Astrid Advocates for Change at Parliament House

Lisa and Kady from Astrid at Parliament House in Canberra

On the 10th of May, 2024, a significant event took place that could shape the future of cannabis legislation in Australia. 

Astrid Dispensary & Clinic was invited by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to provide crucial insights during the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 inquiry. 

Our Founder and CEO, Lisa Nguyen, along with our COO, Kady Chemal, had the honour of presenting Astrid’s position at Parliament House in Canberra.

Astrid’s Vision for Cannabis Legislation

Astrid’s formal statement during the hearing highlighted several key points drawn from our experience in the natural medicine healthcare sector. 

We shared the insights into the shift we’ve observed since 2020, where a growing number of patients have moved from the illicit market to the medical sector. 

This transition, while positive, has placed significant pressure on healthcare professionals and the approval processes within the medical framework.

One of the primary concerns raised was the need for strict regulations and quality control measures. It’s imperative that products in the legal market meet high standards to ensure they are safe and reliable, contrasting sharply with those found in the illicit market. 

Astrid’s founder Lisa Nguyen at Parliament House in Canberra

This is essential not only for the safety of consumers but also for maintaining the integrity and trust in the legal cannabis industry.

Astrid advocated for the coexistence of medical and adult-use cannabis markets. We believe that such an approach would benefit both medical patients and adult-use consumers. 

Medical patients would continue to receive appropriate clinical care, while experienced cannabis consumers could access quality products from licensed retailers. This dual market structure would help relieve the pressure on the medical sector and promote overall well-being.

To support this vision, we proposed the establishment of a national cannabis regulator specifically for the adult-use market. 

This body would be responsible for standardising regulations, conducting routine product testing, and ensuring transparency and consistency in regulatory enforcement from cultivation to retail licensing. Such a framework would ensure that all aspects of the industry are held to the highest standards, providing a safe and trustworthy market for consumers.

Astrid’s COO Kady Chemal at Parliament House in Canberra

Astrid’s advocacy extends beyond mere regulation. We support responsible cannabis legislation as a means to enhance public health education, reduce opioid overdose rates, and lower crime levels. The legalisation and regulation of both medical and adult-use cannabis markets have the potential to change lives, break the stigma associated with cannabis use, and create a more informed and healthier society.

In conclusion, our participation in the Senate Inquiry on the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 at Parliament House was a pivotal moment for Astrid. It was a privilege to share our insights and advocate for a future where medical and adult-use cannabis markets can coexist, regulated by a dedicated national body. We believe that this approach will not only support our patients but also promote harm reduction and societal well-being. Astrid remains committed to leading the conversation on responsible cannabis legalisation and ensuring that the future of cannabis in Australia is safe, regulated, and beneficial for all.