Council testing community appetite for medicinal cannabis venture

Published on 14 September 2021

Medicinal cannabis.jpg

Maribyrnong City Council is looking to leverage off the growing popularity of medicinal cannabis as a means to reduce the rates burden on its community.

At tonight’s Ordinary Council meeting, Council resolved to seek community views on Council setting up a business to cultivate, produce and manufacture medicinal cannabis – noting the value of the industry is tipped to top $5 billion dollars in Australia by 2025.

Mayor, Cr Michael Clarke said Council is committed to seeking alternative revenue streams and external funding opportunities to reduce over reliance on rate revenue. And, “with the rapidly rising domestic demand, an opportunity exists to establish a medicinal cannabis operation within the City of Maribyrnong.

“Such an enterprise has the potential to deliver a source of revenue to Council, which is independent of rates as well as providing a boost for local employment with likely flow on impacts also in relation to research and development initiatives within the region,” he continued. “It could also contribute to the health and wellbeing of community members with chronic conditions for whom conventional medicines do not work.”

Medicinal cannabis products are only available on prescription and can be used to relieve symptoms of medical conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis; and side effects of some treatments and symptoms associated with Cancer and palliative care.

Mayor Clarke said, “while there is provision for local authorities to embark on such a venture, the process of manufacturing, distribution and patient access to medicinal cannabis is tightly regulated, and Council would need to jump through a number of hoops to gain approval, including securing a licence from the Federal Government”.

Council also wants to understand the community appetite before it is prepared to consider the commissioning of a detailed feasibility study and risk assessment, which would be the first steps necessary in formally investigating the opportunity.

"We will carefully weigh all the feedback we receive. If the opposition is overwhelming, the proposal will not proceed," Mayor Clarke said.

You can share you views at Your City Your Voice, and feedback will be open for four weeks until 15 October 2021.

Maribyrnong News

Stay up-to-date with the latest news by subscribing to our eNews.