Ted O’Brien’s Column as published in the Mary Valley Voice, January 2018
The Sunshine Coast can trace its roots through agriculture, starting out as a cane growing region and now gaining a solid reputation for ginger and an array of local produce. A new addition to our regional economy could very well be medicinal cannabis. Medifarm is the only cultivator / manufacturer of medicinal cannabis in Queensland and they are based right here on the Sunshine Coast, with the aim of producing their first batch of product within six months. I have long been an advocate of medicinal cannabis and the federal government is taking all the right steps to ensure patients can get a safe quality supply of medicinal cannabis. Recently the Turnbull Government took the important step of permitting manufacturers to export medicinal cannabis products overseas. While local patients are the priority, opening the door to international markets strengthens opportunities for domestic manufacturers. The Sunshine Coast has ideal growing conditions for medicinal cannabis and given the level of support in the general community for this new treatment option, I am delighted to see investment in the region to develop this product. Doctors can only prescribe medicinal cannabis once they have received approval from both the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Queensland Health and currently only a select number of patients in Queensland have been given the tick. To stay up to date with the latest developments keep an eye on my website www.tedobrien.com.au
Next week I will be embarking on my first listening tour of the year but this time I have upped the ante and will be taking a fully staffed mobile office so I can have sit-down appointments with people on their turf. I will be in Nambour and Bli Bli on January 22 and 24 for my seasonal road trip and elsewhere on the coastal side of my electorate on other days. If anyone wants to pop in for a brief chat or book a longer private appointment then please do. This is democracy in action and as your local member it is my job to listen and take up your concerns. To make a booking call my Maroochydore office on 5479 2800.