Mr. Barry Lambert, a passionate advocate for medical cannabis in the form of CBD oil, has announced his intention to move his operation to the US owing to ridiculously stringent laws related to hemp cultivation.
It should be remembered that Mr. Lambert’s company does not grow a psychoactive strain of cannabis rich in THC. His 340-acre Hunter Valley farm has been producing cannabis for research purposes, and Lambert has donated $34 million to further this research. Now, he is fed up, and is taking his operation to a country where he feels he will be able to proceed without constant legal interference.
Recreational use of hemp or CBD oil?
Australia’s new law should have made growing and researching CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp much easier. Instead, it has made it much more difficult. Lambert says that the law, intended to prevent recreational use of cannabis grown for medicinal purposes goes far beyond what is required.
This is an understandable point of view. After all, apart from producing useful fibers for durable fabrics, and the CBD oil extract that is now widely regarded as having medicinal properties, there is no recreational use for hemp. The reason is simple. Although people may attempt to get stoned on high CBD hemp, there just isn’t enough THC in it to have that effect.
Lambert’s company, Ecofibre, could have applied for a growing license, but after considering what will be required in order to grow what is, in effect, an agricultural crop cultivated the world over, the company has decided to relocate to the US instead.
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In an interview with Business Insider Australia, Lambert’s frustration is palpable. He laments the fact that his all-Australian concern will have to move to another country owing to Australian law. Meanwhile, sick people who want to try using CBD cannabis oil are finding it so difficult to gain access, that Lambert says they are resorting to the black market.
Lambert himself has experience of how effective CBD oil can be. His grand-daughter is being dosed with it in order to treat her intractable seizures. The treatment has worked wonders, and the lack of access for Australians is clearly part of Lambert’s frustration.
What makes licensing in Australia so difficult?
Growers must indicate which manufacturer the plants are grown for, and which patients will be treated. But with obtaining permission to use CBD oil being incredibly difficult, there is no way that this condition can be fulfilled.
In addition, the industrial hemp, previously a field-grown crop, must now be cultivated in costly indoor facilities with high-security features. If Lambert were not growing his crop for medicinal use, he could continue growing it as before, but simply because it will be used as a medicine, all these additional regulations are now applicable.
Ecofibre is already active in the US, and now the remaining Australian operation will be transferred off Australian soil.
Government spokesperson says “stockpiling of narcotics” is the problem
It is at this point that we can really sympathize with Lambert’s annoyance. CBD oil is not a narcotic. It has absolutely no potential for addiction or abuse, and it would never be accepted as a recreational drug because it has no narcotic effects.
Given that governments are supposed to thoroughly research issues before passing legislation, it seems that the Australian government has still failed to grasp the difference between CBD and THC.