The medicinal cannabis industry has secured a direct route into the heart of Federal politics in a move that could accelerate awareness of the sector among decision-makers in Canberra.
The formation of a Parliamentary Friends of Medicinal Cannabis Group will provide the industry with a non-partisan forum to consult with and discuss the needs and challenges of the sector.
Nearly 30 MPs and Senators have joined the group which is being spearheaded by MPs Dr Mike Freelander and Dr Andrew Laming.
The development of a formal body will enable companies operating in the sector, medical experts and patient advocates to step up their lobbying, raise awareness of the benefits of medicinal cannabis and more rapidly spread the word among parliamentarians.
The Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia (MCIA), which helped establish the Parliamentary Friends group, said it will play “an important role in improving education and public awareness of medicinal cannabis across the community”.
“We’ve been careful from day one to have a measured voice with politicians, and not to be seen as hectoring or badgering,” MCIA chairman Peter Crock told Cannabiz. “We want to show we can add value to them, and the Parliamentary Friends Group is a great result in terms of showing we’ve got the ear of key politicians and bringing them together and pointing them in the right direction with the right information.
“This group is an important forum for parliamentarians to learn about the benefits of medicinal cannabis and to further the growth of this important industry that has potential to positively contribute to health and economic outcomes for the community.