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Hemp is pot. No it’s not. CBD oil for seizure research can no longer be grown in fields.
Grandpa Lambert was devastated by law changes jeopardizing research on CBD oil for seizures.
The Sunday Telegraph reports on cannabis oil from hemp grown in Hunter Valley and sent to Sydney University’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics being stopped.
Grandfather Barry Lambert takes this decision personally as he invested $33.7 million in the project named after him. The retired financial service billionaire made history in search of a treatment for epilepsy and other ailments.
It was a deeply personal action, as his granddaughter suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that could be fatal. The legacy he created is under threat of law changes by the federal government’s attempt to control medicinal cannabis.
No more medicinal hemp in fields – only in greenhouses
As from the 31st of October the licensed supplier to The Lambert Initiative at the university will no longer be allowed to supply hemp, as it will be classified as industrial hemp, not medicinal cannabis.
Industrial hemp is low in THC (the psycho-active component in cannabis). Cannabis grown for medicine will be required to be grown in glass houses to prevent theft by those seeking an illegal high. But hemp has medical potential, and can’t make people high. Why should it be grown under lock and key?
Mr. Lambert’s valid argument is as follows: imagine that wheat had to be grown in glass houses in case someone wanted to make alcohol from it, what would the price of bread be? The result of increased production costs would make an affordable drug so expensive that those who need it most will be unable to afford it.
The government received approval to grow hemp, but Lambert can no longer afford to
The government announced last month that it received approval from the Commonwealth to conduct cultivation research to initiate future non-government crops. The hemp will be grown in a greenhouse at an undisclosed location. The cost of the greenhouse amounts to $2 million.
Four-year-old Katelyn Lambert, Mr. Lambert’s granddaughter, suffers from Dravet syndrome, which gives her hundreds of seizures a day (patients can experience up to 1400 seizures a day) and he says with conviction that under the new law, Sydney University will have to source cannabinoids elsewhere. He has no other choice since he cannot afford costly greenhouses.
Mr. Michael Lambert jr. treats Katelyn with medical cannabis, and was charged for cultivating cannabis. He has to face the courts next month.
No more field-grown hemp for university trials
CEO of Ecofibre Eric Wang says industrial hemp is caught up in the newly
established Office of Drug Control (ODC) licensing guidelines. Even though industrial hemp has no narcotic value, it still has about a 100 cannabinoids that are useful for medicine. His firm grows hemp in three sites across Australia including Hunter Valley. Mr. Lambert has invested a great deal in Ecofibre to supply the university project.
A spokeswoman for the Health Department said no directions or decisions have been taken on cannabis cultivation requirements at this time. Why did Mr. Wang say the ODC informed growers of the changes at public sessions held through out Australia?
All that could be found on the ODC website is that hemp crop and medicinal cannabis crop will have to “maintain strict separation between the crops”. Of course, “strict separation” would likely imply greenhouse growing.
CBD oil for seizures needs to be researched
There is more than enough anecdotal evidence, and a substantial body of scientific evidence, that CBD oil for seizures can change patients’ lives to such an extent that the seizures disappear or are substantially reduced within a very short time. But until research can prove it, it is merely hearsay. This is why people such as Mr. Lambert, who have desperately ill young family members, would invest such amounts of time and capital into research ventures. But now it seems possible for research to be prevented by a change in the law that was meant to facilitate it. Why is this happening?