Guide for pharmacists dispensing medicinal cannabis
A patient or their medical practitioner may approach your pharmacy to assist with dispensing an approved medicinal cannabis product.
Only stock of medicinal cannabis for a named patient is able to be held in an approved community pharmacy.
To apply to dispense medicinal cannabis, you must:
- hold a current endorsement under section 64 of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (i.e. endorsement must not be suspended or cancelled)
- be a registered pharmacist (without undertakings on your registration) with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency
- submit an application to the chief executive of Queensland Health for a dispensing approval for medicinal cannabis.
- Complete the application for approval to dispense medicinal cannabis (PDF 287 kB)
- Prepare a Medicinal Cannabis Management Plan (PDF 133 kB)
- Submit forms to the Medicinal Cannabis Unit
Medicinal cannabis unit contact
Medicinal Cannabis Unit (MCU):
- Telephone: (07) 3708 5283
- Email: MCTeam@health.qld.gov.au
- Fax: (07) 3708 5431
Guidance and regulations
- Guidance for the use of medicinal cannabis in Australia, December 2017: is a national guidance document that covers the medical conditions, symptoms, and products to be used. The individual documents can be found on the TGA’s website.
- Queensland Health Medicinal cannabis access and use in Queensland, March 2018 (PDF 470 kB): covers the process for the dispensing pharmacist to obtain, possess and supply an approved medicinal cannabis product in Queensland.
- Standard for security of medicinal cannabis stock, January 2017 (PDF 326 kB): details how to secure and store medicinal cannabis products, under Part 8 of the regulation.
- Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulation 2017: describes the requirements for dispensing, recording, packaging, labelling and reporting associated with an approved medicinal cannabis product.
Forms and templates
- Application for approval to dispense medicinal cannabis (PDF 287 kB)
- Medicinal Cannabis Management Plan (PDF 133 kB)
- Notification of medicinal cannabis management plan (PDF 120 kB)
Medicinal cannabis products are regulated as medicines in Australia and are only available through importation while the Australian domestic cultivation scheme is being developed. Importation and export of medicinal cannabis products is tightly controlled. Information about how to access medicinal cannabis products can be obtained through the Office of Drug Control.
Standard for secure storage of medicinal cannabis
All medicinal cannabis products, particularly those containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have a high diversion value, and must have comprehensive security controls in place to manage this risk.
Part 8 of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) outlines a relevant person who possesses or is otherwise responsible for storing medicinal cannabis must ensure the medicinal cannabis product is stored in the way stated in the security standard.
Medicinal cannabis management plan (MCMP)
Anyone storing or dispensing medicinal cannabis products must make a medicinal cannabis management plan (MCMP) prior to the activity being undertaken.
As soon as practicable after a MCMP is made you must notify the Chief Executive on the approved forms as required under the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016 (the Act).
It is the responsibility of the approval holder to ensure compliance with the Act and the Regulations.
Your legal obligations
The approved dispenser must:
- adhere to all conditions as detailed in any TGA import licence or permit, if they are the importing party
- comply with any conditions imposed on a TGA approval relating to the medicinal cannabis product(s) being used
- only dispense medicinal cannabis in accordance with a prescription
- comply with the Guidelines for Dispensing of Medicines published by the Pharmacy Board of Australia
- prepare a Medicinal Cannabis Management Plan prior to obtaining, possessing or dispensing a medicinal cannabis product
- notify the chief executive on the approved form that the Medicinal Cannabis Management Plan has commenced
- comply with all reporting and recording requirements, as set down by the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulation 2017 (PHMCR)
- ensure any excess or unused stock is disposed of and destroyed in line with the requirements under the PHMCR
- report each dispensing event within 72 hours to the chief executive, by emailing or faxing a copy of the prescription to Medication Safety
- report any adverse events, adverse reactions, serious adverse reactions and unexpected reactions to both the:
- TGA through the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions System
- chief executive via Medication Safety.