Patient Access to ‘Medicinal Cannabis Products’ in Australia

Office of Drug Control – October 2019

The Commonwealth Government controls all regulatory aspects of the cultivation of Cannabis for medicinal purposes through one national scheme. Manufacture is a joint responsibility between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. Access to any Cannabis products manufactured under the scheme will also be a joint responsibility, with supply being controlled by provisions under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 working in tandem with state and territory drugs and poisons legislation. For more information on Australian federal legislation, go to odc.gov.au/qa

  • Australian Capital Territory – Cannabis products can be prescribed as Schedule 8 controlled medicines in the ACT for medicinal uses. Read more about the situation in ACT at health.act.gov.au/health-professionals/pharmaceuticalservices/controlled-medicines/medical-cannabis
  • New South Wales – The NSW Government has established the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation to further the understanding of Cannabis and Cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, and support evidence-based innovation. Read more about the NSW situation at medicinalcannabis.nsw.gov.au/
  • Northern Territory – A patient living in the Northern Territory must access medicines containing cannabinoids through a Northern Territory doctor who is authorised under the Special Access or Authorised Prescriber Schemes administered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Read more about the situation in the Northern Territory at health.nt.gov.au/professionals/environmental-health/therapeutic-medicines-containing-cannabinoidsmedicinal-cannabis
  • Queensland – Queensland is making the use of approved medicinal Cannabis products possible as a treatment for certain conditions when the patient has already tried the conventional treatments available for their condition or symptoms, and these have failed or cause intolerable side-effects.  Read more about the QLD situation at qld.gov.au/health/conditions/all/medicinal-cannabis
  • South Australia – Medical practitioners in South Australia can legally prescribe medicinal Cannabis products with Commonwealth and relevant state approvals. Read more about the SA situation at industryandskills.sa.gov.au/industry/office-of-industrialhemp-and-medicinal-cannabis.3
  • Tasmania – The Tasmanian Government has developed a medical Cannabis controlled access scheme (CAS). The scheme will allow relevant medical specialists to be authorised to prescribe medical Cannabis (unregistered cannabinoid products) in limited circumstances where conventional treatment has been unsuccessful. Read more about the situation in Tasmania at premier.tas.gov.au/releases/medical_cannabis_controlled_access_scheme_to_open_on_september_1
  • Victoria – The Office of Medicinal Cannabis has been established within the Department of Health and Human Services and provides advice on access to medicinal Cannabis in Victoria. Read more about the Victorian situation at www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and poisons/medicinal-cannabis
  • Western Australia – Doctors can prescribe and pharmacists can dispense medicinal Cannabis in Western Australia. Read more about the situation in Western Australia at healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Cannabis


Check the website of your State or Territory Health Department to find out what ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ are allowed in your State or Territory.


Some medicines may have clinical value, but are not registered for general distribution within Australia. However, under Australian therapeutic goods legislation (Therapeutic Goods Act 1989), medical practitioners can request access to unregistered medicines for their patients in certain circumstances. Approval can be obtained from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) under the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or the Authorised Prescriber Scheme. The process to import unregistered medicines and guidance on completing an application for a licence (if required) and permit to import can be found at The Office of Drug Control website. The information relates to imported ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ but does not apply to domestically cultivated ‘medicinal Cannabis products’. Substances that are controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Import and Export) Regulations can be found on the controlled substances list. This list provides guidance on which substances require import licences and/or permission to import or export.

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Importing or exporting these substances without obtaining such approval is prohibited. To obtain a licence and permit to import a medicine containing a controlled substance approved under the Special Access Scheme a medical practitioner must complete certain steps. Currently in Australia, access to legal ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ can only be secured through a treating doctor (General Practitioner) and/or Specialist, if they believe ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ will be beneficial in the treatment of your condition. It is important to remember that legal ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ are prescribed as pharmaceutical medicines and the support of your treating doctor or specialist is critical. Your medical condition and the type of ‘medicinal Cannabis product’ you and your doctor want to treat you with will dictate which approvals they will need in order to prescribe it to you. Please refer to the relevant information for your State or Territory via the links above (at the beginning of this article) and be prepared for reams of red-tape and large doses of bureaucracy, not to mention the expense.

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The following from The Office of Drug Control is regarding suppliers and manufacturers of ‘medicinal Cannabis products’ and was last updated on 29 October 2019. Details are provided for the medical profession, pharmacies, cultivators and manufacturers. Patients and/or family should contact their doctor for treatment options. Note that the Australian Government cannot guarantee availability or supply by any manufacturer or supplier. Products listed may only be accessed through the Special Access Scheme Category B, by an Authorised Prescriber or for use in a Clinical Trial, unless registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Information is subject to change.

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Manufacturers

Persons licensed under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967
to manufacture ‘medicinal Cannabis products.

Name Contact details
Althea Company Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 70 20 20  www.althea.com.au
Aruma Labs Holdings Pty Ltd www.arumalabs.com.au
AusCann Group Holdings Limited Ph: +61 8 9561 8834 www.auscann.com.au
BBS Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd www.bbspharmaceuticals.com
Cann Pharmaceutical Australia Ltd Ph: +61 2 6198 3253  www.cannpharmaceutical.com.au
Canngea Pty Ltd Ph: +61 450 102 023 www.canngea.com.au
Cannoz Pty Ltd Ph: 0401 713 720 www.cannoz.com
CBT Labs Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 122 662 www.cannatrek.com.au
Cyrelian Pty Ltd www.cyrelian.com
GD Pharma Pty Ltd Ph: 08 8362 3927 www.gdpharma.com
IDT Australia Limited Ph: 03 9801 8888 www.idtaus.com.au
Medcan Australia Pty Ltd Ph: 1800 633 226  www.medcanaustralia.com.au
MEDIFARM PTY LTD Ph: 07 5472 7258 www.medifarm.com.au
Medigrowth Australia Pty Ltd Ph: 1 800 842 223  www.medigrowth.com.au
MediPharm Labs Australia Pty Ltd Ph: +61 3 5610 2000
MedReleaf Australia Ph: 1300 096 611  www.medreleafaustralia.com.au
Nunyara Pharma Pty Ltd Ph: 0416 050 071
TasCann Limited www.tascann.com
Tasmanian Alkaloids Pty Ltd Ph: +61 3 6393 5202
Tasmanian Botanics Pty Limited Ph: 03 6109 0644
TCann Pty Ltd Ph: +61 451 987 562 www.tcann.com.au

Importers

Persons licensed to import under the Regulation 5
of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956

Name Contact details
Adelaide Compounding Pharmacy (INT) Pty Ltd Ph: 08 8332 1960
Anspec Pty Ltd Ph: +61 416 419 732
Bod Australia Ltd Ph: 02 9199 5018 www.bodaustralia.com
Burleigh Heads Cannabis Ph: 04 7894 3237  www.burleighheadscannabis.com
Cann Group Limited Ph: 1800 654 327
Cannatrek Medical Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 122 662 www.cannatrek.com.au
Cannoperations Pty Ltd Ph: 03 9095 7088  www.canngrouplimited.com
Cannvalate Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 633 226 www.cannvalate.com.au
EIR Healthy Pty Ltd (Trading as) Vir Pharma Pty Ltd Ph: 0422 464 361 www.virpharmaceuticals.com.au
Greenfield Medicinal Cannabis Ph: 1300 533 310 www.greenfieldmc.com.au
Health House International Ph: 08 9444 2444 www.healthhouse.com.au
Herba Healthcare Australia Ph: 1300 489 887 www.herbahealthcare.com.au
HL Pharma Pty Ltd Ph: 03 9823 6228 www.hlpharma.com.au
iX Biopharma Ltd Ph: 03 9737 4334 www.ixbiopharma.com
Medcan Australia Pty Ltd Ph: 1800 633 226 www.medcanaustralia.com.au
Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA) Pty Ltd Ph: +61 (0) 406 517 377 www.medicinalorganiccannabis.org
Medlab Clinical Ltd Ph: 02 8188 0311
Novachem Pty Ltd Bedrocan Ph: 1800 668 224 www.novachem.com.au
Pharmacann Pty Ltd www.pharmacann.com.au
Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals Pty Ltd Tilray AUS 24 Hour Ph: 1800 361 664
Althea Health and Wellbeing Ph: 1800 187 878
Canndeo Ph: 0448 191 651
Pro Pharmaceuticals Group Ph: 1300 077 674
The Cannabis Company Ph: 1300 402 420 http://www.cannabiscompany.com.au


The Office of Drug Control Patient Access

 

Page updated 9 November 2019