WEDNESDAY 10 MAY 2017
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT ( 15:13 :04 ): Supplementary: did the minister state when he was expecting to receive that briefing from DSD?
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:13 :11 ): I thank the honourable member for her supplementary question. My office will make inquiries this week about the specific issue to do with the Hydroponics Industry Control Act to see if the company has brought that to their attention. If not, I am sure the Hon. Tammy Franks will more than freely give me her advice and the benefit of her wisdom on this matter.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 15:09 :17 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation on the topic of medicinal cannabis cultivation and manufacture.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: As members are aware, the lead minister for medicinal cannabis in this parliament has been identified as the Hon. Kyam Maher. He recently announced that there is now a new industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis office within the Department of State Development (DSD), something I congratulate him and the Weatherill government for taking steps forward in.
The minister may also be aware that a local business, which I note has already operated in the medicinal cannabis field overseas, has identified to the state government office that the Hydroponics Industry Control Act 2009 is currently providing barriers to their ability to comply with the Office of Drug Control's federal requirements to access a licence under the federal scheme. My questions to the minister are:
1.What actions have been taken to address the concerns with regard to the Hydroponics Industry Control Act in prohibiting, or creating unnecessary barriers to, those seeking to enter the medicinal cannabis or indeed the industrial hemp industry in this state?
2.Given that he previously hosted a round table on these issues, will he also consider hosting a round table in the near future to not only identify further barriers but to allow this industry to flourish?
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:11 :02 ): I thank the honourable member for her questions and for her advocacy in this area, not just on matters to do with medicinal cannabis but also on matters to do with industrial hemp in South Australia. It was pleasing that only a few short weeks ago the other chamber passed the laws that the Hon. Tammy Franks introduced to parliament with the regulatory amendments that the government put in place for the growing of industrial hemp in South Australia.
As the honourable member has identified, we have set up an office for medicinal cannabis in South Australia to deal with all the complexities across not just medical cannabis but the possibility of industrial hemp industries. There are a number of acts—and the honourable member has referred to one of them—that interplay with the regulatory regimes for these potential industries. I am not aware of the Hydroponics Industry Control Act and the problem that the honourable member has outlined, but I will certainly talk to the folks in DSD who are heading up that office now. I am sure that the company has talked to DSD about what they see are their concerns. I will receive a briefing on that to see if there is anything that we need to look at or do in relation to that particular area.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 15:12 :28 ): Supplementary: will the minister also consider identifying further barriers by having another round table so that these issues can be brought to light earlier rather than having to be taken up individually by each person in the industry?
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:12 :41 ): I am happy to have a look to see if that is something that will be of value. I know that certainly the first round table, which both the Hon. Tammy Franks and the Hon. David Ridgway attended, was valuable. That provided a lot of help and advice for the government in terms of our thinking and where we have got to so far, so it is a suggestion I will take up and look to see if that is something that will be of value.