By Published On: March 6, 2018Categories: News

Despite announcements by the Australian federal government and media since February 2016, cannabis use and possession, even for medical purposes, is still illegal and a difficult to obtain product for the majority of people all over Australia. Below is a helpful link which provides a guide through the lengthy and difficult process in Australia of gaining legal medical cannabis: https://sydney.edu.au/lambert/how-to-get-medicinal-cannabis.html

Here is the federal government’s Office of Drug Control’s website on medicinal cannabis: https://www.odc.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis

ODC Approved Suppliers of medicinal cannabis: https://www.odc.gov.au/manufacturers-and-suppliers-medicinal-cannabis-products

Each Australian State and Territory has varying requirements for patients accessing medicinal cannabis: https://sydney.edu.au/lambert/how-to-get-medicinal-cannabis/state-and-territory-requirements.html

Victoria was the first state in Australia to introduce legislation to legalise medicinal cannabis for very specific medical conditions, and other states and territories quickly followed.

Victoria: Legal for use by children with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy, from early 2017: Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016.

Queensland: Legal by prescription from specialists for use by patients with a range of conditions including MS, epilepsy, cancer, and HIV/AIDS, from March 2017: Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016.

NSW: Legal for use by adults with end-of-life illnesses, from July 2016: Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Regulation 2016. (See NSW Government’s Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation for details.)

ACT: Legislation in preparation in 2017.

Tasmania: Controlled Access Scheme began in 2017 to allow patients to access unregistered medicinal cannabis. No legislative changes were required in Tasmania.

WA: Legal by prescription from doctors under certain conditions, from November 2016: Misuse of Drugs Act 1981.

SA: Legal by prescription from doctors under certain conditions, from November 2016.

NT: Cannabis is still listed as a prohibited drug.

For those who simply derive pleasure and enjoy cannabis, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal across all federal, state, and territory laws in Australia.

Are you a GP?

General practitioners (GPs) who have any questions about prescribing medical cannabis through the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme can ring the special TGA hotline:

TGA Medicinal Cannabis Hotline for GPs
Phone: 1800 020 653
Email: medicinal.cannabis@health.gov.au

Cannabis Access is a web portal designed to assist doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis in Australia and meet the regulatory requirements: https://cannabisaccess.com.au/