Branch members fear that factional bosses on the state executive are deliberately drawing out the closing date so that officials, rather than members, can swoop in and cherry pick the candidates.
But suspicions linger that the go slow is a factional ploy to get more centre-right candidates nominated.
When she was US correspondent for this newspaper, prize-winning journalist and author Caroline Overington shared a Walkley award for exposing a literary hoax involving author Norma Khouri.
BLUE AGAINST BLUE
Haigh is now Overington’s partner.
On Tuesday, Warringah branch president Lee Furlong circulated a petition calling for a preselection closing date, so that candidates can be finalised before year end.
ACROSS STATE LINES
Last year Blogstar2020 took a scythe to the page and deleted any mention of Overington’s now famous encounter while covering the battle for Malcolm Turnbull‘s Sydney seat of Wentworth during the 2007 federal election. At one point, the page read “Overington was said to have been involved in an altercation with the Labor Candidate George Newhouse, who claimed Overington had ‘whacked’ him, while Overington said she had pushed him away with an open hand”. The Australian ended up publishing an apology.
Hawke did not return requests for comment.
The distinction for McGuire is that CBD is a nutriceutical – in common with minerals and vitamins – not a pharmaceutical product. This is in large part due to its origins. Cannabidiol was not developed as a new blockbuster drug by a pharmaceutical giant or a medicine to which nobody else had access. Instead, the compound has emerged relatively organically, and pretty much anyone can produce a version of CBD without infringing patent laws. (GW can only patent what is called the “formulation” of Epidiolex.) If you’re no fan of big pharma, this has some advantages: CBD can become widely available and competitively priced. But the downside is that cannabidiol products are not subject to the clinical trials and randomised, double-blind assessments that we might expect from a supplement we are taking to improve our health.
McGuire sighs. “If you look at the labels of the street products, it’s very difficult to know what’s actually in them. And there’s a huge variety between products, so that’s a really important message to get across: that a lot of what people may be taking in good faith may be having absolutely no effect at all, other than a placebo effect.”
Farmacy started in April 2017 with cannabidiol cocktails. One of these, OMG, is delivered in a syringe and blends flaxseed oil, grapefruit and “wildcrafted” CBD. When it arrives, it’s not immediately clear whether you decant it into a shot glass or shoot it straight in your mouth. “Well, plenty do,” advises Fayed. “It’s very Instagrammable.”
A aron Horn first came across cannabidiol, or CBD, about three years ago in Glastonbury – the town, not the festival. “I found it at this amazing hemp shop, Hemp in Avalon,” recalls Horn, a musician who is now 35. “It’s run by a guy called Free. His last name is Cannabis. He changed his name by deed poll to Free Cannabis.” Horn bought a tube of high-concentration CBD paste – “it comes out like a brown toothpaste, almost” – and it was recommended he put a tiny dot on his finger and pop it in his mouth.
One suspicion about cannabidiol is that it is an impossible panacea: some, for example, claim CBD makes them more relaxed; others that it sharpens their mind to focus on complex work problems. Can it really do both? But, for McGuire, this is less a contradiction and more an indication that we don’t yet know what CBD is capable of and how best to use it. “One of the interesting things about the endocannabinoid system in the body is that it’s not just in the brain but also all over the body,” he explains. “And cannabidiol also appears to have beneficial effects on metabolism, on the immune system and liver function, in addition to its mental health effects.”
But does it work? And does taking CBD do us any good? Philip McGuire is a professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London; he has a special interest in psychosis and started looking into cannabidiol about 15 years ago. One of the first experiments he worked on looked at how cannabidiol works in the brains of healthy people in comparison with the impact that THC has. The results were categoric. “We basically showed that the two compounds have opposite effects on brain function,” says McGuire. “So when THC is making you psychotic, it stimulates certain bits of the brain. And in these areas of the brain, CBD has the opposite effect, essentially, in the same people.” To boil it down: “CBD and THC seem to be pushing in opposite directions.”
Fayed – in common with Horn – is not allowed to make medical claims about the cannabidiol products she sells. (Horn also points out that he cannot advise on dosage and would never recommend that a customer comes off prescribed medication to use CBD.) But at Farmacy, Fayed often hears that the CBD cocktails impart a more ambient buzz on the drinker. “We have a lot of repeat customers, so for us that’s definitely a winner,” she says. “And especially with the alcohol, there’s that adaptogenic effect in the alcohol: people feel less drunk or feel their hangover is less brutal the next day if you’re going to have two or three.”
Horn is bouncy and enthusiastic; for someone who spends a fair amount of time meditating, he seems to have a hard time standing still. Our conversation takes place in his shop, LDN CBD, which he opened in Camden last July with a friend, Joe Oliver. CBD has been available to buy for a while – not only in independent shops such as Hemp in Avalon but also, since early 2018, in nationwide chains such as Holland & Barrett – but Horn contends that this is the elixir’s first dedicated boutique in the UK. It is certainly a long way from the traditional head shop: bongs and Rizlas have been swapped for white walls, reclaimed-wood floors and uncluttered shelves sparsely dotted with CBD oils, pastes and pills, and on-trend houseplants. A 10ml bottle of 3% CBD oil costs £25. Horn sees his target customer as anyone interested in wellness, more than counter-culture stoners. Downstairs are two studios for yoga, reiki and CBD massages.
“It will drastically affect the way the world looks in 20 or 30 years and the way we live.”