Ebony Battersby

State government look at sites for medical marijuana growing

NEW South Wales Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward and NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair today joined the Federal Minister for Health the Hon. Sussan Ley MP in Sydney to welcome the Federal Government's announcement to allow controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes.

Ms Goward said the Federal Government's announcement is the 'missing link' to cement Australia's place as a world leader in this field, and the NSW Government will now scout for potential sites across the state that could be suitable for the cultivation of cannabis for medical or scientific purposes.

"We believe the approach the Federal Government is taking is sensible, measured and demonstrates forward thinking," Ms Goward said.

"We do not want patients or carers having to play pharmacist, this collaborative approach ensures we have a way forward.

"It is important to get the scheme right. We look forward to further consultation occurring with other state and territory governments, this is an issue that is beyond politics."

The Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation will look for potential sites in NSW to ensure we are ready to support a potential pharmaceutical supply, subject to the outcomes in the NSW clinical trials and those occurring overseas.

"This could open up a whole new industry for our regions," Mr Blair said.

Ms Goward also welcomed the Federal Government's advocacy for NSW's clinical trials which supports evidenced based medicinal cannabis products in the health system.

"This is the approach the NSW Government has embarked upon with its three clinical trials," Ms Goward said.

"The NSW Government has committed $9 million on clinical trials that will explore the use of cannabis and cannabis products in providing relief from a range of debilitating or terminal illnesses.

"Those clinical trials include:

Adults with a terminal illness, focusing on improving quality of life, and symptoms such as pain, nausea and vomiting;

Children with severe, drug-resistant epilepsy, through a partnership with the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network;

Adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, where standard treatment is ineffective."

NSW has also confirmed its place as a world leader in medicinal cannabis with an investment of up to $12 million over four years to establish the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation.

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