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Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Medical cannabis and hemp on the agenda

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The demand for medicinal cannabis is rising, with Hemp Embassy volunteers urging people to make their own. (Darren Coyne)
The demand for medicinal cannabis is rising, with Hemp Embassy volunteers urging people to make their own. (Darren Coyne)

Darren Coyne

Nimbin is planning another medical cannabis workshop at the Nimbin Town Hall and one in Sydney with two of America’s leading experts on the subject.

And the NSW Greens are set to announce their policy tomorrow to legalise hemp foods and related products.

The Nimbin workshop on 14 March will be the last gathering in Nimbin before the Mardi Grass on 2 and 3 May.

Tony Bower (left), Director and founder of Mullaway's Medical Cannabis holds a vial of cannabis tincture. (AAP image)
Tony Bower (left), Director and founder of Mullaway’s Medical Cannabis holds a vial of cannabis tincture. (AAP image)

Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said it was hoped that Tony Bower from Mullaways Medical Cannabis would be speaking and sharing his experiences this time, along with Andrew Kavasilas, Kilgour Trout, Radic Al and others.

‘In other exciting news another MC Seminar is organised for Rooty Hill RSL in Sydney for the following Saturday, March 21, with two of North America’s foremost cannabis experts speaking with a PowerPoint presentation on the changes in their country and what impact it is having.

‘Dr Andrew Katelaris, David Stevens and Dr John Kaye from the NSW Greens will also be speaking there and I invited Mike Baird and Luke Foley in the hope they might think it’s important enough.’

The Sydney workshop will feature Chris Conrad, a court-qualified expert witness on cannabis who has testified more than 250 times in state, military and federal courts.

He is an internationally recognized expert on industrial hemp, commercial activity, cultivation and religious, personal and medical cannabis use.

He and his wife Mikki Norris were volunteer coordinators for California’s Proposition 215 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana in 1996.

Meanwhile, the NSW Greens are set to launch their party’s policy to legalise hemp foods and open up opportunities for northern rivers farmers to grow hemp.

The Greens will also discuss the party’s policy to assist young farmers get into farming and provide low-interest loans for on-farm environmental works.

Greens agriculture spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said hemp was a huge regional economic opportunity, but because consumption of hemp food products was currently illegal in Australia, northern rivers farmers were missing out on a slice of a $1 billion world-wide market.

‘The Greens policy is for the legalisation of hemp seed food products in line with the rest of the world and with recommendations by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) in 2002 and again in 2012 which have been rejected by current and previous state and federal governments, Mr Buckingham said.

Frank Boyle, a local rice farmer, will discuss the opportunities that growing hemp present for his farm and the region.

Hemp Foods Australia chief executive Paul Benhaim, who is based in Bangalow, said Greens’ young farmers policy was aimed at encouraging and assisting young people to get into farming through the provision of low-interest loans.

Low-interest loans would also be made available for farmers undertaking on-farm environmental works.’

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