Sharon Bentley - Medical Cannabis Australia

Sharon Bentley, Managing Director, Medical Cannabis Australia - September 2020


Medical Cannabis Australia


Mind, Body and Spirit CBD Oil Medical Cannabis

Media Man leaps into the exciting and growing medical cannabis sector. Learn about this often misunderstood business, the benefits, the industry lingo such as THC, CBD and more. Taking a leaf out of the book of our associate brand, Eco News Media, we dig and delve from the ground up!

1. What's your background, including as an businesswoman and innovator?

After growing up and completing High School in country NSW, I started my career as a Legal Secretary in a country law firm. After 1 year I moved to Sydney to further my career working in legal space and then moving onto other corporate roles including Travel Management and Recruitment over the next 11 years. In 1999 I left the corporate world to start a hospitality business. Twin Peeks and Twin Pecks Cabaret Restaurants are well regarded as the leading venue for business lunches, work functions and birthday celebrations in Sydney. That business has grown and continues to operate successfully under management, across a number of locations throughout Sydney.

2. Why, when and why did you start to make the transition over to the CBD / CBD Oil industry sector?

In 2016 I went to California for a holiday and saw signs for Medical Cannabis stores which intrigued me, as it was such a foreign concept coming from Australia. I didn't know much about Cannabis at all or its therapeutic benefits at that time, but started to become more aware of it therapeutic benefits and started to research a little more to educate myself. After discovering the abundant literature on the potential medical benefits of the plant, I started to look into how the market was developing overseas and wondered if it would potentially become a commercial market in Australia. I continued to learn about the plant and research the industry. In 2017, Australia passed the Amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 which allowed for the cultivation, manufacture and research of medicinal cannabis, and the TGA's Special Access Scheme extended it's approvals to include Medicinal Cannabis to allow patient access.

3. What's been your main successes, challenges and learning curves to date?

The biggest challenges as a businesses in medicinal cannabis in Australia are the regulatory delays and exorbitant set up costs. It has now been 3 years since the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, and whilst there are a number of companies cultivating for research purposes, there are less than a handful of companies who are actually cultivating or manufacturing for the commercial market and we are therefore still very reliant on the import of products.

Not coming from a scientific background myself, the biggest challenge for me to date has been learning and understanding the science behind the plant. My passion to learn more has grown deeply as I have discovered more, and listened to stories from patients and some of the worlds leading doctors, scientists and researchers. I will never forget seeing 12 year old Ryley Maedler present at Cannatech Sydney in December 2018. Ryley was diagnosed with aggressive bone tumors that disintegrated her facial bones. With the help of full spectrum cannabis oil, Rylie defied everyone's expectations. I have a daughter just two years younger than Ryley and and I remember thinking to myself "Is it ok to burst out crying right now, because I couldn't hold back?". When I looked around the room and saw every other person in the room needing a box of tissues, I knew it was ok and this was the reason I was even in the room. I can't want to be able to help change the lives of people like the amazing Ryley Maedler!

4. How do all or the vast majority of people find you and your firm, Medical Cannabis Australia?

We can be found at

5. What's the main appeal for professional and semi-professional athletes and performers, such as those involved in combat sports such as BJJ, MMA, the UFC and so on?

Medicinal Cannabis has become very popular in high-risk sport such as combat sports, as an effective alternative to opoids for pain relief and concussion management. There is currently no evidence of performance enhancing effects.

6. Do you believe that much of the stigma or mixed reception and acceptance of CBD and cannabis offerings has now disappeared, and why so or why not?

Unfortunately the stigma surrounding cannabis has far from gone. It will take a lot of time and education for consumers and doctors to understand the real benefits of what was once considered nothing other than an illicit drug.

Cannabis is a complex plant with more than 400 chemical entities and over 60 different compounds. THC and CBD are just two of the most commonly understood compounds. This is not something that was traditionally taught in medical school up until now, so many doctors need to undergo further education before they can understand how to prescribe it as medicine and understand all of the benefits. I believe this is partially the cause of some resistance from the medical community.

7. Who are some of Australia's and the world's biggest public advocates of CBD? I understand that Mike Tyson, Jesse Ventura, Arnold, Rob Van Dam, Dan Severn, Kevin Nash and Del Bigtree have been big advocates of the industry...

One of Australia's most famous advocates of medicinal cannabis is without a doubt Olivia Newtown-John who personally used medicinal cannabis to help her through her breast cancer treatment.

8. From a professional and personal perspective, what are your goals and objectives?

My goal is to not only produce reliable and consistent medicines that will potentially change patients lives, but also to share the knowledge I have acquired along the way. I was once a sceptic and only saw cannabis as an illicit drug for recreational use. I am embarrassed by my previous ignorance but proud of what I now know. I believe it is our responsibility to share the education and knowledge so that this safe and effective medicine can be used for the purpose it was always naturally intended.

9. What's your mission statement and motto?

To provide reliable, consistent quality medicines to patients in Australia and all over the world.

Motto: Cultivated with care, from the ground up!

10. When you are not busy running your business ventures, what do you like to do to relax?

I am a mother of 2 children so I am not quite sure what you mean by "relax"..... ha ha ha ha

On a serious note, outside of work, I love to get away with the family. I enjoy taking the kids to a farm as often as possible for quality time together and to get away from it all.

11. What can the state and federal government do to make it a better business environment for business operators such as yourself, so Australia can achieve more win wins and enjoy a more sustainable world?

I do believe that both state and federal governments in Australia are doing their part to support the cannabis industry. I think the biggest issue lays in the under resourcing of the departments set up to regulate the industry, thus causing lengthy delays with the processing of licence applications. There has been some effort made to improve these processes but the implementation of these changes needs to be expedited.

Editor: It's been our pleasure to interview this extraordinary businesswoman who is helping educate and reeducate Australia and the world about the exciting, dynamic and promising medical cannabis market. Keep watching this space from the ground up! Don't be surprised if they branch out to more new and exciting areas. Keep checking the Media Man Group updates, as well as going to the source at Medical Cannabis Australia. From little things big things grow!