Australia lifts ban on pharmaceutical forms of medical cannabis for export.
In late December the Australian Government Department of Health announced that soon Australians would have access to medical cannabis products. The Commonwealth Department of Health worked in conjunction with state and territory governments to decide what guidance documents will be necessary to educate those who will be prescribing medical cannabis in the country.
Teams at the Universities of New South Wales, Sydney, and Queensland provided guidance for these educational documents under the umbrella of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Researchers reviewed clinical evidence on the subject that has been published since 1980.
Other organizations were also involved in the making of these guidance documents. 18 patient and consumer representative groups, All state and territory health departments, 15 health care professional organizations, Clinical staff from 29 hospitals and health care systems, 14 outpatient or primary health networks helped put together the materials.
The government is pursuing cannabis medicines for conditions like:
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- multiple sclerosis
- chronic non-cancer pain
- palliative care
This push is part of the country’s plan to be a leader in cannabis exportation. But however big the country grows in export, Australia’s Health Minister Greg does want Australian patients to know that they come first, “One of the conditions of any license for export is that medicinal cannabis be made available to Australian patients first. The sector is fully supportive of that. Australian patients come first. There are now no real government barriers at all to accessing medicinal cannabis.”
These new regulations and guidance documents follow a measure passed by Australian Parliament in February 2016 which allowed cannabis to be grown legally for medical and scientific purposes for the first time in the country. Almost one year later the government has lifted the ban on exports, hoping to boost their domestic industry in the coming years.