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TFGA Comments on Medicinal Cannabis Potential Welcome

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 11 July 2014

Tags: Hemp, Medicinal Cannabis

Today’s statement by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) recognising the future potential for a local medicinal cannabis industry is heartening, and should encourage Health Minister Michael Ferguson to keep an open mind on the issue, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“As the TFGA President clearly states, Tasmania has the runs on the board when it comes to delivering high quality medical crops with our opium poppy industry, which should position the state to expand into new markets such as medicinal cannabis,” Ms O’Connor said.

“We need to be careful to distinguish between fact and fear-mongering when it comes to the potential of medicinal cannabis.  Clearly the TFGA can see the difference, but we also need Ministers in the Liberal government to remove their blinkers and listen to those Tasmanians who are receiving significant therapeutic  benefits from cannabis treatments.”

“For the sake of the many Tasmanians suffering from debilitating medical conditions for which there is no other effective relief, we need to learn from the success of our poppy industry and move to emulate it in this instance.”

“While this is principally about ensuring a compassionate response to terminal illness and chronic conditions, trialling medicinal cannabis would also further position and potentially our farmers nationally and globally.”

“The Greens share the TFGA’s concerns over unnecessary delays in pursuing common-sense value-adding opportunities we’ve seen hold back the state’s industrial hemp industry. We urge the government not to repeat the same mistakes by ignoring the opportunity presented by the proposed medicinal cannabis trial.” 

“We are in the position to either harness this potential, or risk it slipping through our fingers.”

“To be open for business requires keeping an open mind to all possibilities, and along with the many Tasmanians currently suffering the ravages of cancer we are all hopeful Minister Ferguson and his cabinet colleagues recognise the enormous potential of a local medicinal cannabis industry,” Ms O’Connor said.