Olivia’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana cru­sade gets $ 3 mil­lion grant

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - MANDY SQUIRES

THE fed­eral govern­ment has promised to spend millions of dol­lars in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ben­e­fits of medic­i­nal cannabis in can­cer treat­ment.

Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt will to­day an­nounce $3 mil­lion for re­search into the use of medic­i­nal cannabis for the re­lief of pain, symp­toms and treat­ment side-ef­fects in can­cer pa­tients.

The news will be de­liv­ered at the Olivia New­ton-John Well­ness Walk And Re­search Run, which kicks of at Alexan­dra Gar­dens in Mel­bourne this morn­ing.

Funds from the event go to­wards can­cer re­search and pro­vid­ing pa­tients with ac­cess to world-lead­ing well­ness and re­cov­ery pro­grams.

Aussie icon Olivia New­ton-John, now 71, has been a staunch ad­vo­cate for the use of medic­i­nal cannabis in can­cer treat­ment fol­low­ing her own ex­pe­ri­ence with, and treat­ment for, metatas­tic breast can­cer.

Mr Hunt said the govern­ment was com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing a safe, qual­ity sup­ply of medic­i­nal cannabis to Aus­tralian pa­tients, but only when it was pre­scribed by med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.

He said more re­search on medic­i­nal cannabis was needed and there had been few well-de­signed clin­i­cal stud­ies to date.

The govern­ment sup­ported the na­tion’s medic­i­nal cannabis in­dus­try and had cut red tape to help meet de­mand.

The medic­i­nal cannabis in­dus­try had the po­ten­tial to make a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth, with 78 li­cences to grow and har­vest medic­i­nal cannabis is­sued since March 2017.

More than 11,000 pa­tients had been ap­proved to use medic­i­nal cannabis.


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