South Australia files plans to legalize cannabis

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A member of Australia’s Green Party has reintroduced a bill that proposes to legalize and regulate cannabis in South Australia. the Cannabis Legalization Bill 2022presented to the South Australian Legislative Council on May 18, calls for strict legalization and regulation of cannabis.

The law was originally introduced in November 2021, but had to be reintroduced during the newest session of Parliament.

“In drafting this piece of legislation, we looked at various forms of legalization and regulation that have been proposed or are now operational. Although we considered some international jurisdictions, such as Canada, the United States and the Netherlands, we mainly considered proposed legislation in Australia, such as the decriminalization of cannabis which is now law in the Territory. of the Australian capital and recent attempts in Victoria.

“Reviewing international jurisdictions was useful and provided insights, as no Australian jurisdiction has yet fully legalized cannabis, but the differences between these countries have resulted in obvious limitations,” explained Tammy Franks, the law sponsor, at Stratcann late last year.

“There’s actually a lot of public support for cannabis legalization, but those who oppose it are doing so very loudly. I would argue that stigma remains a significant barrier to cannabis legalization, but especially the outdated views of the two main parties we have here in South Australia (Labour and Liberals) who, despite broad public support, have all two said they would not support the Cannabis Legalization Bill of 2021. Stigma can be combated through public campaigning and education about the (often exaggerated but very real) pros and cons of cannabis, the safe consumption and what to do if you or someone else has an adverse reaction. The outdated views of mainstream parties will be much more difficult to overcome, but I hope that with this bill, broad public support, and growing research on cannabis, it will be more and more difficult for major parties to legitimately oppose the legalization of cannabis. »

“Drug prohibition is not working and it is time cannabis use in South Australia was treated as a healthcare issue and not a criminal issue which has seen some of the most vulnerable people in our communities criminalized so that they should have received the health care they needed. »

“Canadian-style” legalization

To oversee all aspects of new regulations and the future cannabis industry, the bill provides for the creation of the South Australian Cannabis Agency. In addition to managing regulation, the agency would control all sales between producers and distributors and monitor license holders.

The proposed legislation seeks to create two distinct categories of licensing overseen by the agency: one for production and one for distribution.

The production license would allow all forms of commercial cultivation, importation of seeds, research and analytical testing, as well as processing, packaging and labeling of commercial cannabis products. Commercial growers would have production limits.

The Cannabis Distribution License would allow anyone over the age of 18 to sell cannabis plants, seeds and cannabis products to the public in stores. It would also allow on-site consumption in a retail establishment under a special permit.

A micro-cultivation class for small-scale commercial cannabis production is also planned, although the details of this license class are yet to be defined. Self-cultivation is also planned up to 6 plants per person.

Simultaneous holding of a production and distribution license is not permitted. Obtaining a license is subject to a fee of $550, which is then paid again each year. Production licenses can last up to five years, distribution licenses up to one year. Licenses are not transferable.

The agency, if created, will also establish an advisory board to develop strategies to, among other things, “prevent the over-commercialization of the cannabis industry or the domination of this industry by companies with on a large scale”, as well as possibly establishing THC limits on certain products, and “developing and promoting strategies to reduce the harm caused by cannabis”.

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