Page 4270 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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its Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the manufacturing, dispensing and clinical aspects of its promised medicinal cannabis framework. We can and should do the same thing.

My desire is to work with the government and other members of the Assembly to have a similar framework operating in the ACT as soon as possible. I have said already that I intend to introduce legislation to the Assembly that will be similar to Victoria’s scheme. The ideal outcome will be if the government is willing to work with me to present an agreed model.

The third action point can be separated from the question of how and whether we supply medicinal cannabis to people suffering medical conditions. It relates to how we encourage and support the industry of medicinal cannabis, including both cultivation and research. There are a range of interested and innovative businesses and researchers who are keen to work and invest in this area. There are great opportunities for the ACT both in terms of cementing ourselves as a city with leading and cutting-edge research programs, but also in terms of diversifying our economy. With the growing interest in medicinal cannabis research and the inevitability that at least some Australian jurisdictions will legalise medicinal cannabis, businesses are looking to invest in production facilities, training programs and other services related to a medicinal cannabis industry. My view is we should be on the front foot, engaging with this developing industry and ensuring the ACT creates the right environment to attract and support them.

Those are three concrete actions that we can and should be taking. We are not doing any of them yet, but the opportunities are there. Unusually for the ACT, which is usually such a progressive jurisdiction, we are starting to get left behind even in the Australian context. The ACT has taken enough baby steps for now; it is time to face up to this issue and make real and responsible progress. I implore all members of the Assembly to give this issue further consideration to see if we can find common ground to make progress for those in the ACT who would benefit from the provision of medicinal cannabis.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Mr Corbell: presented the following paper:

Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, pursuant to subsection 15(3)—Minister’s annual report 2014-15.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to all Members for the period 20 November 2015 to 8 February 2016.

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