Australia’s first medicinal cannabis farm is here.
Local MP and acting PM Barnaby Joyce officially opened the 47-hectare farm near Tamworth today.
The DanEden farm has been named in honour of Dan Haslam, an advocate for legalising medicinal cannabis in Australia. He died from bowel cancer just over a year ago, aged 25.
His mother, Lucy, has since stepped up to fight to legalise the drug for the ill.
Speaking from the farm, she said it was just the start in “re-educating Australian health providers around the use of medical cannabis”.
Joyce, whose brother has bowel cancer, also said it was a step in the right direction.
“When you can find a use for any part of a plant that can assist people when they are ill, when they are in pain, you should do it,” he said.
This week Victoria became the first state to pass legislation allowing medicinal cannabis, while the federal government, which also backs the move, is still working on a legal framework around the cultivation and supply.
Lucy Haslam recently returned from Israel with New South Wales premier Mike Baird, as part of a delegation that toured patient clinics and a privately owned dispensary.
With correct government regulation she believes cultivation of the medicinal drug could lead to a new primary industry in Australia.
“You need to know where it comes from, you need good manufacturing practices — otherwise you would have to spend a lot of time testing that to see that it didn’t contain heavy metals or pesticides,” she said.
“We want the absolute best for our patients, so that’s what we should be aiming for.”