Home Australia Just one month after Dolphins and Alternaleaf teamed up, the clinic’s cannabis advertising is under fire

Just one month after Dolphins and Alternaleaf teamed up, the clinic’s cannabis advertising is under fire

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A young man wearing a Dolphins kit looks excitedly off camera.

The Dolphins have attempted to cover their partner Alternaleaf’s logo in the sweltering conditions of Darwin.

White tape could be seen on the chests of Dolphins players as they took the field, but it was missing from many shirts at the end of the game against the Eels, which Redcliffe’s team won 44 points to 16.

A club spokesperson said the decision to cover the Alternaleaf logo arose from advice given to the Dolphins as legal action against the company continues.

On Thursday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration announced that it had initiated proceedings in the Federal Court against Alternaleaf, the company Montu Group and its joint director Christopher Strauch.

The Australian Therapeutic Products Regulator alleges the parties illegally advertised medicinal cannabis on websites and social media.

TGA evaluates partnership with Dolphins

The Therapeutic Goods Administration told ABC it was aware of the partnership between the Dolphins and Alternaleaf and was evaluating whether any material published in connection with the partnership raised advertising concerns.

“The law does not prohibit partnerships between sports teams and entities involved in the supply of medicinal cannabis, however advertising of medicinal cannabis, as prescription drugs, to the public is prohibited,” a spokesperson said.

“The TGA has written to Alternaleaf, the Dolphins and the NRL in relation to this matter and continues to monitor Dolphins games and related broadcasts.”

Scorer Tesi Niu was among the players who lost the tape during the game. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Alternaleaf website states that they are an official partner of the Dolphins NRL team.

As of Saturday morning, the membership section of the Dolphins’ website does not list any affiliation with his self-described online health clinic.

One month association

The two parties announced their partnership just last month in what was described by Dolphins media as an “Australia-first major partnership, solidifying their commitment to the health and well-being of the community.”

In a brief statement provided to ABC, a Dolphins spokesperson addressed the matter.

“There’s obviously been some noise about it this week,” a Dolphins spokesman said.

“The Dolphins have taken some advice to be proactive until the matter can finally be resolved with a definitive conclusion.”

While proceedings against Alternaleaf, Montu Group and Strauch were ongoing, the TGA said it would not comment further on the matter.

In a statement earlier this week they went into detail about the allegations against all parties.

“Montu and Alternaleaf are alleged to have illegally advertised medicinal cannabis using terms including ‘medicinal cannabis’ and ‘medicinal plants’ to promote the Alternaleaf online clinic that allowed patients to purchase prescription-only medications after completing an online consultation,” the statement reads.

“The companies allegedly promoted the use of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of serious diseases, conditions and disorders; such references are not permitted in advertising for therapeutic products. [without] approval or permission of the TGA.”

The statement also details allegations that the adverts implied that medicinal cannabis had been approved by the TGA and represented that medicinal cannabis was safe, without harm or side effects.

The TGA said it repeatedly warned businesses about non-compliant advertising before taking action.

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