In the four months since the election, Labor has gone from doing nothing in Government for 16 years, to advocating a cannabis trial, to now supporting the growth and export of a cash crop of medicinal cannabis to Canada.

They are also apparently oblivious to the fact that changes to the law in Canada mean that it is now illegal to supply medicinal cannabis to patients in any form other than dried. Something which is illegal in every Australian state.

I rejected the Tasman Health Cannabinoids proposal because the Government had serious concerns about its health, safety and security aspects. What has transpired in relation to Norfolk Island has confirmed those concerns.

This is a complex and serious issue, and unlike Labor and the Greens, the Liberal Government is not prepared to put the cart before the horse and potentially compromise the health and safety of Tasmanians.

For example, there is currently no legal provision for growing or using medicinal cannabis in any Australian jurisdiction. Under what rules is Labor suggesting crops be grown?

Neither is there a health regulatory framework in place for prescribing medicinal cannabis in Tasmania outside of the long-standing and evidence-based approach of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. How is Labor proposing to address that without undermining the safety and security of the nation’s legal drug supply?

For this reason we welcome the Legislative Council committee investigating the issue, as the Liberal-led House of Assembly inquiry did with industrial hemp in 2013.

This is a complex area and it requires research and evidence.

Rather than blowing with the wind and taking cheap political shots, I suggest that Labor constructively engages with the inquiry.

Perhaps they could also answer, if medicinal cannabis is the panacea to Tasmania’s economy that Labor now claims, why did they do nothing in this area for the 16 years they were in Government?

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