Legalise Cannabis WA has announced its key candidates for next year’s state election with Dr Brian Walker at the top of the ticket, but there’s no place for the party’s former MP Sophia Moermond after she left to sit as an independent.

Dr Walker is a medical practitioner who was elected as a member of the Legislative Council in March 2021 and chaired WA’s Select Committee into Cannabis and Hemp.

Sophia Moermond

Moermond was elected at the same time, but announced last month that she had parted ways with the party after “an agreed difference in strategic direction” and would contest the next election as an independent.

The West Australian reported that she quit after being relegated to an unwinnable spot on the party’s Legislative Council ticket – an outcome she blamed on her attendance at an anti-trans rally.

Moermond said in a statement: “I am saddened that our strategies no longer align, however, I am confident in my decision to be an independent MP for the South West. I am still very passionate about hemp and cannabis law reform, in particular driving laws and workplace discrimination of medicinal cannabis patients.

“I will now be able to speak on issues such as energy and environment, putting forth my views rather than that of the party.”

Legalise Cannabis WA said it respected Moermond’s decision, adding: “Sophia has been an ardent, hard-working supporter of the cannabis legalisation movement in WA and we look forward to continuing to work with her on these important reforms.”

Joining Dr Walker on the 2025 ballot (in order) are:

Melissa D’Ath, an entrepreneur and current Margaret River councillor who has extensive public service experience, including serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce. 

Dr Craig Buchanan, an academic, political research officer and two-term councillor on the City of Rockingham Council.

Taryn Davis, who has extensive experience in government roles across WA, including energy, housing, waste management, sustainable living, and natural resource management. 

Frances Barns, who has more than 20 years’ experience in international development and public policy and focuses on human rights, harm reduction, and public health. 

Legalise Cannabis WA said: “These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and a shared commitment to advocating for cannabis reform and the development of sustainable hemp industries in Western Australia.”

The election takes place on March 8, 2025.

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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