Cannabis Laws

In Australia…

drugs and poisons are grouped together in Schedules that require similar regulatory controls over their availability.

SCHEDULE 3

CANNABIDIOL in oral, oromucosal and sublingual preparations included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods when:

a) the cannabidiol is either plant derived or, when synthetic, only contains the (-)-CBD enantiomer; and
b) the cannabidiol comprises 98 per cent or more of the total cannabinoid content of the preparation; and
c) any cannabinoids, other than cannabidiol, must be only those naturally found in cannabis and comprise 2 per cent or less of the total cannabinoid content of the preparation and of which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can only comprise 1 per cent of the total cannabinoid content; and
d) the maximum recommended daily dose is 150 mg or less of cannabidiol; and
e) packed in blister or strip packaging or in a container fitted with a child-resistant closure; and
f) in packs containing not more than 30 days supply; and g) for persons aged 18 years and over.

SCHEDULE 8

#CANNABIS (including seeds, extracts, resins and the plant, and any part of the plant) when prepared or packed for human therapeutic use, when:

a) cultivated or produced, or in products manufactured[1], in accordance with the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967; and/or
b) for use in products manufactured in accordance with the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967; and/or
c) imported as therapeutic goods, or for use in therapeutic goods, for supply, in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; and/or
d) in therapeutic goods supplied in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, except when:
i) it is in a product to which item 4, 8, 10, 11 or 12 of Schedule 5A to the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 applies; or
ii) separately specified in the NABIXIMOLS entry in this Schedule; or iii) captured by the CANNABIDIOL entry in Schedule 4 or Schedule 3.

# NABIXIMOLS (botanical extract of Cannabis sativa which includes the following cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinols, cannabidiol, cannabinol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidiolic acid, tetrahydrocannabinolic acids, tetrahydrocannabivarol, and cannabidivarol, where tetrahydrocannabinols and cannabidiol (in approximately equal proportions) comprise not less than 90 per cent of the total cannabinoid content) in a buccal spray for human therapeutic use.

# TETRAHYDROCANNABINOLS when extracted from cannabis for human therapeutic use, when:

a) included in products manufactured in accordance with the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967; and/or
b) imported as therapeutic goods, or for use in therapeutic goods, for supply, in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; and/or
c) in therapeutic goods supplied in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, except when:
i) it is in a product to which item 4, 8, 10, 11 or 12 of Schedule 5A to the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 applies; or
ii) separately specified in the NABIXIMOLS entry in this Schedule; or iii) captured by the CANNABIDIOL entry in Schedule 4 or Schedule 3.

SCHEDULE 9

#CANNABIS (including seeds, extracts, resins, and the plant and any part of the plant when packed or prepared), except:
a) when separately specified in these Schedules; or
b) processed hemp fibre containing 0.1 per cent or less of tetrahydrocannabinols and hemp fibre products manufactured from such fibre; or
c) when in hemp seed oil for purposes other than internal human use containing 50 mg/kg or less of cannabinoids, including 20 mg/kg or less of tetrahydrocannabinols, when labelled with either of the following warning statements:
i) Not for internal use; or
ii) Not to be taken.

#TETRAHYDROCANNABINOLS and their alkyl homologues, except:
a) when included in Schedule 4 or Schedule 8; or
b) processed hemp fibre containing 0.1 per cent or less of tetrahydrocannabinols, and hemp fibre products manufactured from such fibre; or
c) in hemp seed oil for purposes other than internal human use containing 50 mg/kg or less of total cannabinoids, including 20 mg/kg or less of tetrahydrocannabinols, when labelled with either of the following warning statements:
i) Not for internal use; or
ii) Not to be taken.


ADDITIONAL CONTROLS ON POSSESSION OR SUPPLY OF POISONS INCLUDED IN SCHEDULE 4 OR 8
1. Poisons available only from or on the prescription or order of an authorised medical practitioner. CANNABIS for human use.

DRUGS REQUIRED TO BE LABELLED WITH A SEDATION WARNING – Cannabis

Source: Poisons Standard February 2021. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2021C00098

Page updated February 2021

In the USA…

Cannabis is classified as Schedule I which is equivalent to Australia’s Schedule 9 or the most restrictive classification.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 is an international treaty to prohibit production and supply of specific (nominally narcotic) drugs and of drugs with similar effects except under licence for specific purposes, such as medical treatment and research.

The Single Convention repeatedly affirms the importance of medical use of controlled substances. The Preamble notes that “the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes”. Articles 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 19, and 49 contain provisions relating to “medical and scientific” use of controlled substances. In almost all cases, parties are permitted to allow dispensation and use of controlled substances under a prescription, subject to record-keeping requirements and other restrictions.

Ensuring safe and responsible supply of medicinal cannabis

The Australian Government is taking further action to enable the safe and legal distribution of medicinal cannabis products for adults and children suffering from painful and chronic conditions. 15 February 2017.

Health Minister – Greg Hunt’s statement


Australian State laws on the possession, supply and cultivation of Cannabis vary from state to state.


CANNABIS LAWS IN BRIEF

Cannabis possession is illegal except under certain circumstances in each Australian state or territory.

Here are links to information on Cannabis for medical purposes from each state and territory’s health department as at 25 February 2017.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Prescription of medicinal cannabis products in the ACT.

http://www.health.act.gov.au/public-information/businesses/pharmaceutical-services/medicinal-cannabis

NEW SOUTH WALES

Cannabis and cannabis products for therapeutic purposes

  • The NSW Government is committed to developing a better understanding of the potential for cannabis and/or cannabis products to alleviate symptoms or potentially treat a range of debilitating or terminal illnesses.

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/cannabis/Pages/default.aspx

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Information on prohibited drugs laws in the Northern Territory (NT).

https://nt.gov.au/law/crime/drugs-and-the-law

QUEENSLAND

The Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016 was passed by Queensland Parliament on 12 October 2016. The Act commenced on 1 March 2017.

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/public-health/topics/medicinal-cannabis

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Patient access to medicinal cannabis in South Australia.

http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/About+us/Reviews+and+consultation/Patient+access+to+medicinal+cannabis+in+South+Australia/

TASMANIA

The Tasmanian Government is developing a Controlled Access Scheme (CAS) to allow patients to access unregistered medical cannabis products under prescription from their treating medical specialist, in limited circumstances where conventional treatment has been unsuccessful.

http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/217110/Medical_Cannabis_Fact_Sheet.pdf

http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/

VICTORIA

The Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 passed the Victorian Parliament on 12 April 2016, enabling access to medicinal cannabis to defined groups of patients.

https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and-poisons/medicinal-cannabis

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch of the Western Australian Department of Health provides advice, develops policy and administers regulatory controls.

http://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Pharmaceutical-Services-Branch


State Cannabis legislation varies in each state.
All Cannabis cultivation (planting, watering or tending to even one marijuana plant) offences attract a criminal conviction.

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