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#YesWeCannabis

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Our Campaigns
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Our Campaigns

The ACIA is the only national trade association advancing the interests of the anticipated legitimate and responsible cannabis industry in Australia. Our industry will grow as the local market develops, providing tens of thousands of jobs, tens of millions in tax revenue, and billions in potential economic activity in Australia.

Political Representation

Above all else, being a part of your industry’s trade association supports our ongoing efforts to change outdated laws that hamper the potential growth of the cannabis industry and the bottom line of every business in the industry.

Networking & Events

The ACIA is currently planning industry events. From Conferences, Expo’s & Fundraisers, our future events will be the premier industry networking opportunities in the Asian region & will attract the best and brightest research scientists, business leaders & investors in the industry. Members of the ACIA not only gain preferred access to these events but also have the opportunity to sponsor events to help increase brand awareness.

Information & Industry Development

Members of ACIA receive links to cannabis industry-related news media in our e-newsletter. Our researchers are on the cutting edge of developments happening globally within in this emerging industry. For entrepreneurs and investors looking to enter this exciting space, our consultants are on hand with the most relevant market research publications available. Whether being a Licensed Producer or serving the ancillary support sector, the Australian Cannabis industry will deliver unprecedented sustainable growth for any first moving team.

International Industry Recognition

All members get a listing and link in our developing association directory, which is a go-to resource for professionals looking for key groups, staff and organisations in the global cannabis industry. Basic and Premium members receive logo placement in the directory, 3D member ‘badge to place on their home pages, permanent backlinks & impressions on ACIA’s home page. The ACIA is also strengthening our international ties by forging a stronger connection to our ‘big brother’ in Colorado, the National Cannabis Industry Association.

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  • I have no problem with the medical use of Cannabis. If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality. And if a drug that is proven to be safe abroad is needed here it should be available.

    Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott 2014
  • The Haslam family has inspired me. Because of them, the government has finally taken a position where we want to lead the nation and the world

    New South Wales State Premier Mike Baird on Government sponsored Cannabinoid Research
  • Twenty three states in the US have legalised use of Cannabis for medical conditions, as has Canada since 2001. Other countries approving it include Israel, Holland and the Czech Republic; Australia is behind the times.

    Emeritus Professor David Penington,a University of Melbourne public health expert & 2014 Victorian of the Year.
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initiatives

Initiatives

With regulated Medical Cannabis systems now operating in Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Israel and currently 23 of the US States, Australia is well positioned to learn from their respective evolution. Our team aims to discover, analyse and incorporate the best elements of more progressive systems for the anticipated Australian market. We are also strengthening our local researchers of Cannabinoid Science by interfacing with groups such as the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine & the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicine, both furthering the global research into Cannabinoid Medicines.

Senate Submission

Download our formal submission to the Committee of the “2014 Regulator of Medical Cannabis Bill”. We have also included our analysis of the Canadian Medical Cannabis System (MMPR) for the benefit of the Committee. 

2015 ICRS Symposium

The ACIA team will travel to the world’s premier Cannabinoid Research think tank, the International Cannabinoid Research Society. Their 25th global event will be held in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in Canada.

2015 Chile Study Tour

Our team has been invited to Santiago by the Daya Foundation, a local non-profit in charge of producing Chile’s pioneering Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

 

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Our Purpose

To promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and work for a favorable social, economic and legal environment for that industry in Australia. The Australian Cannabis Industry Association was founded on the principle of power in numbers. The thousands of potential Australian businesses involved anticipating state-legal cannabis industries will represent a tremendous economic force in this country as the industry emerges. As the industry’s only national trade association, the ACIA works every day to ensure our emerging business sector is represented in a professional and coordinated way on the national stage.

ACIA publicly advocates for the unique needs of the emerging cannabis industry and defends against threats to the legal market for cannabis and cannabis-related products. ACIA is the nation’s only industry-led organisation engaging in legislative efforts to expand and further legitimise the legal cannabis market into the Asian Pacific region. ACIA offers exclusive benefits to members and significant brand exposure through our member directory.

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Legal Market Industry Figures

According to the 2015 ArcView Report, the legal Cannabis market is officially North Americas ‘fastest growing industry’ nearly doubling in size at 74% annually. Here's a snapshot of some recent industry figures:

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Million in NSW Government funding for Cannabis Research in Australia

40

million: The amount of marijuana tax revenue Colorado is devoting to public school construction

76

Million in marijuana taxes & business fees for state of Colorado

420

thousand patients & carers registered on the Canadian Medical Cannabis System (MMPR)

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About Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis: time for clear thinking

by Emeritus Professor David Penington,a University of Melbourne public health expert & 2014 Victorian of the Year.

The debate about the medical use of Cannabis in Australia has become confused with the proposal for a formal clinical trial instead of proceeding to legislation in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. Debates about prohibition of Cannabis have a long history,1 as has the proposal for medical Cannabis in Australia.2 Politicians are nervous about being “soft on drugs”, especially before an election. The clinical trial proposed, if successful, presumes that Cannabis would then be approved and regulated as a pharmaceutical substance.

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We need to be across the facts and options. Cannabis can never be a pharmaceutical agent in the usual sense for medical prescription, as it contains a variety of components of variable potency and actions, depending on its origin, preparation and route of administration. Consequently, Cannabis has variable effects in individuals. It will not be possible to determine universally safe dosage of Cannabis for individuals based on a clinical trial.

Extreme views in the debate about any form of Cannabis decriminalisation are advanced with almost religious fervour. On the one hand, some assert that Cannabis is a dangerous, highly addictive drug which causes schizophrenia, and that any move to relax prohibition would be a disaster. This view defies published evidence. On the other hand are those who have used Cannabis for years, swearing it causes no trouble. They see prohibition as a totally inappropriate curb on individual freedom.

The assertion that Cannabis is highly addictive ignores firm evidence. The most authoritative review comparing addictiveness of drugs rates physical dependence on a scale of 0–3.3 Heroin is ranked 3; tobacco, barbiturates and benzodiazepines, 1.8; alcohol, 1.6; and Cannabis, 0.8. Cannabis may, of course, be a pathway to more addictive drugs if obtained from illegal sources that also offer powerful alternatives.

The view that Cannabis carries no risk likewise ignores much published evidence.4 Recent Australian and New Zealand longitudinal studies show significant social, behavioural, educational and mental problems with frequent use of Cannabis by young people (aged 15–25 years). Psychosis occurred more frequently following long-term heavy use than among non-users, but no schizophrenia was noted in this study.5 A recent review of the evidence implicating Cannabis in the development of schizophrenia found only that it can accelerate its expression at an earlier age and may aggravate existing schizophrenia. Of course, non-users also develop schizophrenia.6 Others have identified heavy Cannabis use in the young as a possible factor in later psychosis, without specifying schizophrenia.7

Australians, together with citizens in the United States and New Zealand, are the world’s greatest users of Cannabis per head of population.8 Prohibition has failed to prevent widespread use and young people report that they can readily access it.9 Young people need to be strongly dissuaded, on health grounds, from frequent or even regular use of Cannabis, but this has little relevance to Cannabis used for medical purposes or the debate surrounding it. Potential medical users are often, for example, in the later stage of a battle with painful cancer, finding problems with morphine, other analgesics and nausea with chemotherapy. Others seek relief from painful conditions such as muscle spasm in multiple sclerosis. Cannabis is believed to reduce seizures in Dravet syndrome, a rare genetic myoclonic epileptic encephalopathy beginning in infancy.10 Most parents of affected children (84%) report much lessened frequency or abolition of seizures with medical cannabis. They should have continuing access to it until trials using purified cannabidiol (CBD), believed to be the active component for these children, provide a superior agent.

We are behind the times on medical cannabis. Currently, 23 states in the US have legalised use of cannabis for medical conditions, as has Canada since 2001. Other countries approving it include Israel, Holland and the Czech Republic. Portugal, in 2001, removed penalties for personal possession and use of all illicit drugs, but with rigorous administrative processes to handle problem use. Eliminating prohibition is not a disaster if there are sensible processes to control drug-related harms.11

An Australian and US study found that removal of legal action and possible imprisonment for possession and use makes no difference to the patterns of use of cannabis.12 World Health Organization mental health surveys of 17 countries found that “countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones”.13 There is no rational basis for the view that weakening prohibition to permit use for medical conditions would lead to a surge in general use.

Cannabis has at least two important active elements: δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. The former is responsible for the high of intense comfort and pleasure when presented to the brain in sufficient quantum. Its presence is greatly enhanced by heating marijuana above 170°C, as in a (water pipe), converting the inactive precursor THC-A to THC. THC infused at high dose can produce a powerful euphoria but also hallucinations and other psychotic effects in some normal individuals, followed by complete recovery.14 CBD, on the other hand, does not give a high but has other effects including suppression of nausea and pain. It counteracts some of the effects of THC.15 The plant Cannabis sativa has more than 100 alkaloids with potential to influence the cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2, which respond to normal cannabinoids.16

Response to cannabis varies from person to person, partly due to genetic variation among users.17 The content of THC and CBA varies among different strains of marijuana. Some users vary the type of plant they use to benefit from these different effects.

Cannabis as such cannot be subjected to a double-blind clinical trial. Participants would have to agree to be treated with it, hoping to gain relief from distressing pain or nausea. Each would become aware whether they are receiving cannabis or a placebo. Dose would have to be adjusted for each individual. Any trial would use cannabis with multiple active constituents, varying with the source of marijuana used and its preparation.

If a person in the late stages of painful cancer seeks the euphoria of THC, why should they not have it? They must have a right to withdraw from a trial if it does not suit them. Participants in the control group may demand to transfer to the active arm on seeing others feeling better. Cannabis should supplement morphine for pain as necessary, not replace it.

There may be medicolegal issues if a medical practitioner prescribes a preparation of unquantified potency or with an incomplete description of its constituents and without full knowledge of side effects and their extent. But this has not proved to be a problem in those US states where the patient makes the choice to use cannabis following a medical consultation. A recent readership survey conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine sought comment on a published case report of a cancer patient where a senior psychiatrist and a pain management specialist had both recommended against use of cannabis. Seventy-six per cent of respondents from several countries responded that they would recommend use of cannabis in such a case.18 Medical marijuana is now widely used. A recent US study found that the states with medical cannabis use over 10 years had a lower death rate from opioid overdose than those without.19

The real question is whether a person who is suffering pain and distress can access cannabis on their own initiative, following medical consultation as to their symptoms. They can access other herbal remedies from authorised providers such as health food stores or a pharmacist. If legislation permits sale to people suffering from a condition diagnosed by a doctor and scheduled in legislation, there should be no problem with provision of cannabis by this route without waiting for completion of a clinical trial. This is especially the case with Dravet syndrome patients where a formal clinical trial with a proprietary CBD concentrate20 may take several years to complete.

We should ensure that cannabis is provided only to approved users who should be registered. As there is no legal supplier, users should have permission to grow their own plants — up to 10 at any one time — but be forbidden from selling their product. Any proposal for commercial production should be subject to strict control, with analysis of THC, THC-A and CBD content by a government toxicology laboratory for both cannabis oil and the leaf product. Venues for sale, presumably pharmacies or health food shops, should be registered. People aged between 15 and 25 years should be excluded as recipients, except where it is provided specifically for a cause covered by legislation. The legislation should also make cannabis available for medical research.

In summary, use of cannabis should be decided by the patient, following medical advice about the condition from which they seek relief, with patients being registered under state legislation. If there is to be a nationally approved trial, it should be one of documenting clinical experience from cannabis use under state legislation of the kind foreshadowed by recently elected Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.21

  1. Wodak A. The abject failure of drug prohibition. Aust N Z J Criminol2014; 47: 190-201.
  2. Australian National Council on Drugs. Medicinal use of cannabis: background and information paper.http://www.ancd.org.au/images/PDF/Generalreports/Medicinal_Cannabis_Information_Paper.pdf (accessed Jan 2015).
  3. Nutt D, King LA, Saulsbury W, Blakemore C. Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse. Lancet 2007; 369: 1047-1053.
  4. Hall W. What has research over the past two decades revealed about adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use? Addiction 2015; 110: 19-35.
  5. Silins E, Horwood LJ, Patton GC, et al. Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis. Lancet Psychiatry 2014; 1: 286-293.
  6. Hill NH. Clearing the smoke: what do we know about adolescent cannabis use and schizophrenia? J Psychiatry Neurosci 2014; 39: 75-77.
  7. Moore THM, Zammit S, Lingford-Hughes A, et al. Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review.Lancet 2007; 370: 319-328.
  8. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. World Drug Report 2011. Vienna: UNODC, 2011. http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2011/World_Drug_Report_2011_ebook.pdf (accessed Jan 2015).
  9. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2010 National Drug Strategy household survey report. Canberra: AIHW, 2011. (AIHW Cat. No. PHE 145; Drug Statistics Series No. 25.)http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737421314(accessed Jan 2015).
  10. Porter BE, Jacobson C Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2013; 29: 574-577.
  11. Hughes CE, Stevens A. What can we learn from the Portuguese decriminalization of illicit drugs? Br J Criminol 2010; 50: 999-1022.
  12. Single E, Christie P, Ali R. The impact of cannabis decriminalisation in Australia and the United States. J Public Health Policy 2000; 21: 157-186.
  13. Degenhardt L, Chiu W-T, Sampson N, et al. Toward a global view of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine use: findings from the WHO world mental health surveys PLOS Med 2008; 5: e141.
  14. D’Souza DC, Perry E, MacDougal L, et al. The psychotometric effects of intravenous delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in healthy individuals: implications for psychosis. Neuropsychopharmacology 2004; 29: 1558-1572.
  15. Englund A, Morrison PD, Nottage J, et al. Cannabidiol inhibits THC-elicited paranoid symptoms and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment. J Psychopharmacol 2013; 27: 19-27.
  16. Mechoulam R, Peters M, Murillo-Rodriguez E, Hanus LO. Cannabidiol — recent advances. Chem Biodivers 2007; 4: 1678-1692.
  17. van Winkel R, Kahn RS, Linszel DH, et al Family-based analysis of genetic variation underlying psychosis-inducing effects of cannabis sibling analysis and proband follow-up. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011; 68: 148-157.
  18. Adler JA, Colbert JA. Medical use of marijuana — polling results. N EnglJ Med 2013; 368: 866-869.
  19. Bachhuber MA, Sloner B, Chinazo O, et al. Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose deaths in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMAIntern Med 2014; 174: 1668-1673.
  20. GW Pharmaceuticals. GW Pharmaceuticals commences Phase 2/3 clinical trial of Epidiolex as a potential treatment for epilepsy in Dravet syndrome [press release]. 30 Oct 2014.(accessed Dec 2014).
  21. 21. Medical marijuana needs brave course [editorial]. The Age (Melbourne) 2014; 31 Aug. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/medical-marijuana-needs-brave-course-20140830-3elvy.html(accessed Jan 2015).

 

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Our Members

The ACIA boasts the memberships of five national & three international Medical Cannabis companies, including one listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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Membership Levels

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Get Connected

 

our-team

Our Team

The ACIA is a growing national organisation still in a developmental phase. We invite contributions from people from diverse backgrounds who could add value to our ongoing programs. We are actively seeking professionals to help build our national team. We aim to hold our first Annual General Meeting in late 2015 to decide leadership appointments, various committees & our board.

We also utilise a project management tool Hip-Chat™ Hipchat is a persistent communication portal from top Australian tech company Atlassian, which allows seamless remote connection for our displaced team.

For Careers or Membership enquiries, please register your interest at members@australiancannabisindustry.org

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