The co-founder of the Medical Cannabis Council (MCC) has questioned the need for another industry body, warning it could impact lobbying efforts and risk confusing the Government.
Carol Ireland described the creation of the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA) as “not ideal”.
AMCA launched last week, with cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam as its chair, Gail Wiseman as general manager, scientist and lawyer Teresa Nicoletti as company secretary and registered nurse Rita Martin as deputy chair.
Wiseman and Nicoletti are former board members of MCC. Both resigned in April.
“At a lobbying level if you’re after a strong representation of the industry you want one voice, not three,” Ireland told Cannabiz. “Just when we’ve tried to say the MCIA and MCC will speak with one voice and move towards a closer collaboration, another voice enters the picture. I don’t think that is ideal and I don’t think the Government thinks it is ideal.
“It’s disappointing but it is what it is. You can’t do much about it but it would just have been better to have worked with the existing groups to strengthen those organisations.
“But we are focused on our collaboration with the MCIA and have some good things coming out of that. The Government was very positive about what we were doing and the fact there wasn’t multiple industry associations.”
Peter Crock, chairman of the MCIA, said too many lobby groups create the potential for “noise”.