Sunshine Coast to host Cannabis Symposium in August

The United in Compassion (UIC) Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium will be held on the Sunshine Coast this August.

The Symposium is being held at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre and is expected to attract over 400 delegates.

The bid was secured by Visit Sunshine Coast, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council via the Business Events Assistance Program.

A terminal illness that created acute, unrelieved pain for her son, prompted Lucy Haslam to take up the cause of legalising medicinal cannabis, culminating in the three-day conference to be held on the Sunshine Coast, which will see experts examine the issue and create pathways for legislative change.

In addition to a two-day symposium featuring international experts in the field, there will be a trade exhibition, a nurses’ conference, a health professionals’ event, and a gala dinner.

“We are expecting this to be a very powerful event, attracting health care professionals, industry representatives, the legal fraternity and interested members of the general public, who are often the most passionate advocates for sensible change,” said Haslam.

“I bring experts together from around the globe to share their knowledge and experience and hopefully drive wider acceptance of medicinal cannabis. We need to keep reform in the spotlight, as sadly this is still a very political issue with an enormous amount of vested interest and interference.

“There are a vast range of problems with the current system that will be addressed at the symposium, including drug driving issues, high costs for patients, and the difficulty with access for veterans and first responders, especially those with PTSD.”

Visit Sunshine Coast’s business events manager, Maureen Brennan, said the Symposium would be important to reflect the region’s suitability as a prime destination for medical and public interest related conferences.

“The Sunshine Coast has outstanding medical and educational institutions, with a renowned research and development sector, so conferences examining medical issues are a ‘natural’ for us,” said Brennan.

“We also have the advantage of an upgraded Sunshine Coast Airport, which has established direct air services from major city hubs such as Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, and internationally with Auckland.

“Following the pandemic, there is increasing demand for conferences in areas which can offer a more open, less crowded environment, complemented by ease of access and high-quality facilities.”