How can I access Medicinal Cannabis?

Australian Government Department of Health:

Consumer Access to Medicinal Cannabis Products in Australia

The Special Access Scheme (SAS) refers to arrangements which provide for the importation and/or supply of a therapeutic good not included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for a single patient, on a case-by-case basis.

Authorised Prescriber (AP) refers to circumstances under which a medical practitioner is granted authority to become an 'Authorised Prescriber' of a specified unapproved therapeutic good (or class of unapproved therapeutic goods) to specific patients (or classes of recipients) with a particular medical condition.

Consumers click here for the ​Q & A provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Medical Practitioners click here for TGA questions & answers on medicinal Cannabis products

Determine your state/territory regulatory requirements

In most states and territories in Australia, approval or permission is required by a medical practitioner in order to prescribe medicinal cannabis products to their patient(s).

Additionally, particular medicinal cannabis products may be scheduled differently under the Schedule of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP or 'Poisons Standard'). The adoption of the SUSMP may vary between different states and territories.

The medical practitioner should check for any relevant state/territory approvals to prescribe a particular medicinal cannabis product for the particular patient, noting that these may vary depending on the scheduling and between jurisdictions. click here for Access to medicinal cannabis products in Australia: Resource for doctors.

Office of Drug Control

Legislation to enable the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and related research purposes in Australia was passed by Parliament on 29 February 2016. The amendments relating to licensing came into effect on 30 October 2016. A detailed regulatory framework has been put in place to enable applications for licences and permits for the cultivation, production and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products.

Medicinal cannabis products will only be available for specific patient groups under medical supervision. Cannabis grown for medicinal purposes, as well as the resulting product, is subject to stringent security and quality control measures.

click here for general information on medicinal Cannabis. click here for stakeholder web resources.

State Governments:

New South Wales Government

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme

The NSW Government has developed the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme to extend compassion to adults with a terminal illness. click here for the NSW 'Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation'. This Scheme was formerly named the Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme.

Legal Access to Cannabis Based Medicines

What are the legal access pathways for doctors wishing to prescribe a cannabis medicine?

Generally, medicines supplied in Australia must be assessed by the Commonwealth’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for quality, safety and efficacy, and registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

Legal Access to Cannabis Based Medicines

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme

The Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme provides guidelines for NSW Police officers about using their discretion not to charge adults with a terminal illness for possession of cannabis not lawfully prescribed if they are registered with the Scheme, as well as up to three registered carers.

The Scheme does not supply cannabis or cannabis products or endorse the use of cannabis products not lawfully prescribed. There are legal pathways for a medical practitioner to prescribe a cannabis medicine for their patient, if the practitioner believes it is an appropriate treatment option.

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme Adults with a terminal illness and their carers

What is the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme?

The NSW Government established the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme to extend compassion to adults with a terminal illness.

Adults with a terminal illness and their carers

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme - NSW Medical Practitioners

The NSW Government established the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme to extend compassion to adults with a terminal illness. The Scheme provides guidelines for NSW Police officers about using their discretion not to charge adults with a terminal illness for possession of cannabis not lawfully prescribed if they are registered with the Scheme, as well as up to three registered carers. The Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme

Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme - Registration Form compassion to adults with a terminal illness. Part A: Registration Information – for completion by participant


Victorian Department of Health & Human Services

click here for the 'Medicinal Cannabis Taskforce'

click here for the Victorian Law Reform Commission's 'Medicinal Cannabis Report August 2015'

Queensland Government Department of Health

click here for details of medicinal Cannabis in Queensland

Western Australian Government Department of Health

click here for 'Medicinal cannabis fact sheet'

click here for 'What is medicinal cannabis?'

click here for 'Medicinal Cannabis FaQ page'

South Australian Government Department of Health

Medicinal cannabis, Patient access in South Australia

SA Health is committed to ensuring South Australian consumers have access to the optimal range of treatments and services to promote the best health outcomes for patients and the community.

Patients in South Australia can access medicinal cannabis medicines as a result of federal legislative changes which came into effect in November 2016 and the development of a patient access pathway.

Under the pathway, patients in South Australia can access medicinal cannabis on prescription from their authorised medical practitioner and dispensed by a pharmacist.

click here for 'Medicinal Cannabis, Patient Access in South Australia'

ACT Government Department of Health

Medicinal Cannabis products can be prescribed as Schedule 8 controlled medicines in the ACT for medicinal uses

Cannabis products can be prescribed as Schedule 8 controlled medicines in the ACT for medicinal uses and are either:

  • manufactured in Australia in accordance with the Commonwealth Department of Health legislation
  • imported in accordance with a valid customs import license issued by the Commonwealth Department of Health

All other forms of cannabis still face legal restrictions and cannot be prescribed. This includes patients own cannabis for personal medicinal use and medicinal products manufactured outside of Australia.

click here for 'Prescription of medicinal cannabis products in the ACT'

Northern Territory Government

currently no information available