BIG PLANS: Adam Benjamin of Medifarm.
BIG PLANS: Adam Benjamin of Medifarm. John McCutcheon

Medical marijuana boom: Treasurer weighs up Coast plan

ADAM Benjamin's goal of turning the Sunshine Coast into a world leading supplier of medicinal cannabis is a step closer with a Bill tabled in the Queensland Parliament.

And on Thursday Mr Benjamin has a meeting with Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt to discuss his company Medifarm's business model.

The new Bill, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, will establish the framework for the prescription, dispensing and administration of the drug.

Mr Benjamin said the timing of the Bill and the meeting with Mr Pitt was "better than perfect".

He was confident medical cannabis would be a "huge industry with many job and export opportunities".

"There is the projection for a big tax revenue," he said.

"When we can start to export it, it will really open it up. It will be a hundred million dollar industry."

Should marijuana be grown for medicinal use on the Sunshine Coast?

This poll ended on 18 May 2016.

Current Results

Yes. It's a great opportunity.


No. I can imagine all sorts of problems.


I guess if we make it legal it has to be grown somewhere.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

But medical practitioners, such as respected GP Wayne Herdy, remain concerned about the potential abuse of the drug.

"I am not confident, except in the case of epilepsy in children, it has anything to offer over conventional benefits," Dr Herdy said.

A large part of his medical practice involved treating addictions and he said he had seen the dangerous side-effects of abuse.

"I'm not in favour of it. There can be serious long-term problems, including genetic damage," he said.

"It is also often an entry drug into more serious drugs

"Among narcotic addicts I've treated on heroin for 20 years, they very often say the first drug that altered their mind was cannabis."

Mr Benjamin said he wanted to create a medical cannabis "hub" on the Sunshine Coast.

This would include farmlands to produce the product as well as industry suppliers and headquarters based in the region.

Already he has the support of leading international medical cannabis companies looking to locate here on the Sunshine Coast.

The potential for jobs and profits was "enormous" as Mr Benjamin believed it could be exported from the Sunshine Coast all over the world as legislation progresses.

"We have set out to create a leading industry hub for a cluster of businesses that specialise in the medical cannabis sector," Mr Benjamin said.

He was looking to base the hub at the "hospital health precinct at Kawana".

Medifarm will be establishing strong ties with research facilities such as universities and laboratories to also further the study into the benefit of medicinal cannabis in patients.

"The next phase is setting up the facility," he said.

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