NSW improves medicinal cannabis access

Doctors will get quicker approval of medical marijuana prescriptions under a streamlined process announced by the NSW and federal governments.

Australia's peak medical cannabis body says the NSW Government's decision to slash red tape will remove a "huge hurdle" for patients trying to access the drug.

NSW has partnered with the federal government to create a single application process, which means doctors would typically get approval within 36 hours rather than waiting months for an outcome.

Previously, doctors wanting approval to prescribe the medicine had to apply through both the NSW Government and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), with a possibility of different outcomes from each application.

"It's fantastic because this (announcement) is removing a huge hurdle," says Medicinal Cannabis Council (MCC) General Manager Blaise Bratter said on Friday.

Mr Bratter said the change was a welcome surprise, although more work was needed to remove obstacles for patients wishing to access treatment.

"The price of products is quite high, and there's not enough education of medical professionals - they are cautious," he told AAP.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says other states should follow NSW's lead.

"Strong safeguards remain in place to access medicinal cannabis, but this move ends a duplication of regulatory requirements," Mr Hunt said on Friday.

Source AAP

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