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December 10, 2023

‘Fit and proper person’ test for medical cannabis growers

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Tony Bower of Mullaways Medical Cannabis cultivating marijuna for his tincture. Photo Facebook/Tony Bower
Tony Bower of Mullaways Medical Cannabis cultivating marijuna for his tincture. Photo Facebook/Tony Bower

Update, 5:45pm: A spokesperson for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation, which is overseeing the NSW Government-funded clinical trials, has denied Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd ‘is involved in trials in any capacity.’

The northern NSW-based head of Mullaways Medical Cannabis, Tony Bower, earlier said he was in negotiation with the government over production of his well regarded tincture.

Mr Bower escaped a jail term for growing marijuana to produce the tincture on his mid north coast property in 2014.

He announced on his Facebook page yesterday that he had been accepted for a NSW trial of his product.

Original report: The Turnbull government yesterday introduced legislation it says will ‘ensure security and law and order is maintained’ as it prepares for the cultivation of a local supply of cannabis for medicinal products.

It involves the screening of candidates, including potentially hundreds of experienced cannabis growers who may have fallen foul of the law at some stage.

Minister Sussan Ley said the amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act would ‘enable the safe and legal distribution of cannabis products for medicinal use for painful and chronic conditions, by giving law enforcement agencies the confidence to provide sensitive information to the commonwealth to assess the suitability of applicants to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes.’

‘It’s vital that the cannabis grown under license through this Government-sanctioned scheme, which delivers the ‘missing piece’ for Australian patients and their doctors to manage chronic and painful conditions isn’t diverted for illicit uses,’ minister Ley said.

‘We need to exclude people who look at the cannabis cultivation scheme as a way to profit from diverting cannabis to the black market. This outcome can only be achieved if we work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure appropriate legal safeguards are in place, so that the risks of criminal involvement in cannabis cultivation are minimised.

‘Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection and our international obligations.

‘Allowing cultivation of cannabis for the treatment of very sick people, including children, is an important step. It is part of the government’s commitment to improving health outcomes through world-class scientific research and innovative treatment approaches.

‘We want to see this scheme become a success for the patients who want to access this medicine, but for that to happen protections need to be implemented to ensure those cultivating the medicinal cannabis are subject to strict “fit and proper persons” requirements to ensure they are suitable to participate in this industry,’ she said.

The cost of issuing licenses and of official inspections to ensure compliance will be funded by annual charges on licence holders.

Medicinal cannabis treatment starts on October 30.

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  1. Tony Bower is a fit and proper person. He has been making his medical cannabis for several years now. It’s these greedy governments that are getting it wrong by allowing big pharma to come in and change the properties of medical cannabis. We need full plant therapy. Not synthetic products with only fragments of leaf and tips. These governments have ruined lives by allowing big pharma to push their toxic drugs. Keep them away from any part of medical cannabis.

  2. Tony Bower’s commitment to medicinal cannabis research should be applauded, not classed as criminal.
    Opiates have been at the frontline in pain treatment for too long.
    Time for change is here.


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