Medical Cannabis

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.

Please contact the Pharmaceutical Services section of the ACT Health Protection Service on 02 6205 0998 for questions about medicinal cannabis.

Medicinal Cannabis Prescriber Approvals

Prescribers must have approval from the ACT Chief Health Officer (CHO) to prescribe cannabis as a controlled substance. Please see the approval process on the controlled medicines page. You can only be approved to prescribe cannabis for one patient.

You can apply for a Category Approval for medicinal cannabis to streamline your approval process. All applications must be in line with Category 6 — Medicinal Cannabis in the ACT Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards. This states you may only apply to prescribe medicinal cannabis for patients with the following conditions:

  • spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis
  • nausea and vomiting from Cancer chemotherapy
  • pain and anxiety related to active malignancy from a life limiting disease with a prognosis of 12 months or less
  • refractory paediatric epilepsy

Commonwealth Government legislation also requires you to obtain an authority to prescribe from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). You can submit your application at the same time as your TGA application. ACT Health won’t approve any application until TGA approval is obtained.

Approval by Drug

You may apply for Approval by Drug to prescribe medicinal cannabis for other conditions. We assess these applications on a case by case basis. We may also refer these to the Medicinal Cannabis Medical Advisory Panel for advice.

Supply of Medicinal Cannabis

If you are a pharmacist who receives a prescription for the supply of medicinal cannabis, please contact the prescriber to discuss arrangements for obtaining medicinal cannabis for the patient.

You may need to apply to the TGA and the Office of Drug Control to seek approval to obtain medicinal cannabis.

Page last updated on: 19 Oct 2018