Green light given to cultivate cannabis

2 minute read

Under new laws, permits will be granted for home-grown medical marijuana for clinical trials


The Federal Health Department has started taking licence applications for medical cannabis cultivation and manufacture so that Australian doctors and patients can have a reliable home-grown supply.

The commonwealth will be responsible for licensing growers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal use and the fabrication of products, while state health authorities are in charge of approving prescribers and product distribution channels.

“It is important that doctors have a wider range of options for treating their patients,” Health Minister Sussan Ley said, announcing the licences would be available through her department’s Office of Drug Control.

So far, the only legal avenue for doctors to treat conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea, with medical marijuana was to seek imported product under a special access permit.

Under new laws, permits will also be granted for producing medical marijuana for clinical trials.

Applicants will be subjected to criminal background checks and strict assessments to ensure they are fit and proper persons.

“These include your suitability as the applicant to hold a licence and the suitability of your associates (business, familial, or otherwise) to be associated with a medicinal cannabis business, as well as the security design and location of any proposed manufacture site,” the Office of Drug Control said.

Distribution of medical marijuana is expected to be covered by existing laws, but Queensland and Victoria have enacted special legislation to govern supply in those states.

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