The Past and the Future

CannaTech Sydney 2018 is history. The inaugural Australian event, with 550 registrants from every level of the cannabis world, was a rousing success. For those who dreamed of the global cannabis revolution there is good news: the dream has arrived. For this particular cannabis veteran there was validation of the movement’s future in the form of 12-year old Rylie Maedler, the founder and president of Rylie’s Smile Foundation ( She is from Rehobeth Beach, Delaware and she was a long way from home when she took the stage in Sydney, Australia.

Rylie Maedler and Alice at CannaTech Sydney 2018.

Rylie developed an aggressive brain tumor at the age of eight. Surgery would remove the tumor but seizures became a new nightmare that was resolved by cannabis oil, administered by her mom. The youngster would survive, start her foundation to help other pediatric cancer patients and become a cannabis activist along the way. Rylie’s composed presentation at CannaTech would literally bring down the house, leading to an encore presentation after the final speaker on Tuesday afternoon.  It was an honor to pose with Rylie for a picture which I can’t help but look at and think, “There we are, the future and the past of medical cannabis.” Don’t get me wrong, I hope to have many more years to speak with people and remind them of the beginnings of the medical marijuana movement. It is my honor — perhaps even my duty — to recall the past.

And when I recall the past I think of Josh Andrews, three years old in 1980 and suffering from Wilm’s Tumor cancer. Like Rylie’s mom, Josh’s mom, Janet, was willing to do anything to save her child, including the use of cannabis. And like Rylie, Josh survived. He is now 42-years old and living in Idaho. It was my honor to finally meet the Andrews family in 2016. I wrote about Josh for Cannabis Now Magazine (

These stories are compelling and bring us all to tears. But there are thousands of Joshs’ and Rylies’ whose names we will never know, children whose parents take grave risks to save the lives of their children. Some succeed, some do not. But each should have the opportunity to LEGALLY use cannabis because it may well save the life of their child. ❖

Politics isn’t the only thing that makes strange bedfellows

BauxiteA recent article from the business newsletter Small Caps really underscores how curious the cannabis issue has become.  The Australian company, Queensland Bauxite, is integrating medical cannabis into its corporate platform and has snagged a plum import/export license from Australia’s Office of Drug Control.

Mining is among the largest sectors in Australia’s economy with coal being the surprising #1 mineral mined. Most coal is exported to China.  Bauxite is the principal ore of aluminum and Australia is the largest producer of alumina in the world.

But Australia is very ecology-minded and it is not surprising that mining companies might want to diversify to protect themselves in the future. Queensland Bauxite has made a dramatic statement of where it sees the future heading.

You can read the complete article here:

Hartley campaign for hemp | Lithgow Mercury

A Hartley resident is on a mission to introduce the benefits of the much maligned hemp plant to the broader Australian community.

Source: Hartley campaign for hemp | Lithgow Mercury

Alice’s Note:  The picture above shows me with Michelle Crain, organizer of the recent Hemp Initiative near Sydney, Australia.  Michelle put together a fabulous show complete with a fantastic medical symposium, organized by United in Compassion.  All this in Australia, May 2016.