EXCLUSIVE: CDA Health has resigned from the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA) after the launch of its online ordering service CDA Express sparked concern among industry leaders last week.
Cannabiz understands the AMCA board was considering whether there was sufficient cause to terminate CDA Health’s membership but, before doing so, drafted a letter raising ‘serious concerns’ about the new service and asked the company to address them before it made a decision.
However, CDA Health resigned before the letter was sent and the AMCA board has accepted the resignation.
In a statement to Cannabiz, CDA Health general manager Rachael Cooney said: “We have made the decision to cease our valued relationship and association with AMCA, following the unfortunate events that took place on Thursday last week where AMCA provided comment to the media about CDA Health before disclosing these concerns to our organisation directly.
“While we appreciate AMCA should be independent of any stakeholder’s interest, and strongly support the notion that an industry body should not be used to benefit corporate stakeholders, CDA Health does not agree with AMCA using the media to convey its position against a member of its organisation without providing that member with an opportunity to respond to their concerns internally.
“We acknowledge the great work of AMCA in building awareness and driving the industry in a positive direction. With many corporate stakeholders, we acknowledge the difficult task AMCA has in remaining impartial so as to represent the industry as a whole rather than any vested interests.
“We wish AMCA and its members the best for the future, and [look forward to] working with them in the industry that we [all] feel very passionate about.”
AMCA general manager Gail Wiseman said the association’s concerns about CDA Express remain unaddressed.
She added: “The key issue here is not whether CDA Health remains a member of AMCA or not. It is that the activities of CDA Express have raised significant regulatory compliance concerns.
“AMCA lawyer and company secretary Dr Teresa Nicoletti spoke with CDA Health prior to the publication of the story by Cannabiz last Thursday. However, there was no acknowledgement during the exchange of the concerns that AMCA had with regard to the activities of CDA Express.
“AMCA respects the right of CDA Health to withdraw from its membership. AMCA stands by its mission to ensure that medicinal cannabis is accessible to Australian patients, through channels that put the best interests of patients first.”
A TGA spokesperson told Cannabiz it was “reviewing” the CDA Express website.