What is medicinal cannabis?
Legalities of medicinal cannabis in Australia:
Medicinal cannabis is legal in Australia.On 24 February 2016, the Australian parliament made amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act that legalised the growing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes. Subsequently, the usage of medicinal cannabis was legalised at the federal level on 1 November 2016.
Some of our community members with chronic pain are using it to help with their chronic pain.
However, there are many barriers to accessing it due to numerous steps that need to be taken to access products, as well as generally high fees associated with paying the prescribing doctor for a consult to determine eligibility, for their time to fill out the Special Access Scheme documentation to get legal permissions and then cost for the actual medicinal cannabis product itself. All of this can stack up and pricing varies depending on which doctor and what products/doses etc.
Currently, there are no medical cannabis subsidies from Medicare or PBS. Chronic Pain Australia is committed to advocating for better access by pushing for reduced barriers relating to costs, education, and awareness.
Who can prescribe Medicinal Cannabis?
All medical professionals in Australia (i.e. GPs) are legally permitted to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Though many are hesitant and currently there are only a limited number of doctors in Australia publically advertising their medicinal cannabis prescribing.
Detailed and updated information regarding pathways to access: