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Medical Cannabis In Australia? It’s Still 99% Illegal

Australia’s medical cannabis laws are confusing.

In early 2015, the Commonwealth Government amended the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 to allow legal cannabis growing (under strict conditions) and medical use. Now, at last, certain medical patients can be prescribed medical cannabis, and consume it without fear of prosecution.

Despite these changes, as of today, more than three years later, only a few hundred people (out of Australia’s 25M population) are legally accessing (high-priced, synthetic, imported) big pharma cannabis. For all of the rest of us, it’s still illegal to use or grow cannabis.

And every state in Australia has its own legislation, as well.

*Before consuming cannabis in any form, we strongly advise that you check the current laws in your state — and note that DRIVING with any trace of cannabis in your body is still illegal, also.

Medical Access Laws:

Medicinal cannabis is lawful when the cultivation, manufacture, prescribing, and supply complies with all applicable Commonwealth and State laws.


The only way patients can legally access medicinal cannabis is if their doctor applies to both:


  • Any patient with any medical condition can access medicinal cannabis when a doctor believes it is clinically appropriate and relevant approvals are in place.
  • There is no medicinal cannabis specific manufacturing licence scheme in Victoria. Medicinal Cannabis will be regulated under the existing Drugs and Poisons regulatory framework for scheduled substances.
  • The Compassionate Access Scheme for seriously ill children with severe intractable epilepsy will continue until June 2020.


Registered adults with a terminal illness can:

  • possess no more than the specified maximum amount of cannabis outlined in the table below.
  • use cannabis at their usual place of residence or any domestic residence.


  • possess no more than the maximum amount of cannabis outlined in the table below.
  • administer or supply cannabis to a registered adult at their usual place of residence, or any domestic residence.


Cannabis Leaf:
15 grams
Cannabis Oil:
1 gram
Cannabis Resin:
2.5 grams


Cannabis products can be prescribed as schedule 8 ‘controlled’ medicines when they are intended for medicinal use and are either:

  1. manufactured in Australia in accordance with the Commonwealth Department of Health legislation; or
  2. imported in accordance with a valid customs import license issued by the Commonwealth Department of Health

The legal status of all other forms of cannabis, whether intended for medicinal use or not, has not changed. Cannabis cultivated by patients for their own use, or medicinal cannabis products manufactured outside of the Commonwealth Department of Health legislation cannot be prescribed or used.


  Northern Territory
 South Australia   Western Australia

*Please note at the time of writing these Laws and Updates were current. As you would expect, they do change quite often. Please use this article as GUIDE ONLY and please refer to the various relevant State websites for updates. 

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