New South Wales minister for work health and safety Sophie Cotsis has agreed to meet a delegation of medicinal cannabis experts and patients to discuss workplace drug-testing.

Pressed by Legalise Cannabis MP Jeremy Buckingham during budget estimates last week, Cotsis acknowledged there are “thousands of workers” who are prescribed the medicine whose needs should be better accommodated.

Jeremy Buckingham secured a commitment from NSW minister for work health and safety Sophie Cotsis to meet with medicinal cannabis stakeholders.

Buckingham described an increasing number of NSW residents who are prescribed the medicine for a range of complex and serious health issues, particularly in the public sector, who are suffering under the current regime.

He said: “They’re arriving at work – there may be a drug-testing regime, or they’re self declaring – and they are losing their jobs, losing shifts because of a drug test or a declaration that they have medicinal cannabis in their system. 

“But that does not correlate with impairment or intoxication, and that’s a significant issue for them.”

In response, Cotsis told Buckingham he was “absolutely right that there are thousands of workers that are prescribed medicinal cannabis, and we need to make sure that we, as a government, are accommodating particularly those people who are undertaking treatment or have got chronic illness”. 

When urged to meet with a delegation of industry experts and patients, she added: “Absolutely… and I’ll also have a number of officials with me as well as seeking advice from [health] minister [Ryan] Park.

“It’ll be really important to hear their views, particularly around workplace issues.”

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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