First imports of medicinal cannabis arrive in Australia

09 May, 2017

The first two commercial shipments of medicinal cannabis products to be legally imported to Australia have arrived in Melbourne and Perth, following action taken by the Australian Government.

Children suffering from epilepsy and patients dealing with side effects caused by cancer treatment are most likely to benefit from these products if a doctor believes a patient has a medical need and has approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

These shipments are the first under our policy to allow controlled importation of medicinal cannabis for approved patients.

We are making it easier to access medicinal cannabis products more rapidly, while still maintaining strict safeguards for individual and community safety.

The shipments, both from Canada, will be held by Pharmaceutical Packaging Professionals in Victoria and Health House International in Western Australia.

Since our policy was introduced in February, 30 permits have been granted to import medicinal cannabis products from Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

More shipments are expected to arrive in Australia throughout May.

The new importation rules are making medicinal cannabis products more readily accessible to Australian doctors where they believe it can provide a clinical benefit to their patients.

This is an interim measure while the domestic medicinal cannabis industry, for which legislation which came into effect last October, continues to develop.

Nine domestic licences have also now been granted – including five licences for cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use, three for cultivation for research, and one for manufacture of medicinal cannabis products.

We are establishing an Australian industry so that doctors have safe, quality products that they can confidently prescribe to their patients.

The arrival of imported products and the growth in the domestic supply and manufacture market gives doctors more options than ever before for treating their patients.

Doctors can apply under the TGA’s Special Access Scheme Category B or via an Authorised Prescriber to legally prescribe cannabis products.