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Medicinal cannabis products

Current and proposed Commonwealth and State regulations are designed to ensure the supply of medicinal cannabis is safe, and to protect and help patients.

Doctors must have confidence that any substance they prescribe to help treat a patient is safe. Doctors and their patients need to know that any medical product used for treatment has a predictable and reliable effect. Users of medicinal cannabis products deserve the same certainty.

Accessing a legal product

Medicinal cannabis use is only lawful when the cultivation, manufacture, prescribing and supply complies with all applicable Commonwealth and state or territory laws. Over time, the medicinal cannabis supply will be easier to access, removing the need for a compassionate use scheme.

The cost of legal products is an issue for many of these families and that the reason why the compassionate access scheme (CAS) was begun. This trial enables access to free standardised medicinal cannabis product.

Participants are given Epidiolex® from GW Pharmaceuticals as part of their treatment plan under a medically supervised trial at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH).

Future Australian products

Once Australia has its own medicinal cannabis products that meet the safety and production standards set by the Commonwealth Government's Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Queensland Government can approve these goods for use in Queensland patients.

Access to Sativex (Nabiximol) in Queensland

Sativex is the only medicinal cannabis product registered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)—it is registered for use in spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis (Australia). In some other countries it is used for the management of advanced cancer pain e.g. Canada.

In Queensland specialists eligible to be patient class prescribers under the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016 and Rehabilitation Specialists are able to prescribe Sativex without requiring an approval from the state or the TGA. All other specialists and general practitioners need to apply to the Director-General Queensland Health for a Section 18 approval under the Health Drugs and Poisons Regulation 1996 (HDPR).

More information

Questions and answers about accessing medicinal cannabis (PDF, 74 kB)

Last updated: 1 March 2017