Weed Week: Legal pot is a thing in Canberra — could NSW follow suit?
Health & Biotech
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Canberra has made cannabis possession legal (up to 50g), and now the NSW Greens want a legal weed reality in Australia’s most populous state.
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann introduced the Cannabis Legalisation Bill to the Legislative Council yesterday.
In introducing the bill to parliament, Faehrmann said that for “too long New South Wales has been waging a phoney war”.
“I am talking about the war on drugs and, more specifically, the war on a single plant: cannabis.”
The proposed bill would establish a “New South Wales cannabis authority” which would act as a middleman in the licensed cultivation and distribution of cannabis products.
This authority would act as a “wholesaler between cannabis producers, which are only able to sell cannabis and cannabis products to the authority, and cannabis distributors, which are only able to purchase cannabis and cannabis products from the authority”, Faehrmann said.
Households of up to two people would also be given the all-clear to grow up to six cannabis plants, with increased quotas (up to 12) for larger households.
“The plants must be out of public sight and not in an area with unrestricted access,” Faehrman said. There will also be heavy penalties for any cannabis advertising or promotion.
“This is intended to limit the influence of cannabis businesses over consumer behaviour and prioritise public health outcomes,” she said.
Faehrman highlighted the recent moves globally towards cannabis legalisation, particularly in the US where the newly elected Democrats have indicated a willingness to work towards decriminalisation at the federal level.
She also acknowledged that a NSW state law such as the one proposed would face difficulties in Australia, given that legalised cannabis would be at odds with federal laws.
However, she added that at the time of its proposal, the ACT law also faced backlash from Federal lawmakers.
But, “the threat of Commonwealth intervention never came to pass”.
“Meanwhile, the ACT police say they have not seen any evidence of a spike in drug consumption as a result of the changes,” Faehrman said.
Over on the ASX, it was a pretty good week for the local cannabis cohort.
Of the cannabis (and cannabis-adjacent) companies tracked by Stockhead, 16 posted a gain.
The latest weekly, monthly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks:
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.
Leading the pack was MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC), which rose to a multi-year high during an active week which saw it become the first medicinal cannabis company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The company also launched a new clinical study for its treatment for glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
And if you missed it, ASX cannabis investors now have access to an industry benchmarking tool, courtesy of industry research and investment group The Green Fund.
The index is comprised of 16 ASX-listed cannabis companies that meet a pre-determined set of criteria around trading volumes and market cap.