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SBS News Report: It’s been seven years since medicinal cannabis was legalised. Is access now ‘too easy’?

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It’s been seven years since medicinal cannabis was legalised in Australia, yet debate over its usage, efficacy, availability, and cost continues.

More than 300,000 prescriptions for medicinal cannabis have been approved for conditions ranging from chronic pain to anxiety and depression since federal legislation passed in February 2016.

Demand for medicinal cannabis surged during the pandemic, with 296,804 prescriptions approved under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) SAS B scheme from 2020-2022 compared to less than 27,946 in the three years prior from 2017-2019.

Yet doctors are still calling for more scientific evidence showing therapeutic benefits and harms, and questions over how medicinal cannabis should be regulated and prescribed remain. Advocates for medicinal cannabis also hold concerns, not only about ongoing stigma, high cost, and barriers to access, but about patients being inappropriately prescribed the drug.

“There’s still so many things that are not working well in the medicinal cannabis world for patients,” Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA) chair and co-founder Lucy Haslam told SBS News.

Quality care or a ‘shopping experience’?

As the market for medicinal cannabis booms, doctors and advocates are united in concern over commercial interests compromising patient care.

While the TGA allows authorised health care professionals to access medicinal cannabis products for their patients “where clinically appropriate”, all but two treatments available in Australia are “considered to be unapproved medicines” and have therefore not been assessed by the TGA for safety, quality or effectiveness. These “unregistered” treatments are accessed through the TGA’s  Special Access Scheme (SAS) and Authorised Prescriber (AP)  scheme.

Ms Haslam was instrumental in the push for medicinal cannabis legalisation, and while she’s still fighting to remove stigma and barriers to access she’s also worried about commercial interests overriding what’s best for patients.

The rise of telehealth during the pandemic has allowed more patients to access medicinal cannabis through online clinics, and Ms Haslam is concerned about “some of the less ethical prescribing that’s going on”.

“[Some patients are] basically sold products and it’s based on making high numbers of sales versus making the correct clinical assessment and correct prescribing of the product that’s going to suit the patient,” she said.

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Australia .. My Wife Says I Should Be On The Board..but we don’t you on the board …..and so on and so forth

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These first two paras about sum up all that wrong with cannabis  biz in Australia.

As usual it has absolutely nothing to do with cannabis but Australia’s favourite sport after drinking and gambling, yes… “Board Bickering”

Pointless piled upon pointless =

If you want to bore yourself stupid with arguing Australians go to…..

Cronos vows to block former director’s return to the Vitura board

 



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Taiwan: Farmer faces prosecution over cannabis plants despite reporting them to police

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The Tapei Times

A farmer in Miaoli County faces prosecution after finding a packet of seeds by the roadside, which he took home and planted, only to find that they produced cannabis plants, police said.

Police on Thursday quoted the farmer, surnamed Yeh (葉), who is in his 50s, as saying that, in February, he found a packet of seeds on the ground next to a garbage bin on a rural road branching off Provincial Highway No. 3 near his farm in Miaoli’s Dahu Township (大湖).

He had always had an interest in cultivating plants, and as he was curious about the unidentified seeds, he took them home and planted some, Yeh said in a recorded statement to the police.

After three months, he found that three of the seeds had sprouted, but because the seedlings grew gradually he did not know what they were at first, Yeh said, adding that he later thought they looked like cannabis, but was still was unsure.

He asked the police to help him identify the plants, and when officers went to his home they found three healthy seedlings growing and a packet of about 800 seeds, which were identified as cannabis, police said.

The police said they confiscated the seedlings and the seeds, and took urine samples from Yeh, which came back clean.

A background check found that Yeh had no previous record of drug possession, but police said they had to follow procedure and took him to the Miaoli District Prosecutors’ Office for prosecution.

Cannabis is classified as a Category 2 narcotic under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例), so Yeh must be prosecuted as he had planted the seeds and was in possession of cannabis plants, police said.

As Yeh reported the plants and seeds to the police he can expect a lesser sentence for unknowingly contravening the law, police said.

Earlier last week, police in Chiayi County conducted a raid in Fanlu Township (番路) and found cannabis oil products and pouches of “narcotic coffee powder” and tools for packaging.

A further search uncovered assorted narcotics inside a large polystyrene box labeled as fresh seafood and 20 packets of white powder, which turned out to be 7.3kg of heroin.

Police said it was one of the largest hauls of heroin found in Taiwan recently.

Testing found that the box contained one packet of amphetamine, 82 bottles of cannabis oil for vaping, one box of cannabis chocolates and nine pouches of mephedrone, police said.

Overall, judicial investigators estimated that the drugs seized had a street value of NT$40 million (US$1.26 million).

The house was rented by a man surnamed Tsai (蔡), who now faces prosecution.

https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2023/08/28/2003805402



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Article Suggests Thailand Being Flooded By US Cannabis Imports

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Newsweed reports

Kajkanit Sakdisubha, CEO and founder of Taratera, which operates cannabis farms and shops, told Reuters that illegal imports began when the post-decriminalization sales boom led to the depletion of the domestic supply.

“That’s when the imported flowers started arriving,” says Kajkanit.

According to three industry members, at least half of the cannabis sold in Thailand is smuggled in, although they have no estimate of the quantity or value of the imports.

Pro-cannabis activist and retailer Chokwan “Kitty” Chopaka said the United States was the main source of the cannabis that has flooded Thailand, especially in its tourist hubs.

“Much of the cannabis coming from the United States is destined for dispensaries in Bangkok, Phuket or Pattaya,” she said.

Local farmers impacted

Pornchai Padmindra of the Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association, which has about 300 members, said that as profit margins shrink, many growers are considering exiting the industry.

“People are struggling,” he said. “Things are getting tough. »

The large quantities of cannabis smuggled from abroad have indeed lowered wholesale prices and ultimately harmed growers.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce has estimated the sector could be worth $1.2 billion by 2025, but cultivator Srapathum Natthapong, 37, who has invested much of his savings to get into the industry, said said he had seen his income decline.

“At first, I could sell a kilo for between 350,000 and 400,000 baht (10,000 to 11,000 euros),” Srapathum Natthapong, a cannabis grower who operates three indoor farms, told Reuters.

In April, the date of the next harvest, Srapathum expects the price to have fallen to 200,000 baht (5,500 euros) per kilo.

“Smuggling harms us,” he said.

1.1 million people in Thailand have registered with the government to grow cannabis. It is not known if all do this or how many people grow cannabis without registering.

https://www.newsweed.fr/cannabis-vendu-thailande-etats-unis/



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