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FX Medicine live at the 2019 UIC Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium - Day 2

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2019 heralds the third year of Australia’s Medicinal Cannabis Symposium yet patient access remains pitifully low.

The application process is burdensome, inconsistent and difficult to navigate. Government clinical guidance is narrow, politically motivated and designed to arrive at conclusions suiting outcomes other than the best interests of patients.

Thousands of sick Australians are still forced to rely on the illicit market to obtain what may very well be life-saving medicines while medicos remain confused about how and whether to prescribe. Many doctors even recommend their patients continue to use unregulated products rather than attempting the legal route – United in Compassion (UIC) views this as an unacceptable state of affairs. Meanwhile, research and acceptance around the world is exploding….

UIC seeks to bridge the information gap by once again promoting and showcasing global and domestic research and – importantly – placing patient issues and many would argue, human rights firmly back on the political, regulatory and clinical agendas.

2019 United In Compassion Medicinal Cannabis Symposium

Over 3 days hear from world experts as we grapple with the problems around patient access, guidelines and supply.

The FX Medicine LIVE team were pleased to attend the 2019 UIC Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Tweed Heads on 22-24 March 2019. Watch our interviews from Day Two below. 

See our interviews from Day One and Day Three.


Fiona Patten an Australian politician and is the founder and leader of the Reason Party, an evidence-based party committed to delivering equality, sustainability and freedom through new methods of political engagement and pragmatic consultation.

ANDREW AND Fiona DISCUSSED the political landscape of MEDICINAL CANNABIS in Australia:

  • How Fiona came to be the leader of the Reason Party
  • Recreational vs medicinal cannabis
  • The economics of the cannabis plant
  • Why are politicians so against medicinal cannabis?
  • What is happening on a state and federal level to improve access to medicinal cannabis in Australia?
  • Concerns over the safety of cannabis use if it is made more available
  • What can the average person do to influence change in the political scene?


Dr Jeffrey Hergenrather is a general practitioner specialising in cannabis/cannabinoid medicine since 1999 and his medical experience includes 26 years in emergency medicine and private general practice.

ANDREW AND ANDREW DISCUSSED THE alleged harm of cannabis versus the evidence:

  • What does the evidence have to say about the safety of cannabis use?
  • Cannabis and the brain
  • The importance of good quality studies and data
  • Decriminalisation of cannabis
  • Changing the medical approach


Rhys Cohen is a political economist, cannabis industry expert and educator.

Since attaining Honours (First Class) at the University of Sydney for his thesis on the political economy of North American cannabis markets, Rhys has been engaged by several domestic and international medicinal cannabis organisations and is now the Senior Project Officer at the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics. Rhys is responsible for the management of multiple internal projects and acts as a key interface between the Lambert Initiative and government, regulators, industry and consumers.

Rhys has appeared in several major news outlets including the Huffington Post; the Sydney Morning Herald; ABC Radio PM; and The Age. His industry analysis has been cited by Deloitte Access Economics; the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in Agriculture Victoria; and the Office of Drug Control. He has also spoken on the political, regulatory and economic features of medicinal cannabis at events in every State and Territory in Australia.

ANDREW AND Rhys discussed the cannabis research being done by the Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney:

  • What is the Lambert Initiative
  • Patient access to medicinal cannabis
  • Issues with the affordability of medicinal cannabis
  • Should cannabis be legalised?
  • Education for general practitioners
  • How restricted should cannabis products be?


ANDREW AND Sheree DISCUSSED giving cannabis back to the people:

  • Sheree's background in nursing, medical research, cannabis advisory and community care
  • Addressing the issues of cannabis harm and the lack of research
  • Facts and statistics surrounding true risks of cannabis
  • The ambiguous nature of cannabis research
  • Cannabis is an "exit drug" not a gateway drug
  • Research publication bias
  • Routes of delivery: smoking, nebulising, juicing, topical creams, cooking, baking etc
  • South Africa had a moratorium and have legalised cannabis
  • New Zealand are having a referendum on cannabis
  • The LD50 of cannabis 


Dr Judith Lacey is the Head of Supportive Care and Integrative Oncology at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse . Over the past 18 years she has worked extensively with cancer patients and people living with incurable illness. Her area of interest is in whole person care: integrating care for people and their families living with cancer or chronic illness that affects their physical and emotional wellbeing. She works with complementary and integrative medicine practitioners, psychologists, other medical specialists, nurses and allied health professionals to maximise patient wellbeing. Research interests and activities are in the field of Integrative Oncology, Medicinal Cannabis and Supportive Care service developments .

ANDREW AND Judith DISCUSSED a doctor's perspective on medicinal cannabis prescribing and research:

  • Judith's medical background
  • Prescribing medicinal cannabis
  • Judith's involvement in medicinal cannabis research
  • How to improve education for medical practitioners on medicinal cannabis 
  • The work of Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
  • What does the future hold for medicinal cannabis


Dr John Teh has been working within the Medicinal Cannabis industry since the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in Australia in February, 2016. As an avid organic farmer and permaculture expert, treatment with natural whole plant products in conjunction with conventional medical treatment has always been a top personal priority for Dr Teh. Coming from a QLD surgical family, Dr Teh has also settled within the surgical field as assistant surgeon to many surgical specialties.  Dr Teh worked in the surgical industry for 15 years before moving into Medicinal Cannabis specialty full-time.

ANDREW AND John DISCUSSED prescribing medicinal cannabis:

  • John's experience prescribing and accessing medicinal cannabis
  • Supply issues for medicinal cannabis
  • Providing cannabis education for medical practitioners - PlantMed
  • Addressing stigma and fears surrounding cannabis
  • Varieties of cannabis
  • Cannabis as an exit-drug 
  • Using medicinal cannabis for pain 
  • What kind of people are using medicinal cannabis?
  • Dosing and administration of medicinal cannabis
  • Addressing safety issues of medicinal cannabis

FX MEDICINE LIVE: ANDREW SPEAKS TO Senior Professor Simon Eckermann

Senior Professor Simon Eckermann, of the University of Wollongong and the Australian Health Services Research Institute, is a leading researcher internationally in health economics, an increasingly influential field for optimising research, reimbursement and regulation of health care services.

Since the early 1990's, Professor Eckermann has undertaken research with key national bodies including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre, the Flinders University Centre for Clinical Change and Health Care Research and The National Palliative Care Collaborative.

In 2018, Professor Eckermann published an article in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy on Medicinal Cannabis and the Tyranny of Distance: Policy Reform Required for Optimizing Patient and Health System Net Benefit in Australia

ANDREW AND Simon DISCUSSED health economics and policy reform of medicinal cannabis:

  • Simon's background in health research
  • How Simon came to be interested in medicinal cannabis research
  • Pharmalogical vs agrarian approach
  • Accessibility of medicinal cannabis - pricing
  • Cost of cultivating cannabis and downstream effects of medicinal cannabis use
  • Medicinal cannabis policy reform
  • The health economics of medicinal cannabis in Australia


John Easterling is an American businessman and environmentalist who serves as the CEO and chairman of Amazon Herb Company. He is also known as the husband of singer/songwriter and actress Olivia Newton-John. 

ANDREW AND John DISCUSSED medicinal herbs - treasures of the plant kingdom:

  • John's background in "treasure hunting" in the Amazon
  • The Amazon Herb Company and medicinal herbs
  • Ethno-botany
  • Traditional uses of cannabis
  • Cannabis isolates vs full spectrum therapy
  • Delivery methods
  • Cannabis use and availability in the US vs in Australia

The FX Medicine Team would like to thank United in Compassion and the 2019 UIC Medicinal Cannabis Symposium for having us. 


The information provided on FX Medicine is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.

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