Australia

Qld cuts hurdle for medicinal cannabis

Sick Queenslanders will find it easier to obtain medicinal cannabis after the government axed state-based approvals.

Queensland patients will no longer have to obtain state approval to get their hands on medicinal cannabis.

Health Minister Steven Miles says medicinal cannabis will now be treated in the same way as prescription drugs.

"This law change will significantly streamline the prescription process by removing state-level approval and will ensure patients have access to the treatment they need sooner," he has told parliament.

People consulting with a specialist doctor can now be directly prescribed medicinal cannabis.

However, a general practitioner will still have to apply to Queensland Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration for approval to prescribe the drug.

Once both approvals are in place, the doctor arranges for an approved pharmacist to dispense the medication.

Mr Miles said that Australia's domestic medicinal cannabis industry is in its infancy but several companies were working to produce medicinal cannabis in Queensland.

"This will help improve access for people and reduce costs for these increasingly important medicines."

The federal government maintains strict controls on the use of unapproved therapeutic goods through the Commonwealth licensing and approval system.

It remains illegal for the public to grow cannabis for medical purposes.

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