As MCIA prepares to join AMCA’s strategy day next week, Cannabiz co-founder Martin Lane wonders where the relationship might go next. Warning: this article contains acronym overload.

I was intrigued to learn last week that a representative from Medicinal Cannabis Industry Australia will be joining the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association’s strategic planning meeting next week.

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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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1 Comment

  1. Having worked in various sectors, industries, and geographies, I believe that you will always have a group of individuals that feel that their cause needs a dedicated body to advocate and to lobby. And we don’t even have the language or faith-based divide in Australia (for the cannabis industry, that is)…

    Making sure that your body brings value to your stakeholders (and this because of intrinsic value creation i.e. not totally dependent on ‘the authorities’ or ‘the politician’ or ‘the healthcare reimbursement fund’ making a change), will ensure that the stakeholders will become member of your body.

    My experience is that these bodies (patient and/or industry) are often started by a group of people that know each other very well, are aligned in their thinking and develop “Terms of Reference”(ToR) with that alignment in mind. Then they start looking for more members. In the absence of anything else, people join, while the ToRs might be good, (because better than nothing), they are not covering all the relevant needs and wants. This is definitely the case in a new industry with a lot of start-ups and new players who don’t know what they don’t know. As a consequence, a little later there is some splintering. I believe it is better to go the other way, define the ToRs with a healthy cross section of the industry, then form a body with the governance group being voted in rather than appointed.

    Fighting for the attention of these above-mentioned government organisations is focusing on the wrong thing for me. So rather than fighting which body has the right to survive and be the conduit to ‘politicians’, let’s focus on what we can do to create value for the stakeholders, be it patients or industry. And I do believe that there is a natural divide between those two latter groups, as the wanted deliverables for these two groups are often diametrically opposite.

    Finally, having had a stint in government, 1) multiple stakeholder feedback is always sought, just make sure that the minister’s administration knows who to call. 2) it is not because there is only one industry body, that an individual company or an ad hoc group of a few companies will stop lobbying to the minister for their own benefit. 3) ministers love to have multiple inputs and/or requests, because it allows him/her to know who will like a decision and who will not. Ministers know that there are different views out there, whatever the topic, so he/she prefers to know these views, needs, wants.

    Dirk Beelen, MedTEC Pharma