A few days ago I heard something so exciting for our economy that I’ve felt compelled to write about it since. My partner asked me to watch an episode of ‘4 Corners’ that he’d recorded last week called ‘Green Rush’. We recently purchased a small number of shares in two medicinal marijuana companies and he thought it would give me some understanding of what is going on with the industry.
As I watched, rather than thinking about share values, I started to appreciate the possible impact of the medicinal marijuana industry for the Australian agricultural and pharmaceutical industries and our general economy. I couldn’t help thinking that this emerging industry may very well be the answer to many of the challenges Australia faces.
As a career coach, one of the approaches we encourage clients to consider is looking for emerging opportunities or occupations based on strategies such as research, gathering intelligence from our networks, attending conferences, reviewing media reports etc. Medicinal marijuana seems a perfect enactment of this strategy on a macro scale.
The ‘4 Corners’ episode explained that medicinal marijuana has been identified as a possible treatment for a range of medical conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, autism and chronic pain. There have been some promising overseas clinical trials and some Australian states are currently running clinical trials. The Federal Government approved the prescription of Australian-grown/manufactured medicinal marijuana in 2016 but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for patients. They have faced many barriers although the government has been working to reduce these, with some recent success.
When ‘4 Corners’ reported that the Federal Government had recently approved Australia exporting medicinal marijuana products I actually said out loud, “This could be the smartest thing the Australian Government has ever done.” Demand for the product is building, with consistently more and more countries considering or approving medicinal marijuana, and we have masses of land with ideal growing conditions, creating excellent circumstances to embrace this opportunity.
The medicinal marijuana pharmaceutical market is likely to present a lucrative export and domestic opportunity for the Australian economy, particularly given the reported shortages of medicinal marijuana worldwide. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “By opening up the export market the government is hoping to improve the viability of domestic producers, thus securing supply for Australian patients”.
Let’s imagine for a moment that we can become the world’s leading producer of medicinal marijuana. That could reinvigorate our declining agriculture industry and generate significant revenue to invest into science, research, exploring additional new industries, skilling Australians for the future and providing support to members of our society in need. All potentially equating to additional job growth and worthy of our attention. As a career coach, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
If you haven’t already watched it, I’d encourage you to take a look at the 4 Corners Green Rush episode and share it with others in your networks.