THE Tamworth-led campaign to legalise medical marijuana has suffered a set-back after the Norfolk Island government’s decision to allow a company to commence a cultivation trial was overturned.
The territory’s administrator Gary Hardgrave, who started in the role only last month, used his powers this week to cancel the licence issued to Tasman Health Cannabinoids (Tascann) on August 1.
Mr Hardgrave, a former shock jock and federal Liberal MP, said he sought advice from members of the Norfolk Island government during the past fortnight and was not satisfied the trial should proceed.
“I do not consider the advice I have received sufficient to warrant Minister (Robin) Adams issuing a licence under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1929,” he said.
“The potential social, economic and environmental impacts of Tascann’s proposal were not properly identified and assessed prior to the issue of the licence.
“The haste in which the licence was granted has also reduced the opportunity for the community to be adequately consulted.”
Tamworth woman Lucy Haslam, whose cancer-stricken son Daniel has become the face of a national movement to legalise medical marijuana for the terminally ill, said she was disappointed with the decision.
“It doesn’t really affect our situation too much because we’re looking at NSW, but it scares me that there’s so many players in this and that the (federal) government is not facilitating the need that’s been clearly indicated,” she said.
“They’re just playing games with people’s lives.”
Norfolk Island minister Robin Adams said there was “concern” within the government at Mr Hardgrave’s intervention, given the decision to grant Tascann a licence was made by the cabinet.
“I’m a very positive person and (Tascann) too are positive that this is just a hurdle that can be crossed,” she said.