Melbourne Council investigating growing cannabis for ‘very, very significant funding’

Melbourne Council investigating growing cannabis for ‘very, very significant funding’

Melbourne council
Coulson Gardens - photo by Maribyrnong City Council
Words by Lucas Radbourne

Melbourne's Maribyrnong City Council have announced an investigation into growing medicinal cannabis as an alternative income source.

The Maribyrnong council, which includes the suburbs of Braybrook, Footscray, Kingsville, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Seddon, Tottenham, West Footscray and Yarraville, is considering growing cannabis to reduce over-reliance on ratepayers as an income source.

Maribyrnong Mayor Michael Clarke will formally put forth the motion at a council meeting tonight, heralding the potential profitability of entering the medicinal marijuana market.

What you need to know

  • Maribyrnong Mayor Michael Clarke is backing a council plan to grow cannabis medicinally
  • If successful, it would be aimed at providing alternative income for the local council
  • It will be put to a vote at a council meeting tonight

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

“This is not just a thought bubble. We’ve had a couple of staff looking at this in absolute detail,” Councillor Clarke told 3AW. “This is very, very significant funding that we’re looking at, or revenue we’re looking at generating.

“We are serious about capping the household rate and then ideally reducing the rate burden on the community.”

In 2016, the federal government approved new laws that allow the legal prescription of cannabis medicines, with Australia’s Therapeutics Goods Administration approving over 46,000 medicinal cannabis prescriptions, for a range of chronic illnesses, by 2020.

Over 100 different cannabis medicinal products are now available, with most taken orally or through dried flower varieties. Most are for chronic pain, however it is also used to treat anxiety and epilepsy in highly regulated cases.