Michael Balderstone of the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin is hopeful that new research will help ease the current anti-pot legislation.
Michael Balderstone of the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin is hopeful that new research will help ease the current anti-pot legislation. Jay Cronan

Nimbin HEMP Embassy to apply for dope licence

THE Nimbin HEMP Embassy will apply for a licence to produce medical marijuana following the passage of new Federal laws to legalise it, president Michael Balderstone has announced.

The historic legislation to pave the way for legal medical marijuana use Australia-wide was passed unanimously in Federal Parliament yesterday.

Page MP Kevin Hogan hailed it as the "missing piece" which would clear the way for state and territory governments and companies to apply to grow or manufacture medicinal cannabis products.

"I have heard numerous stories from members of our community with debilitating illnesses who want access to medicinal cannabis to help relief their chronic pain and improve the quality of their lives," Mr Hogan said.

"It was always vital we had a clear national licensing system to ensure the integrity of crops for medicinal or scientific purposes, with the new laws enabling the Commonwealth to track the development of medicinal cannabis products from the farm to the pharmacy."

Mr Balderstone said he thought the Embassy was well-placed to apply for a licence.

"We're a non-profit and connected to growers around our region," he said.

"Why not form a co-operative and put all that knowledge to good use for 'hemployment'?"

But he said Australians were "still a long way from being able to grow a plant in their backyard".

"People are coming to us all the time thinking it's legal, but it's not.

"NSW are just doing these trials led by the pharmaceutical industry.

"They way they talk about it in Parliament is all very positive, but the system that is in place is basically controlled by the pharma industry.

"We can't compete with them offering (doctors) free trips to Fiji.

"Anyway, we'll apply for a licence, we think we're very well-placed."



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