

The report was produced in partnership with medical cannabis company MGC Pharmaceuticals, one of many involved in the emerging industry.

The business school’s Michael Katz said medical cannabis will not only benefit seriously ill people but also provide employment and “wealth creation” opportunities.

“You’ve got the technical agriculture side of it, the medical processes such as extraction and dosage, the technology side such as scalable standardisation tools, supply chain logistics and so on,” he said.

Israel sees heady future for medical marijuana

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An Israeli agricultural engineer inspects marijuana plants at the BOL (Breath Of Life) Pharma greenhouse in the country's second-largest medical cannabis plantation, near Kfar Pines in northern Israel
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Kfar Pines (Israel) (AFP) – With its moat, wall, barbed wire, armed guards and security cameras, the facility could be mistaken for a military base if it weren’t for the pungent odour of marijuana in the air.

Here, on the outskirts of a quiet village in northern Israel, 50,000 plants of 230 varieties grow at the country’s second-largest medical cannabis plantation.

“For cannabis, we are in the promised land with a good climate, 300 days of sunshine each year and perfect levels of humidity,” said Tamir Gedo, head of BOL Pharma, a company authorised by the Israeli health ministry to grow and distribute medical cannabis.

The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in the Jewish state, but for the past 10 years its therapeutic use has not only been permitted but also encouraged.

Last year, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases.

The purpose is not to cure them but to alleviate their symptoms.

The use of cannabis in medicine divides doctors around issues of addiction and behavioural problems such as aggression.

Nevertheless, it has long been known to revive lost appetite and to help in treating sleep disorders, anxiety and inflammation, its supporters say.

They say much research remains to be done but it is advancing faster in Israel, where authorities allow human clinical trials, than in many other countries.

Entrepreneurs, investors and researchers are increasingly entering the business and searching for the holy grail of medicinal marijuana: a purified form of the drug with minimal side-effects and which can be administered in accurate doses.

Inside the fortified premises of BOL (Breath Of Life) Pharma are laboratories and greenhouses, with each plant monitored by software that remotely controls its biochemical parameters.

Growing cannabis for medical use demands careful supervision of active ingredients such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives recreational users their high but is not recommended for all patients, particularly children.

“With the support of the (health) ministry, which has always had a pioneering attitude to this issue, we have built up expertise in clinical trials and we can share it with companies in the United States and Europe,” said Gedo.

He cites initial results of trials on patients with Crohn’s disease, which is characterised by chronic inflammation of the intestine, diarrhoea and recurrent abdominal pain.

– A world hash hub? –

Forbidden to export its cannabis plants, Israel is concentrating instead on marketing its agronomic, medical and technological expertise in the hope of becoming a world hub in the field.

The prestigious Hebrew University of Jerusalem has just opened a cannabis research centre joining 19 other teams from local academic institutions.

About 200 industry players gathered in Tel Aviv this month for Canna Tech, an international conference on the industry.

Suited salespeople, some a little red-eyed despite a ban on consumption laid down by the organisers, exhibited products including electronic cannabis cigarettes, cannabis-based creams and ointments and a remedy for dry mouth.

Some startups are focused on the plant’s by-products, others on user accessories, but a few have bigger ideas.

“Look at what has happened in the past two years, the speed at which legalisation of cannabis is advancing,” said Saul Kaye, head of the first Israeli incubator for cannabis industry startups.

“We’re not going to miss this opportunity, and seeing what the first investors are putting on the table, we feel that it is going to be very big.”

In January, US tobacco giant Philip Morris ploughed $20 million into Israeli company Syke, which produces precision inhalers for medical cannabis.

At the same time, Israeli firm Eybna announced it had isolated therapeutic organic compounds from the plant without the psychoactive ingredients which make unprescribed use illegal.

Cannabis play to try backdoor listing

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Cannabis play to try backdoor listing

A Perth company with plans to grow medical cannabis in WA will attempt to list on the Australian Securities Exchange by the middle of the year through a backdoor deal.

AusCann, which is chaired by former Federal MP Mal Washer, revealed the plan to backdoor-list through the shell of West Perth-based TW Holdings yesterday, dependent on a $3 million raising.

The company originally planned to go down a more traditional initial public offering route but abandoned those plans to become one of a number of medical marijuana hopefuls taking the backdoor route to the ASX. AusCann’s point of difference is its well-recognised board, which includes former WA environment minister Cheryl Edwardes and former Australian Federal Police chief Mick Palmer.

It comes after the Federal Government passed the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill last month, allowing marijuana to be grown and cultivated in Australia for medicinal purposes.

AusCann had planned to grow on Christmas Island, a Federal jurisdiction, to navigate around any potential State laws. However, managing director Elaine Darby toldWestBusiness it would now look to first grow in South West WA, because the Federal Government had initially banned exports of the product.

The West Australian

Cannabis-derived drug shows promise for kids with epilepsy; GW pharma stock doubles

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In 2014, I interviewed a number of moms from across the country who were fighting to get access to a form of cannabis oil that they believed would help their children’s seizures. They had an uphill battle in lobbying conservative legislatures to allow them to import the oil and in convincing their own doctors to try the experimental treatment. Many ended up going to Colorado, where there is a small community of growers, medical practitioners and researchers willing to work with them.

Their work may have finally paid off.

[‘Mommy lobby’ emerges as a powerful advocate for medical marijuana for children]

GW Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that the first of its four major studies of the cannabis-based drug appeared to dramatically reduce seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy.

“This shows that cannabinoids can produce compelling and clinical important data and represent a highly promising new class of medications, hopefully in a range of conditions,” Justin Gover, GW Pharmaceuticals’ chief executive, told Reuters.

The trial, which involved 120 patients, showed that the median reduction in convulsive seizures was 39 percent in those taking the drug, called Epidiolex, versus 13 percent in those taking a placebo. The mean age of patients was 10 years old and they had previously tried and failed an average of more than four anti-epileptic treatments.

GW is also conducting other Phase 3 studies on Dravet syndrome with 150 patients and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

Orrin Devinsky, a researcher with New York University Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center who is the principal investigator, said that the data finally provides the epilepsy community “the prospect of an appropriately standardized and tested pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol being made available by prescription in the future.”

The company’s announcement that it will be seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment sent its shares soaring 120 percent by midday. The company has fast-track status for its application to treatment on newborns with epilepsy. Jim Cramer of “The Street” said on CNBC’s Squawk that the positive reaction may also be due to the hope that the drug could replace some addictive painkillers.

The theory that marijuana could be used to treat seizures has been around since the 19th century, but it wasn’t until about 2012, when a Colorado mom named Paige Figi began posting stories online about her daughter’s experiences with a cannabis extract, that the idea took off. Figi’s daughter, Charlotte, had Dravet syndrome and had been suffering from more than 300 seizures each week. She used a wheelchair, could only say a few words and had gone into cardiac arrest several times.

Desperate, the family began treating her with a few drops of an extract made from a strain of marijuana that was high in CBD, which is thought to be medicinal, and low in THC, the component that creates a high. The family reported that the seizures nearly stopped.

As their story spread across the country, parents held bake sales, benefit concerts and other fundraisers to try to raise money for their own children. Hundreds moved to Colorado while others tried to work within their own states to legalize the use of the treatment. Devinsky, who has a child with epilepsy himself, was one of the early proponents of trying to do rigorous clinical trials of the drug and teamed up with GW Pharmaceuticals, which had previously been working on cannabis-derived drugs for multiple sclerosis.

Perth company edges closer to Cannabis nasal spray epilepsy treatment

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A unique nasal spray designed to combat epileptic seizures could be one of the first medicinal cannabis products to hit Australia’s healthcare market.

Perth-based medical cannabis producer MGC Pharmaceuticals announced on Thursday it has struck a deal with Israeli company SipNose to use nasal spray to administer cannabis.

Sydney cardiologist and MGC director Dr Ross Walker says the product is ready to go once Australian regulatory hurdles are overcome.

Recent changes at a federal level permit legally-grown cannabis for medicinal cannabis products, but the drug remains a prohibited substance.
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The Therapeutic Goods Administration is considering downgrading it to a “controlled substance” class, which will place it alongside morphine.

Dr Walker said he was hopeful the government could fast track approval to help those suffering with epilepsy, cancer and chronic pain, but said it could be up to 18 months before prescriptions start to be filled.

“This is a proper effective way of delivering cannabis through the nose,” Dr Walker said.

“The nasal delivery makes it quite user-friendly, especially for little children.”

The NSW government is about to embark on its third – and biggest – clinical trial involving 330 cancer sufferers.

Previously in NSW, there have been trials involving the terminally ill and children with severe epilepsy.

In Victoria, a small group of children with severe epilepsy are involved in a separate clinical trial.

As for the efficacy of the treatment, Dr Walker pointed to two significant studies, of 137 and more than 220 respectively, which showed how epilepsy sufferers could benefit from medical cannabis.

“They have shown that there’s anything from a 36 to 54 per cent reduction in seizure frequency,” he said.

But people won’t be getting high from using the treatment, as the medicine does not interact with brain receptors in the same way as illicit cannabis.

“The important thing is that we’ve got to get the message out that medical cannabis has nothing to do with people smoking stuff,” Dr Walker said.

MGC will combine SipNose’s system, which enables direct nose-to-brain delivery, with the cannabinoid compounds they produce.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/perth-company-edges-closer-to-cannabis-nasal-spray-epilepsy-treatment-20160303-gn9x0t.html#ixzz41t0QGkmv
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It’s all talk and no action on medicinal cannabis

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It seems that whenever there’s a step forward in the legalising of medicinal cannabis, there are five steps back. (AP Photo/Marina Riker)

As always, all is not as it seems.

So far, it means nothing for most and only offers a thread of hope for a chosen few.

These steps are more like marching on the spot than moving forward. At a distance, it looks effective, but in reality it is all just for show.

And what a show governments have put on: there was a sparkly announcement last year that the Queensland Government would be involved in a single trial of testing the efficacy of medicinal cannabis on children with severe epilepsy. Then the Federal Government said it would take steps to decriminalise the growing of the wonder plant for medical purposes.

Now the state says our laws, if and when they are eventually drafted, debated, voted on and enacted, will be the most progressive in the country and will open new industries and help the sick and dying.

But so far — nothing.

It smacks of 2003, when then NSW premier Bob Carr and then PM John Howard announced four years of medicinal cannabis clinical trials. They never happened.

Importantly, nothing has changed for the many already using medicinal cannabis oil and spray. No lifeline has been extended, no amnesty offered to create secure and legal lines of supply during the many years it will take for the tiniest changes to be made.

Pertinently, the talk around medicinal cannabis has all been around working with pharmaceutical companies.

This is a product that already has experts making it. It is already helping those willing to step outside the law.

And it is most effective when as close to its natural state as possible — no pill press, boxing conveyor belt or assembly line required.

All the Government needs to do is to legitimise and embrace the covert industry and its knowledge, not focus solely on legislation and economy ahead of health.

Last month, in response to a parliamentary e-petition to change the law to free up access to medicinal cannabis for those who need it now, Health Minister Cameron Dick reiterated that cannabis in all forms is illegal.


Cameron Dick would like to remind everyone that cannabis in all its forms is illegal. (Pic: Liam Kidston)

The Government is therefore being churlish and misleading in saying that they want to make medicinal cannabis available to more sick people. They could do that now, but they haven’t.

And they are wrong in indicating that the move on Tuesday will legally put medicinal cannabis under the tongues of Queenslanders who are sick or dying: the only thing it changes is that it lays out a possible legal route in which the state’s chief medical officer can give permission to individuals to be part of specific clinical trials.

That will not change the status quo — and too bad for the dying, who do not have time to wait for the world to change.

Dick said individuals who wanted to access medicinal cannabis now could apply to the Federal Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration under its Special Access Scheme.

Just how many people have done that and how many were approved is unknown, but I would wager the answer is none.

The healing properties within the cannabis plant have been embraced for thousands of years. It has forever been food, clothing and medicine. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and early American flags were made from hemp cloth.

Its status was changed by magicians who turned the life-giving wonder plant into a demonic danger right before the public’s eyes 100 years ago.

We were all robbed of nature’s nutritious, healing gift, in all its forms.

I bought some hulled hemp seed at a natural food store the other day. Hemp seed is a complete vegetable protein, perfect for an active person like me.

Stuck on the front of the packaging is a warning that hemp seed has not been approved for human consumption in Australia and New Zealand.

We are islands in this — the rest of the world uses it as a key food for exercisers.

More action and less talk is required. We must shift out thinking, offer an amnesty to those already making medicinal cannabis and those who will use it before any legislative wheels might start turning. Medicinal cannabis can do no harm.

And we must have legal steps that make medicinal cannabis available to more than just a handful on a specific clinical trial.

Otherwise, the Government must stop hinting that medicinal cannabis will be Queensland farmers’ saving grace and broad hope for the sick and dying and, instead, be honest about it being pharmaceutical companies’ future new cash cow.

Jane Fynes-Clinton is a Queensland-based journalist.

fclintonj@optusnet.com.au

This is what medical marijuana could look like in Australia

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Photo: Uriel Sinai/ Getty.

The federal government legalised medical marijuana nationally last week, but with several trials currently underway and a number of biotech companies keen to get in on the ground floor, just how the drug will be administered is part of the research.

It certainly won’t be smoked and there will be none of the usual “high” associated with recreational use of the drug when it is used medicinally.

MGC Pharmaceuticals has revealed today what it hopes the consumer product will actually look like in the form of a nasal drug delivery device.

The Perth-based pharmaceutical company has partnered with Israeli medical company SipNose to test the delivery of cannabinoid compounds through a nasal device to treat severe epilepsy.

The research itself will commence at the Hadassah Medical Centre, Israel’s leading epilepsy research institute.

MGC Pharmaceuticals managing director Nativ Segrev “There is a wealth of evidence available to show that medical cannabis can be an effective solution in the treatment of epilepsy,” he said.

Under the new federal scheme, patients with a valid prescription can possess and use medicinal cannabis products manufactured from cannabis legally cultivated in Australia, provided the supply has been authorised under the Therapeutic Goods Act and relevant state and territory legislation. The changes put medicinal cannabis in the same category as restricted medicinal drugs such as morphine.