The legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia was largely enabled by the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 (Cth), which permits research, cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis and related products. Corresponding amendments have also been made to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) to facilitate regulatory approvals and alternative access schemes for unapproved medicinal cannabis products. Although the production, cultivation and regulatory approval for the supply of medicinal cannabis are the subject of federal legislation, the power to regulate patient access to medicinal cannabis products remains with the states and territories. Ongoing lack of consistency between the jurisdictions has resulted in a complex web of legislative instruments for the prescription and use of medicinal cannabis across Australia.
In this third and final part of our series, we highlight the options available for companies seeking to market medicinal cannabis products and for patients to access this new class of therapeutics.
Entering the market