GLEN Innes could be the site of controlled medicinal cannabis cultivation in NSW if a proposal from Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is given the tick by the NSW Government.
Mr Marshall said today he had put a proposal to Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to utilise the Department of Primary Industries Glen Innes Research Station as to conduct cultivation, which could begin within the next 12 months, depending on the outcome of several clinical trials currently underway.
Last month the Federal Government made a decision to permit the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes in NSW
“Following this decision, the state government is now scouting for potential sites across the state that could be suitable for the cultivation of cannabis for future trials, research and potentially distribution,” Mr Marshall said.
“The purpose of finding sites for cultivation would be to ensure the government is ready to support a potential pharmaceutical supply of cannabis, subject to the outcomes in the NSW clinical trials and those occurring overseas.
“This has the potential to open up a whole new industry for Glen Innes and our region.”
Mr Marshall said the Glen Innes Research Station, which he toured with Minister Blair recently, was an ideal location for cultivation and further research.
“Any cultivation and further research would need to be properly regulated and the site secured – the research station is owned and operated by the NSW Government, can be easily secured and has much of the infrastructure required for cultivation and trials already onsite,” he said.
“The station is one of the state’s oldest research facilities and has a strong track record of world leading research in livestock and pastures.
“I believe the facility would be ideal for this purpose and am very pleased that this potential use has the strong support of Glen Innes Mayor Col Price and council.
“It would breathe new life onto the research station and see teams of staff and researchers based in the community, which would be great to see.”
Mr Marshall has been a public backer of the use of medicinal cannabis by those patients with terminal and chronic illnesses.
“This issue should and now is above politics – it’s about compassion – and I’m very excited by the three clinical trials the state government has embarked upon to support the introduction of evidence based medicinal cannabis products in the health system,” he said.
“The government has committed $9 million on trials which will explore the use of cannabis products in providing relief from a range of debilitating or terminal illnesses.
The trials include:
• Adults with terminal illness – focussing 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; and
• Adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting where standard treatment is ineffective.
“The NSW Government is leading the world in this space and has also committed $12 million over four years to establish the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation,” Mr Marshall said.
“I hope that Glen Innes can play a role in this and will continue to pursue the proposal with the government over the next 12 months.”