The Nimbin Medican Cannabis Workshop is on every quarter or so in the picturesque town of Nimbin in Northern New South Wales, Australia. 

The event attracts industry-leading speakers as well as local presenters and always attracts a nice crowd. 

Australians hear about medical cannabis being legal and keen to find out how it may benefit them and their loved ones. Many people are willing to travel to Nimbin from Brisbane and even from Sydney to find out how medical cannabis might be able to help them.

In this short film, we interviewed presenters and attendees of the workshop so that you can have a feel for the atmosphere and information presented and the Medican. 

In addition to the short documentary movie, we also live-streamed a Medican Workshop, you can watch the 3 presentations from the event below. 

27 March 2021

Nimbin Medican

CBN live streamed the Nimbin Medican from the Nimbin Town Hall. This was the first time the Medican was available live to people in need of this information. Anyone could watch the presentations at the comfort of their home. If you missed the sessions live, below you can watch the recordings of the presentations. 

Nimbin Medican 27 March 2021

Dr John TehDr Jamie RickcordDavid Heilpern
Dr John TehDr Jamie RickcordDavid Heilpern
Medical Director
Medical Director
Ananda Clinics
Retired Magistrate,
Lawyer and Author
Watch Dr Rickcord’s
Watch Mr Heilpern’s

In case you prefer to read, below is the transcript of the short documentary about the Nimbin Medican:

Good on you for coming. Thank you very much for coming.

Seriously, the rain is just fantastic for us, that’s the most rain we’ve had in a year, I reckon.

So you might have helped make that happen.

But how many people never been to Medican?

I so appreciate you coming all the weather and all, and I hope you have a really good day or weekend or so, Andrew, come up here.

So my name is Michael, I’m president of the Hemp Embassy here.

This is Andrew from the Hemp Party, secretary of the Hemp Party, a big part of the Hemp Embassy also.

And just so you know, more than half the people would have never been here.

So appreciate everyone coming and trekking through the water. And usually that store would be outside. There’s a selection of books there, and info. 

If you do get time to go up, the Hemp Embassy, next to the pub, has lots of books and info and more stuff.

But generally, it’s tricky today because some of you will not know much about cannabis and some of you will know a lot.

So feel free to ask questions. Feel free to talk to the various doctors and different people when you get a chance yourself.

There will be plenty of room for that.

We have an annual cannabis law reform gathering and rally on the first weekend of May every year.

And that’ll be the next time we really get together for medical talks … first, second and third of May.

But we started the Hemp Embassy nearly 30 years ago after a really bad year of helicopter raids where you kind of feel like the police use this as practise in a way, you know, and it’s pretty scary.

Helicopters over your house and people in military uniform just about coming down ropes and looking for dope plants.

Like the terrorists things by themselves, just about, but, you know, over time we built up lots of knowledge and then people kept coming to us looking for help to find medicine.

And, you know, if you think you can help someone feel better, I kind of reckon you’ve got an obligation to just do it anyway.

We’re a non-profit organisation. Maybe that’s protected us from the police a little bit, but we’ve had a few police raids. 

Generally, I would say New South Wales police are using discretion more than Queensland police, I think, anyway.

Andrew my mate here, he’s got involved on the legal side of medical cannabis and knows much more about it than me, got licences to export and import seeds.

And he’s got licences to grow hemp and medical cannabis trials. But, you know, we’re still seen as the weirdos, I think.

Andrew Kavasilas

Nimbin Medican Cannabis Workshop - Andrew Kavasilas

Hi, I’m Andrew Kavasilas from the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, secretary of the Australian Hemp Party, and involved in a couple of medical cannabis enterprises and hemp seed food advocate.

The Nimbin Medcans …

I’ve been involved from the start, obviously, with the Hemp Embassy.

I like them because a lot of people are coming who’s never been to Nimbin before. And it’s not a big city one or anything like that.

We’re not talking to overseas high falutin professors with all this scientific knowledge.

The Nimbin Medcan is all about what people are doing on the street.

You know what the normal people, how they’re getting by with medical cannabis, you know, medical cannabis that has been, you know, by and large, 99 percent of medical cannabis has grown to black market specifications, whether it’s here in Australia or in the US or Canada.

These rules and regulations around GMP and these are all new.

It’s not and it’s not really taking off in a big way overseas. So, the Medcan is important for that.

And that’s what people see. And also, there is that chance that they get the correct information.

And and what I do nowadays, at these Medicans, I warn people about the immense amount of misinformation there is about medical cannabis nowadays.

That’s the other point we’re trying to make is that, high profile advocates around medical cannabis don’t really understand the issues.

We’re not even … the debate hasn’t matured in Australia.

We’re still not talking about the overarching United Nations drug treaties that are keeping medical cannabis really at bay. That’s why government’s going on three,
four years now of legal medical cannabis, and yet there’s still nothing but complaints.

Very few people are accessing it in terms of the overall population. So what we’re seeing is a huge increase in the black market of medical cannabis and that’s a worry for us, because by now we would have thought that the government would have spoken to the Hemp Party and the Hemp Embassy.

We know what’s going on.

No use talking to people who don’t understand supply the introduction of how medical cannabis came about in other countries.

What is medical cannabis?

Being from Nimbin here is important because when people do come here, if you do find the right person, you will get the right answers.

You will be brought into the picture in the meantime, I tell people question everything.

And even if you do come to Nimbin and you hear this or that,
I would still question it.

We say, go use Google, use the Internet, but really look at really well defined testimonials of people.

So I think the Medcans will continue on into the future.

I think there will be more influential and hopefully the Hemp Party will be more influential in terms of genuine medical cannabis law reform here in Australia.

Start Low Go Slow

Our big advice for people who have never tried cannabis before is start low, go slow, you start really slow.

You don’t ever give yourself a fright. You might totally love it. You might not like it.

And you’ll hear from a lot of people today, especially Dr Pot, who’ll say everyone is different.

And this is where it sort of beats the pharmaceutical industry. There isn’t a standard dose to give everybody.

We are all different.

We all have an endocannabinoid system.

It was only discovered forty years ago.

We just all have a different reaction. I really appreciate how individual we all are.

And and I think, like Andrew said, you have to trust yourself, be your own doctor.

Everyone should Google their ailment and medical cannabis and you’ll find so much information.

It’s confusing. So hopefully today people will help you be not too confused.

And there’s three doctors all with experience in cannabis.

I’m going to be around over the weekend.

There’s Malcolm Lee, who is a long time breeder and grower of cannabis and been through the courts and got himself out of it well.

Very open people here will be game to talk to you about anything, so don’t be shy.

So first speaker is Dr. Deb Waldron from Queensland.

She I’ve known Dr Deb for a while. She’s been coming to these Medicans regularly and she will juggle …  some of, you know, lots and some of you know nothing.

But I think I can say that she’s been a cannabis user for a long time as well as a doctor and now starting herbalism.
So it’s been her effort to manage her own pain that’s really led you along the path of learning, hasn’t it?

Doctor Deb, I’m not saying any more.

Thanks for being here.

Dr. Deb Waldron

Thanks, Michael.

Hi, I’m Dr. Debbie Waldron.

I was a rural GP several years ago, but I’m also a cancer survivor.

I got melanoma around the same time as I stopped practising medicine.

And I’d like to say that cannabis was what cured me, but it was dendritic cell therapy in Germany.

Cannabis just helped me in many other ways and almost certainly slowed the growth of that cancer.

But we’re not here to talk about that today. We’re here to celebrate the Medican Workshops.

This is something that’s been going for a few years now, and I’ve been privileged enough to give talks here for the last few years.

These workshops were set up to educate the public about medical cannabis, to try and get rid of some of the Reefer Madness ideas that are still prevalent today to make it easier for people to find out about medical cannabis and to ultimately find out ways to access medical cannabis just through networking and things like that.

So the reason I became involved is because I’m a compulsive talker.

For starters, I can basically talk the leg off an iron pot and the more I learnt about cannabis medicine, the more I realised that this was a new and exciting field of medicine that doctors had been denied.

And I just felt that it was really, really important to get the word out there, if not to doctors initially, but to the general public.

I sort of just slipped quite easily into the habit of coming to Nimbin every three months to talk at the workshops.

I also do talks at Mardi Grass and the same thing is really just to educate the public on medical cannabis.

But the other secondary reason is not just the talks that are given, but there’s now a few doctors attending the workshops and it gives people a chance to talk to a doctor about it, to perhaps explore why it’s so hard for other GP’s to write prescriptions.

One of the things that are stopping GP’s from writing prescriptions are the doctors can at least help people to understand that a bit better as well as, you know, sort of being the cautionary voice in this sometimes.

Once cannabis is extracted, it becomes a medicine whether people like that idea or not.

And though you can get adverse effects from smoking or vaping cannabis, those effects are usually more short-Lived, whereas the adverse effects you can get from ingested cannabis and such as edibles, the these can actually lead to quite decent toxicity because people, for example, don’t wait for it to take effect before they take another dose.

So it really helps to have a doctor’s input, especially when you’re wanting to use cannabis for conditions that require high levels of THC, especially activated.

So we act as a cautionary voice as well.
I don’t know. I think I think it it helps people to be able to talk face to face with a doctor as well.

I think it helps to dispel the thing that we’re all complete arseholes because not all of us are.

And and I think I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve learnt a lot about why people do come to these workshops.

And it is invariably for help is for a loved one or themselves.

And they have all done some research before they come here.

But I’m actually astounded by how many new people are in every audience every three months, because we always ask that question and it’s always the majority of the audience.

I think we’ve become a bit of an institution now in the cannabis scene, in our quest for legislation, the Medican workshops are becoming better and better known, and I feel very privileged to be a part of that.

And I hope to continue for quite a long time yet.

Steve Bolt

My name’s Steve Bolt.

I’m a solicitor in Lismore, which is not very far away from Nimbin.

I’m here today at the Medican seminar to give advice to people about the legal status about medicinal cannabis, which is sort of a little bit legal, but mostly not.

There’s all sorts of complicated regulations which allow some people to go through a process to get legal prescriptions.

Most people, the great majority of people who use medicinal cannabis are not able to do that for all sorts of complicated reasons.

So we’re here today really to give advice about how that works a little bit.

And in particular, I suppose, to talk about the impact of people on the drive with the driving laws.

It’s an offence to drive a car in all states these days with the presence of THC in saliva … Police do a saliva test.

And we’re talking about the way that works, the consequences for people.

I think the takeaway message I hope that people got from my talk was in the context of things.

Yes, it might be illegal to use medicinal cannabis, but make your own decision about what is good for you or for your physical health, possibly your mental health, make your own decisions about the medicinal effect of cannabis.

For very, very many people, it’s a very effective medicine and more effective than other products available through pharmaceutical companies and so on.

So even though you might be breaking the law, put that into the context of the health benefits that come from breaking the law and what are the chances of being caught and punished by the police and the courts?

Probably pretty low, really, and in a similar way, driving with the presence of THC in your saliva.

Sure, it’s against the law. Many, many people would.

Not be tested because of the way the police conduct their tests, because the police will simply choose not to, and even if you are tested and found positive, go to court.

The magistrate is depending on your driving record, etc. possibly more likely than not to be lenient enough to allow you to keep your licence.

It’s a big thing that people worry about, losing their licence if they get stopped by police, big thing and hopefully people’s mind to rest a little bit.

Today, we’re saying the reality is chances are low, that you would be caught.

And if you are caught.

Chances are low that you would actually lose your licence.

Carol Ireland

I’m Carol Ireland I’m the CEO and the managing director of Epilepsy Action Australia, an organisation that provides services and support for people who are affected with epilepsy right across the country.

A lot of people with epilepsy have unrelenting seizures that aren’t controlled by the normal antiepileptic medications that are available.

And a lot of people are looking to medical cannabis as an option to try to help control their seizures.

I’ve been to the medican symposiums,

all seminars, as we might call them
on a couple of occasions.

I’ve met a lot of people here with epilepsy and I’ve met people with other health conditions as well.

And we’re trying to help them to navigate the various processes in Australia that are around seeking medical cannabis as a treatment option for their condition.

It’s been great to talk to people who are interested. They’re having difficulty sometimes with access.

They’re wanting to understand exactly why medical cannabis might help them. And so we’re trying to educate in terms of the endocannabinoid system and various reasons why they may, in fact, have an endocannabinoid deficiency.

There’s a lot to work out.

Australia’s got a lot to learn.

We’re still on the edge of research and the Medican symposium’s actually seek to give people some balanced and genuine understanding of this whole situation.

Dr Andrew Katelaris aka Dr Pot

Dr Pot they call him he was in jail half of last year, he is uncompromising.

I really appreciate that, Dr Andrew Katelaris.

And here we are at Medican meeting at Nimbin.

I’ve been attending Medican meetings for some years now.

The fact that they’re so well attended really attests to the failings of the current allopathic medical system.

It’s a very valuable opportunity both for the patients or the prospective patients to learn what is available across the broad range of cannabis therapeutics and from the herbal providers to improve both the delivery of the product and the product themselves.

So it’s a very valuable two way learning experience, even though there have been some legal developments in the provision of medical cannabis.

The fact remains that the pharmaceutical cannabis is both very expensive and at times quite prohibitively expensive and also very limited in the range of products
that are being offered to patients.

One thing that anyone who’s been involved with medical cannabis for any period
of time knows, it’s a therapeutic that needs to be applied in a very individualised way.

There’s no one size fits all. There’s no one dose for everyone.

And at these medical meetings, as I said, there is a two way interaction between the patients and the carers and providers that we find invaluable and is essential for improving the overall results that we will be
getting now and in the future.

Dr. John Teh – PlantMed

Good day, Dr. John Teh here I’m the Medical Director of PlantMed Medicinal Cannabis Clinic, and we’re based in Brisbane, Australia.

And I’m here today at the Medican. It’s a quarterly conference put on by the Nimbin community to educate people about medicinal cannabis.

It’s one of my favourite little meetings of the year, and people are always so receptive to the amazing information which I have to share with them.

I always run through the basics of THC as a medicine and CBD as a medicine.

And I love to answer questions that people might have and everyone who has got specific questions for themselves.

So often your question is relevant to other people’s questions as well. I’d love to answer those questions for you.

PlantMed is a medicinal cannabis clinic which has been operating in Brisbane now for over a year, and we’ve had over a thousand patients legally approved for medicinal cannabis use.

So come on down to Medican.

It’s a lovely place. The people are friendly and you can get some great education about the use of medicinal cannabis and how it can benefit you and your life.

Thanks, I’m Dr Teh.


Hi, my name is Caroline.

Why I’m here at the Medican and why I give up my Saturday and Sunday four times a year to come and do this is because it’s a great education for people who don’t know a lot about it.

You often need points to be able to hang on to points in history, real facts to be able to understand what the war on drugs is about.

And cannabis in particular is a master plant.

And if you look into the history of cannabis, you realise it’s been used as medicine and as a whole lot of things, fuel, fibre. Now it can be used as plastics. It’s it’s just an incredible thing.

And so we call that a master plant and it’s worth fighting for the master plants and cannabis as medicine is really what medicine is all about. Or, mostly about.

I think that you need to get educated on on really the idea that being at peace and in harmony with Mother Nature, treating yourself with the best plant medicine, with the with the kind of your best idea of how your body actually works, treating your body like a temple, treating the Earth like a temple.

We’re very lucky to be here.

And and we can’t deny that the plants and the trees and the mountains have everything to do with our survival.

So, yeah, cannabis is just super important to me because of particularly in the last decade, the health effects that we’ve seen.

And and it’s undeniable, even though most of it’s anecdotal, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

A lot of history that’s written is not true anyway, whereas we can see from talking to people and switching people on that they actually get switched on to a much bigger picture.

And it’s more about our connection with nature and our connection with spirit and understanding the truth about why we’re here and what our purposes and that it’s a beautiful thing.

Gerald’s Hemp Store

Welcome to my store. My name is Gerald.

I am the proprietor and we’re making anything to do with  cannabis.

Me personally, I’ve been working for the cannabis plant for the last 40 years on a full time basis and she’s my boss.

She tells me what to do and this is a cosmetic use rubbing on the hemp balm, which is
a rather marvellous thing.

Everything we do is legal.

Everything we do is for the good of either the person or the planet. And we’ve stumbled across some some really marvellous uses.

This is cannabis juicing.

It’s just going through a cold pressed juicer. Take it fairly slowly and we’re getting about 40 percent juice per plant weight from our material. And it’s marvellous.

We have to mix it down with a little bit of apple juice or something to keep the flavour good.

Untapped, this one here is an untapped resource, absolutely marvellous.

Think about think of wheatgrass or that kind of nutrient value only.

But with this you’ve got the low range precursor cannabinoids as well, which are just excellent for you, wonderful homeostasis, which is balancing the body, balancing the digestive system,doing it all quite naturally and with no high or intoxication whatsoever.

And don’t waste the waste this here, the waste is .. It’s just pure fibre.

You can make a beautiful plastic out of that.

You can make all kinds of … the … Chickens love it, feed your chicken with that, that’ll give you a nice yellow coloured eggs.

And this is the juice, completely not intoxicating, no THC of any kind in there at all.

Delicious. You can taste the goodness.

Cheers folks, you’re doing a beautiful job.

This here is tea. It makes a very nutty, very full flavoured natural tea.

Again, no intoxication whatsoever.

Quite delicious.

And you make it the same way as you do tea.

You add hot water, let it steep for 10 minutes and drink it.


We have that in tea begs, too of course, this is all made from the
industrial hemp plant.

So that test out to be less than one percent THC in the plant.

And that’s what keeps it legal.

The only difference between hemp and cannabis is the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC that you’ll find in the plant.

So this is the long fibre from the plant. Incredibly useful from that we’ve been making this here, which is Martin Earnings, baby, the local inventor.

This is magnesium hemp block.

It replaces concrete and it’s a carbon sink.

So rather than burning carbon and releasing carbon in building products, we’re now absorbing them into the building product and sequestering them forever.

Fireproof, weatherproof. It’s got it all. This is this is a building block of the future and it will drive the whole building industry into becoming a carbon sink.

So instead of producing carbon, we’re not sequestering.

Malcolm Lee

My name is Malcolm Lee.

I’m a plant breeder. I’m a grower. I teach people how to make feminised seeds.

I teach people how to change the cannabinoid profile of all of the plants that they want to plant.

It’s most important that you come to this to this Medican conference, because our whole concept of medicine has been changed over the last 100 years.

We have an internal cannabis system, and it is responsible for 80 percent of our homeostasis, homeostasis being that balance in your body, which allows you to carry on for a long, long time.

You do that by having a great smile on your face from the time that you born, until the time that you die to actually achieve a smile on your face for that length of time is quite difficult.

However, if you exercise, you eat properly, you have good sex.

You have all of the things that are going to put the smile on your face. You’ll last a long, long time.

If you sit down and eat at McDonald’s or KFC and Coca-Cola and watch your TV for the rest of your life, your endocannabinoid system gets depressed and in the end it gets to a point of endocannabinoid deficiency.

You will start getting disease.

And when you keep going, you will get to a point where there’s an endocannabinoid wilting point, just like a plant has a wilting point.

You cannot come back from that point. You cannot.

So you want to keep that endocannabinoid system strong.

The interesting thing is that your internal cannabis anandamide, 2-AG is completely the same, electromagnetically as anandamide and 2-AG so your body does not distinguish between your internal cannabis and the cannabis from a plant.

If the internal cannabis makes you well, so does the external cannabis.

I had 700 people I was supplying cannabis to before I got busted. I supposed to go to jail for thirty three years and nine months with the judge actually said that I should carry on.

So guess what, you gave me a wink, see if you get here, you increase your knowledge and you do your own research, do your own research, because this is how it is.

Every cannabinoid and every person who takes cannabis doesn’t know whether it’s working properly.

You have to be your own doctor. You have to you have to decide whether you eat a certain amount today or take the oil a certain amount of day.

What type of oil, whether it’s high in CBD, CBC, you have to figure it out.

So come to the cannabis workshop and find out and do your own research, please.


Hi, my name is Edwin and I’m from Melbourne, originally from the Netherlands.

And I’m here in Nimbin to this special event where basically I like to learn more about the medicinal purpose of the hemp plant.
I think it’s such a versatile plant and not only for medicinal purposes, but also for industrial purposes.

And this event here where I am right now is giving me further insights about how this plant can be used for epilepsy or people perhaps with cancer, but also goes more into … I suppose the specifics, how you can apply it, why it might not work for everybody.

And we have all cannabinoid system and they are just discovering more and more
about this and so am I.

I recommend anybody, to be honest, who wants to do something for humanity and wants to do something for the Earth to get involved. And that’s why I’m here.


Good day. Everyone calls me Sista.

I’ve been doing the Nimbin Medican for a couple of years now, pretty much from the beginning.

And you can watch it all on YouTube, just search Nimbin Medican and you’ll find hundreds of videos from lawyers, doctors, health professionals, patients from all around Australia covering all sorts of diseases.

I’m particularly interested in medical cannabis and also the legalisation of cannabis as a plant and as hemp.

Along with my other colleagues, we promote these educational forums and conferences to be attended by patients, medical health professionals, health professionals and laypeople.

Like I said, do come.

I have a health professional background going back thirty years in the medical industry and there is no doubt that the medical benefits of cannabis, CBD, THC, their undisputed in treating trauma and illnesses of all kinds.

So really, I think you need to be part of this session and you need to come.

We are very friendly and everyone benefits from cannabis, including the little ones.

David and the Team at the Nimbin Bush Theatre

Hi, I’m David Hyatt. I’m the proprietor of the Nimbin Bush Theatre.

This is my beautiful staff who I am so in honour of from today’s actions with the Medican rally, we are the regular host of the Medican rallies and we see that as being a really an important event on the calendar of Nimbin.

Many people come from all over Australia predominantly to share information and to gain some thoughts on healing, education, law, all sorts of different facets of the of the marijuana industry.

My team of beautiful people who just love being in service and sharing their joy and happiness with everybody also is very healing.

And Nimbin itself is the centre where people come to share the love and we’re happy to to be a part of the whole process.

Thundercloud Riparian,
a.k.a. James Arthur Warren

I’m Thundercloud Riparian, a.k.a. James Arthur Warren, and I’m a Nimbin artist, poet and very passionate cannabis activist.

Last year at one of these Medican workshops, I wrote the following poem and I’d love to share it with you.

So here we go…

If you were the parent of a child who is
sick, would you give cannabis
to your son named Dick?

If you were the wife of a man with cancer,
would you give him cannabis
as a life enhancer?

And what about if you were a doctor
and you knew a cure of pharmaceutical
poisons or a herb that’s pure?

It’s time that the days of prohibition
were passed free up the herb
and free up the healing grass.

And if a healing herb heals, not harms,
why is it that the government
twists our arms?

Because the earth gives plants
for people to heal and eat.

So why is cannabis stopped from growing
in my garden and in the street?

And if the drug war harms people every
day, let’s end prohibition today.

And if ending prohibition will harm
minimise, let’s do it
totally without any licence
regulation or disguise because it’s time
that the days of prohibition were passed,

free up the healing herb and free up the grass
because cannabis makes its users feel well
and locking up users is abuse and it’s hell.

And if we end the drug war,
we could help out the people and end
the big pharmaceutical evil.

We could grow our own cannabis in our own
homes and we could drink it and juice it,
just maybe smoke a few cones,
because it’s time that the days
of prohibition were passed.

Free up the healing herb and free up
the grass because cannabis enhances
performance and brains and prohibition is
only causing many millions of people pain.

And if cannabis were made to be grown
and made legal, we could end
the poisonous alcohol evil.

And if we end prohibition at the end
of the day, there’ll be less crime gangs,
less pain, less police.

Yeah, and all those criminal
elements will just fade away.

We end.
We want to call old politicians.

We need to give them a reason and we can
end prohibition this growing season
before four twenty, twenty, twenty.

Let’s do it.

I’m Thundercloud washing away the garbage
and leaving behind Rainbow see you later.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Latest videos