Licences for the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis

Page last updated: 11 May 2017

The Narcotic Drugs Act 1967, administered by the Office of Drug Control (ODC) within the Department of Health, enables a licence and permit scheme to regulate the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis. The scheme allows patients and doctors to access a legal domestic source of cannabis for medicinal use.

As at 9 May 2017, a total of 12 licences have been issued under this scheme: seven medicinal cannabis licences (commercial cultivation and production), three cannabis research licences, and two cannabis manufacture licences. The ODC continues to assess around another 30 licence applications.

Even with those licences granted, it will be some time before domestically produced products are available. Subsequently, and to support access to medicinal cannabis while the domestic cultivation and manufacture scheme comes online, the Department of Health has agreed to allow import of medicinal cannabis products in anticipation of patient prescriptions.

Neither the domestic scheme, nor import, change the requirement for patients to obtain a prescription through the Special Access Scheme Category B, Authorised Prescriber, or clinical trial pathways, but improving supply will decrease the time required to subsequently obtain the product.

Application forms and guidance materials for licences and permits are available via the ODC website.