Accessing Medical Cannabis in Australia: An In-Depth Guide for Patients

In recent years, the landscape of healthcare in Australia has been gradually evolving, particularly in the realm of medical cannabis. Offering potential relief for patients grappling with certain health conditions, the accessibility and utilization of medical cannabis have become significant topics of discussion.

Here, we provide an answer to Can you get medical cannabis in Australia? Most people ask.

Understanding the Legal Framework

The legalization of medical cannabis in Australia in 2016 marked a significant milestone, signifying a departure from traditional approaches to healthcare. However, it’s crucial to clarify that recreational use remains illegal nationwide.

At the core of the regulatory framework governing medical cannabis lies the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia’s regulatory body for therapeutic goods.

While federal laws provide a foundational framework, individual states and territories may enact additional regulations governing access and use.

Eligibility Criteria: Who Can Access Medical Cannabis?

Who Can Access Medical Cannabis


Access to medical cannabis is typically reserved for patients grappling with specific medical conditions that have proven refractory to conventional treatments.

Among the conditions commonly considered for medical cannabis treatment are chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and certain neurological disorders.

To initiate consideration for medical cannabis treatment, patients must seek consultation with a qualified medical practitioner authorized to prescribe such medications.

These practitioners meticulously evaluate the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and responses to previous treatments to ascertain the appropriateness of medical cannabis as a therapeutic option.

The Prescription Process

Upon determining that medical cannabis may offer potential benefits to a patient, medical practitioners can proceed with the prescription process through either the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or the Authorised Prescriber Scheme.

These pathways facilitate authorized medical practitioners to prescribe medical cannabis products that have not yet received approval for general use in Australia.

Under the SAS, physicians submit applications to the TGA on behalf of their patients, delineating the medical necessity and proposed treatment plan. Following approval, patients gain access to medical cannabis through licensed pharmacies or authorized suppliers.

Alternatively, medical practitioners may opt to become authorized prescribers, enabling them to prescribe medical cannabis products without the need for prior approval for each patient. This streamlined approach expedites access for eligible patients, ensuring timely and effective treatment.

Prescription Process of Medical Cannabis in Australia


Selecting the Appropriate Product

Medical cannabis products encompass a diverse array of formulations, including oils, capsules, sprays, and dried flowers. The selection of a specific product hinges upon various factors, including the patient’s medical condition, severity of symptoms, and individual preferences.

Patients must collaborate closely with their healthcare providers to ascertain the most suitable product and dosage regimen tailored to their specific needs.

Additionally, patients should procure medical cannabis products exclusively from licensed producers or pharmacies to guarantee adherence to stringent quality, safety, and regulatory standards.


While medical cannabis holds promise as a potential therapeutic option for specific medical conditions, it is essential for patients to carefully consider various factors before embarking on treatment.

Awareness of possible side effects, drug interactions, and legal implications associated with medical cannabis use is paramount.

Moreover, access to medical cannabis in Australia may entail financial considerations, as it is not currently subsidized under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Patients are encouraged to inquire about the cost of treatment and explore potential avenues for financial assistance or reimbursement.


Astralia Medical Cannabis


In summary, accessing medical cannabis in Australia necessitates collaborative efforts with healthcare providers and meticulous adherence to regulatory guidelines.

By comprehensively understanding the legal framework, consulting with qualified practitioners, and making well-informed decisions, eligible patients can explore the potential therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis while safeguarding their safety and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Srdjan Ilic
Srdjan Ilic

I am a Business Economics graduate from Singidunum University in Novi Sad, currently contributing to the as a content creator and SEO team lead strategist. My professional journey includes a two-year period in Ocean City, USA, and extensive travels throughout Canada, experiences that have enriched my global outlook and influenced my writing style. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing and exploring new adventures, always valuing the power of human connections.