Two of the medicinal cannabis industry’s trade associations have announced plans to collaborate more closely in a bid to present a single voice to government.

In a joint statement, the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA) and Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia (MCIA) said they would do so “for the benefit of their members and the medicinal cannabis sector as a whole and to facilitate interactions with government bodies and other stakeholders as one unified voice”. 

Dr Teresa Nicoletti

Dr Teresa Nicoletti, recently appointed as AMCA’s new chair, said: “For many years, MCIA and AMCA have been interacting separately with the federal, state or territory and local governments and their departments and advisory bodies, as well as other organisations such as the Parliamentary Friends of Medicinal Cannabis. 

“As our organisations’ outlooks have become more aligned, and through a series of recent meetings, we agree that working together would be more productive for us, our members and the wider sector, and easier for… third parties with whom both of our organisations interact.”

MCIA chair Peter Koetsier added: “Supporting the breadth of the Australian medicinal cannabis sector while enhancing patient wellbeing through facilitating patient access to quality medicinal cannabis product is important to both MCIA and AMCA.  

Peter Koetsier

“Working collaboratively for the sector will resonate more loudly than individual voices.”

MCIA and AMCA have had an at times fractious relationship since the latter launched in July 2020. That came shortly after MCIA and the then Medical Cannabis Council (MCC) announced plans to collaborate, stating “the industry will be best served by having a shared vision and speaking with one voice”.

The picture was further complicated in May 2022 when the Emerging Therapeutics Association of Australia (ETAA) launched with a vision “to embed emerging therapies as part of Australia’s healthcare landscape”.

Cannabiz understands time-poor politicians have expressed frustration that a relatively small industry is represented by three different bodies and are likely to welcome the announcement.

Sources close to AMCA and MCIA said relations between the two have improved in recent months, with leadership changes at both encouraging a more collaborative approach.

Both organisations run their own conferences – MCIA’s ACannabis takes place in Melbourne next month, while the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium, the brainchild of AMCA co-founder Lucy Haslam, has been a fixture of the industry landscape since 2014.

It is understood there are no plans for the two events to combine at present, with the focus being on closer cooperation between AMCA and MCIA when interacting with government bodies. 

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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