Queensland leading the way on medicinal cannabis

Published Wednesday, 12 October, 2016 at 11:04 PM


Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Queensland has the most progressive medicinal cannabis laws in Australia after the Palaszczuk Government’s legislation was unanimously passed by Parliament tonight.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the legislation paved the way for patients to access medicinal cannabis.

“This legislation is a milestone for those who have campaigned tirelessly for changes that will allow access to medicinal cannabis,” the Premier said.

“My Government has been moved by the stories of families with young children with epilepsy, suffering life-threatening seizures, and what they have to go through on a daily basis.”

“This legislation provides a transparent and robust regulatory framework to manage access to medicinal cannabis.”

Mr Dick said the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 would allow greater use of medicinal cannabis products for some patients.

“This ground breaking reform is a game changer for seriously ill patients who often feel compelled to seek out illicit cannabis treatment options.

The Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 provides a legitimate pathway for Queensland patients of any age and with a range of conditions to access legal medicinal cannabis products.

“Queensland is leading Australia in providing a pathway to access medicinal cannabis treatment for those who need it most, in a safe, controlled way,” he said

The legislation provides a comprehensive medical oversight for the prescription of this class of drug in Queensland.

“We understand the importance of providing holistic care to patients and that’s why we have made this treatment available legally,” he said.

The use of medicinal cannabis will be integrated into patient treatment plans and overseen by a medical practitioner, to ensure the right monitoring and controls are in place.

“Before they can be prescribed, medicinal cannabis products will still need to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration,” he said.

Chair of Health Consumers Queensland Mark Tucker-Evans has welcomed the passing of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill. 

“We look forward to Queenslanders having the legal means to access medicinal cannabis products where they may be of benefit,” he said.

In 2015, Queensland became the first state in Australia to permit patient access to medicinal cannabis products through amendments to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996. An application to allow a Queensland patient to be treated with a medicinal cannabis product has already been granted using these provisions.

The use of cannabis without the appropriate approvals will continue to be illegal in Queensland.

Queensland will be best placed to understand the demand for medicinal cannabis and continuously improve its legislative framework and practices as the evidence base for medicinal cannabis grows.

MEDIA CONTACT:   Laura Gowdie 0413 492 117