Industry Leader Renews Call for Steering Committee as Canadian Authorities Back-Track

Recently the media and the Canadian Federal government’s own Canada Gazette, have reported that the Canadian government is now proposing numerous amendments to its’ ill-conceived regulatory framework for the cannabis industry.

“This needs to be a wake-up call for Australia’s legislative leaders,” said Tom Varga, CEO of Australia’s largest B2B grower of medicinal cannabis.

“For over 4 years now the Canadian industry has laboured under excessive red-tape, draconian regulation, declining operating margins, numerous bankruptcies and forced consolidations.”

“The Canadian authorities got their regulatory settings wrong,” he said, “They just got it wrong. Australia must learn from their experience.”

“The Australian Senate, however, did get it right,” he said, “when it rejected the Greens’ Senator David Shoebridge’s proposed draft legislation in May of this year,” he said.

“I applaud the initiative, but without effective industry consultation, it looked to me like the Greens were seeking to take Australia down the same mis-guided path,” said Varga.

“Australia already has a well-established regulatory framework that includes the ODC and TGA,” said Tom,” we need to fund and build from this base.”

“A policy mix, making high-quality cannabis available for medicinal and personal use, should be the ultimate aim of any legislation … cannabis grown by licensed and inspected growers, produced to known minimum standards of efficacy and user safety.”

“I’d like to renew Biortica’s call for a national, industry wide Steering Committee,” said Mr Varga.

“Let’s bring together representatives of the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care – Office of Drug Control (ODC), the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Association (AMCA), the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) and leading industry representatives,” said Tom.

“As I’ve said before, two things are needed in crafting responsible legislation,” said Tom, “Information & Balance. We’re seeking to bring cultivators, manufacturers, product providers, regulators and politicians all to the table, all working together.”

“Overseas experience has proven that legalisation before an effective regulatory framework has been put in place just doesn’t work, “ he said. “We have a chance to get it right in Australia.”

“Biortica welcomes the opportunity to work with legislators, regulators and our industry colleagues to put in place the regulatory framework which puts patient care and protection to the forefront,” said Mr. Varga.

“We must act strongly to protect minors,” he said, “Legal, Regulated and Safe, is always better than Illegal, Unregulated and potentially Harmful.”