The medicinal cannabis industry is still suffering from erroneous claims that CBD and THC hold the key to a multitude of conditions for which there is no evidence, a senior executive has warned.
Cann Group chief operating officer Shane Duncan said the “cure-all” message pushed by some had alienated GPs and was still causing health organisations to dismiss the medicine.
Speaking at the GCI cannabis summit, Duncan also reiterated the need for imported product to be held to the same standards as local medicine, a view shared by Little Green Pharma chief executive Fleta Solomon.
If the disparity in quality requirements continues, Australian manufacturers could be the victims of a price war that risks “bastardising” the local industry, she said.
In a discussion on the local landscape, Duncan said “robust science” in Australia and overseas was helping to demonstrate where medicinal cannabis can be useful.
But it still has work to do in winning the trust and support of the wider health sector.
“Two years ago, what I found frustrating – and I know it was putting doctors off – was the universal cure-all message that was associated with cannabis,” he said. “It cured and treated everything. That is terrific and a great story if it’s true. But it’s very hard to believe and that alienated a number of prescribers.
“And we still see that in terms of some like the Pain Society who are very reluctant to give any endorsement to cannabis treatment. A more responsible representation of where cannabis can help – and where it possibly can’t – does us a lot of good in terms of doctor credibility.”