Medical Cannabis in Australia

This page contains up-to-date information on medical cannabis in Australia.

What is legal?

Below we have created that explains in what ways you can currently obtain cannabinoid medications in Australia. More indepth information for each state is written below.

Can you: NSW ACT VIC QLD WA SA NT TAS
Grow your own cannabis for any purpose? No No No No No No No No
Grow your own cannabis for medical purposes? No No No No No No No No
Be prescribed a cannabinoid medicine by a: specialist practitioner?

Yes

(future)

No By 2017
(proposed)
No No No No By 2017
(proposed)
Be prescribed a cannabinoid medicine by a: general practitioner?

Yes

(future)

No No No No No No No
Receive a cannabinoid medicine as part of a clinical trial? Yes No Yes Yes No No No Yes
Receive a cannabinoid medicine if you have a terminal illness? No No No No No No No No
Not be prosecuted for possessing cannabis if you have a terminal illness? Yes** No No No No No No No

Last updated: 3rd August 2016

New South Wales

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes New South Wales law for drug offenses will apply.

You may in the future be able to receive medical cannabis products from a medical practitioner. How this will work is still being decided by the NSW government.

You can receive medical cannabis products as part of a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness. However, if you have applied under the Terminal Illness Scheme, you might not be prosecuted for possessing certain amounts of cannabis. This is the choice of the individual police officer who may still decide to charge you for drug offenses.

It is important to note this covers only possession of cannabis you cannot grow this cannabis yourself, use it in public, or supply to someone else. Please see our page on the Terminal Illness Scheme for more information.

Australian Capital Territory

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes ACT law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products under a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

Victoria

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes Victorian law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You can receive medical cannabis products as part of a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

Queensland

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes Queensland law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You can receive medical cannabis products as part of a clinical trial. In Queensland a clinical trial is planned (to start November 2016) at Lady Cilento Children s Hospital in Brisbane in which 30 children with epilepsy are to receive Epidiolex (CBD).

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

Western Australia

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes Western Australian law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products under a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

South Australia

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes South Australian law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products under a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

Northern Territory

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes Northern Territory law for drug offenses will apply.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products from any medical practitioner.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products under a clinical trial.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

Tasmania

You cannot grow your own cannabis for medical or any other purposes Tasmanian law for drug offenses will apply.

You may in the future be able to be prescribed these medicinal cannabis products by your specialist doctor under the Controlled Access Scheme (under development by Government).

This scheme will allow patients to access unregistered* medicinal cannabis under prescription from their treating medical specialist. Products will only be available to those who have complex medical conditions.

This will be in limited to patient for whom conventional treatment has been unsuccessful. This application will also have to be given by a panel of skilled specialist practitioners and patients will have to sign a consent form stating they understand the risks of taking these medications.

If they are approved patients will receive a prescription to allow them to purchase products from a pharmacy or medical specialist. Costs have not been specified.

You cannot be prescribed these medications by your family doctor (general practitioner).

You can receive medicinal cannabis products in a clinical trial. Tasmania has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (agreement) with the NSW government to allow Tasmanian patients to participate in NSW medical cannabis trials.

You cannot receive medical cannabis products if you have a terminal illness.

How are these medications made?

Coming soon.

Who is researching in Australia right now?

There are a number of groups and institutions in Australia that are researching claimed benefits for medical cannabis.

Department of Health, NSW

The NSW Department of Health is currently planning a number of clinical trials.

Clinical trial for children with severe epilepsy (start: 2016).

This study will be open to children who have epilepsy that has not responded to traditional treatments they will be given Epidiolex, a CBD compound. Children who are unable to be in the clinical trial may apply for compassionate access to Epidiolex.

Clinical trial for patients with terminal cancer (start: 2016).

This study aims to investigate whether vaporised cannabis can improve quality of life and appetite in patients with end stage cancer. The first part of this trial will take place in Newcastle, and if successful will expand to other hospitals in NSW.

Clinical trial for patients with nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy (proposed).

This study will aim to investigate whether cannabis in tablet form (containing THC and CBD) can improve nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment. It will take place across a number of sites in NSW.

For more information please see the NSW Department of Health website.

Department of Health, QLD

The QLD Department of Health is planning to undertake clinical trials with Epidiolex for childhood epilepsy.

For more information please see the QLD Department of Health website.

The Lambert Initiative, NSW

The Lambert Initiative plans to cover several areas of research including childhood epilepsy, chronic pain and mental health. They will undertake a number of clinical trials independently and in conjunction with the NSW department of health.

The University of Canberra, ACT

The University of Canberra is planning to run clinical trials in 2017 investigating the effects of medical cannabis on melanoma.