Reduced regulation to boost large medicinal cannabis projects

Doug Hendrie

2/08/2019 2:00:07 PM

Red tape for projects valued at over $50 million will be slashed under a Federal Government bid to push the fledgling industry forward.

Medicinal cannabis oil.
The government wants large-scale medicinal cannabis projects to move forwards.

From 1 September, The Morrison Government will give priority to medicinal cannabis projects that will make a contribution in exports, jobs and industry development.
After that date, companies seeking a medicinal cannabis license who have Major Project Status will be given priority through the Department of Health’s Office of Drug Control.
Science Minister Karen Andrews said the new arrangement is set to eliminate red tape and streamline approvals.
‘The projects will still have to meet all of the approvals required, but this arrangement will make sure that they are not being held up by unnecessary delays,’ she said. 
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the move ‘showcases the Morrison Government’s commitment to boosting local industry and helping those living with chronic or terminal illnesses’.
To date, the Office of Drug Control has issued 69 licences to cultivate, produce or manufacture medicinal cannabis.
More than 10,000 prescriptions for medicinal cannabis have now been written in Australia, with almost 7200 patients authorised to access a medicinal cannabis product.
The move comes after Professor John McMillan recently completed a review of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967, recommending streamlining the medicinal cannabis sector.
Minister Hunt said the government has agreed in principle to adopt all 26 recommendations of the independent review conducted by law professor John McMillian.
‘Cutting red tape and streamlining processes will strengthen this important and evolving industry, and ensure medicinal cannabis is available to Australian patients under proper medical supervision,’ Minister Hunt said.
Doctors can apply under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme Category or via an Authorised Prescriber to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis products.
The RACGP’s current position on medicinal cannabis is that evidence is currently ‘limited and inconclusive’.
‘Importantly, medicinal cannabis products should only be considered when all first-line, conventional, evidence-based treatment options have been exhausted, and after detailed discussions of the potential benefits and harms of medicinal cannabis products with the patient,’ the position statement reads.
‘The RACGP has always been a strong advocate for evidence-based medicine, and as the evidence around the efficacy and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis products evolve, this position statement will be reviewed to reflect the emerging evidence.’
Australia’s first authorised GP prescriber, Dr Vicki Kotsirilos, recently told newsGP that she only looks to medicinal cannabis once she has exhausted other treatment options for conditions like chronic non-cancer pain and epilepsy for patients.

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Michael Conos   6/08/2019 9:03:59 PM

Is Red Tape government speak for research that shows cannabis has any therapeutic effect at all.
Surely we don’t need this sort of information.
This whole push is coming from growers and profiteers.

Michael F   28/08/2019 4:40:13 PM

Hey Michael, Is that true? or is it that you want people taking powerful synthetic medications lab instead of something that grows in the ground, vested interest?