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NSW medical cannabis trial may go interstate

Sydney: A deal reached on a New South Wales trial of medicinal marijuana is likely to prompt other states in Australia to hold talks over this matter.

It is to be noted that several leaders have expressed support for a nationwide approach to the issue.

The ACT Government has expressed its willingness to participate in the research, which was announced last month by the NSW Government. The government has also formed a working group to consider how the trial would be conducted.

A deal was reached at Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting last week and it is likely that the agreement could also have implications for other states, such as Tasmania and Victoria, which have been witnessing public as well political debate over medicinal marijuana.

The Victorian Government has said that the agreement could play an important role for a nationwide approach to medicinal marijuana. The government has appointed an expert advisory committee, chaired by Monash University Professor John McNeil, which will meet next week.

"Victoria is playing a leadership role on this significant issue, but we have a far greater chance of success by partnering with NSW and other jurisdictions," Victorian Health Minister David Davis said.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said that his Government is willing to collaborate on a national approach and that could include trials in the state. Hodgman has often been slammed for not taking the lead on the issue after the state rejected a commercial application to trial the growth of medicinal marijuana earlier this year.

Tasmanian Opposition spokeswoman Lara Giddings criticised the government saying that the state had missed the chance to become an industry leader.

"What we've got is leadership being shown by both the New South Wales and the Victorian governments while the Tasmanian Government has sat on its hands," she said.

"What we have seen now is the opportunity for a trial to be held here in Tasmania lost to these bigger mainland states," she added.