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SA to begin consultation on medical marijuana access

The State Government will soon begin consultation on regulations to allow patients to access medical marijuana in South Australia.

Nov 11, 2016, updated Nov 11, 2016
A worker tending a legal medical marijuana crop in Israel.

A worker tending a legal medical marijuana crop in Israel.

Last month, InDaily revealed the State Government had thrown its weight behind a medicinal cannabis industry for South Australia, and was helping a prospective business lobby the Federal Government for licences to grow and sell it.

Prescribing cannabis-based medication was legalised around the country at the beginning of this month, but each state and territory must develop its own regulations under which their local industry may operate.

“SA Health will soon commence consultation with a broad range of stakeholders to further develop the patient access pathway,” a Government spokesperson told InDaily this morning.

“Following the Commonwealth changes, from 1 November 2016, South Australian laws allow medicinal cannabis to be prescribed by authorised medical practitioners and dispensed by pharmacists and for research, including development and commercialisation of new pharmaceutical products.

“The law changes that make medicinal cannabis available do not legalise other uses of cannabis, including industrial (hemp), recreational use and self-medication.”

Australian Cannabis Corporation co-founder Ben Fitzsimons told InDaily this morning that he had been in talks with the State Government about the regulation model planned for the industry.

“We’ve been having solid, progressing discussions with the State Government about positioning South Australia as the best state in the country for (medical cannabis regulation),” he said.

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He said he hoped the Government would select a less restrictive regulatory model than that which operates in Western Australia.

“We’re hopeful that the South Australian Government won’t be discriminating against anyone, as other states have done.”

In WA, a specialist doctor must gain approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration before she or he may supply a patient with a prescription for cannabis-based medication.

That process can take up to a month, and is only available to patients suffering particular illnesses.

Medicinal cannabis has been linked to reducing chemotherapy-related nausea, chronic pain and epileptic seizures.

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