Update - 21 June 2023
At the June 2023 Council meeting, it was decided not to proceed with the proposed Medicinal Cannabis venture after conducting a feasibility and risk assessment process.
The findings of the assessment revealed challenges and risks associated with the industry, outweighing the potential benefits for our residents.
Ultimately, it was concluded that the potential risks associated with these options outweighed any community benefits.
Maribyrnong City Council is committed to seeking alternate revenue streams and external funding opportunities to reduce the reliance on rates.
The idea to set
up a business to cultivate, produce and manufacture medicinal cannabis was
proposed in a Notice of Motion in September 2021.
With the rapidly rising domestic demand, it was felt a medicinal cannabis enterprise had the potential to bring in a solid income stream from a legal product to not only offset rates, but also deliver employment opportunities and contribute to the wellbeing of community members with chronic health conditions for whom conventional medicines do not work.
Medicinal cannabis products are legal, high-quality medicines prescribed by a doctor to treat illness or pain associated with:
- multiple sclerosis
- symptoms associated with cancer
- pain; and
- symptom relief in palliative care.
Following the Notice of Motion, we asked our community if they would support Council entering the medicinal cannabis business. A survey to gather feedback, and a public webinar and forum with the Vietnamese community to provide information and answer questions, were undertaken during five months of engagement, from September 2021 to January 2022.
74% of the 600 survey respondents supported the idea of the Council entering into the medicinal cannabis business, provided it can demonstrate the viability of the venture.
The common themes for support included:
- health benefits for the greater community
- an opportunity to reduce rates
- local employment opportunities, and
- the proposal being a progressive venture for the Council.
A public forum was also held on Thursday 30 September to answer community questions. A recording is available below and responses to these questions are available on this page under Forum Q&As