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It’s believed that hemp was first introduced to Australia at the request of Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who sailed with Captain James Cook. He’d hoped that the hemp would be cultivated commercially for the new colony situated in the country.
The situation regarding access to medical cannabis in Australia is a sad joke ! At this stage, in a country of 25 million citizens, I believe there are less than 10 doctors willing / able to prescribe cannabis. On top of this, the parameters for who qualifies for treatment are incredibly limited. Basically, unless you are a left handed unicorn with one blue eye and one green eye, and your name is Gertrude, you will not get access. Further, unless you are a corporation willing to spend millions of dollars, you will not get a license to grow it as an individual for personal consumption …. all this from a government that proclaimed that it wanted Australia to become “the worlds largest exporter” of medical cannabis !! Oh the hypocrisy !! The winner with the current situation is (still) the unregulated and nefarious black market !! Due to this situation, one could almost say that the government is the drug pushers biggest ally. Sadly, people are dying before getting access to medical grade cannabis, being hopelessly addicted to Opioids, but not being able to have a couple of puffs of a natural plant product. However, this is OK with the Australian government . So I say to my government – pull your heads out of the sand and realise the billions of dollars in revenue that you are missing out on, the same billions now ending up in the black market economy and funding who knows what. The sky has not fallen in, in countries where access to cannabis has been granted . How about letting adults make adult decisions for themselves ? Peace and love to the world.
Medicinal cannabis was made legal in 2016, under the proviso that the market would be regulated by the Federal Government Office of Drug Control. In 2017, the prescription of cannabis-based medicinal products was legalised, and a list of authorised uses for the drugs was created.
Good to know
However, as always, there are also the state laws, which differ from area to area. Here’s a quick run-through:
The sale and supply of cannabis is illegal across Australia. However, as with possession and use, regulations differ, depending on the territory the offender is in.
For example, in Victoria, the penalty is dependent on how much cannabis the offender is caught with. This is defined as:
It’s illegal to cultivate cannabis in Australia; but as with possession and sale, the laws differ from state to state.
Australia’s cannabis laws vary by state, but in New South Wales possession, cultivation, and recreational use of cannabis remain criminal offenses. Although New South Wales was one of the country’s first states to legalize medical marijuana for use by patients with certain qualifying conditions, recreational use is still illegal. However, it’s perfectly fine for adults to buy and possess cannabis seeds in New South Wales if they do not use them for cultivation.
There are a few different types of cannabis seeds so it’s important to choose the right ones. Regular cannabis seeds are untreated and are typically organic. They’re not great for novice growers, though, since they require a full growing season and require cultivators to identify and remove all male plants if they want to end up with usable products.
What the differences in climate mean for growers is that the conditions in Ballina are substantially different from those in Wagga Wagga, and Newcastle growers need to take different precautions against bud rot than inland growers in Broken Hill. Just make sure to get a feel for the area’s unique climate prior to planning a grow or buying seeds.
Auto-flowering plants tend to be smaller at maturity than regular cannabis plants, which makes them perfect for indoor grows. Growing indoors also removes climate constraints, but it requires a substantial investment in equipment such as grow lights and growing media. Those concerned about legality should also note that indoor grow equipment is considered paraphernalia and getting caught with it almost always leads to arrest.
Penalties for offenders tried in district courts are strict. Unlicensed individuals caught cultivating 250 plants or fewer can leave offenders facing fines of $220,000 and jail time for up to 10 years. Those found in possession of between 250 and 1,000 plants may face penalties of between $385,000 and $550,000 with up to 15 to 20 years in jail. Cultivating more than 1,000 plants can land growers in jail for life.
Only growers who are licensed by the federal government can grow medical marijuana in New South Wales. License-holders can only grow cannabis for medical use and must follow strict regulations regarding the location, facilities, and security aspects of their operation. Before obtaining a growing license, future cultivators must also prove that they have not been convicted of a serious crime within the past decade.
Already have a license or just want to learn about how marijuana is grown in New South Wales? Different parts of the state exhibit different climate patterns but the majority of New South Wales has a subtropical climate with four seasons. The easternmost part of the state has a more temperate climate, while the central coast experiences high humidity levels and the southern coast has cooler temperatures.