Medical cannabis is legal in the Northern Territory (NT), but robust legislation is in place to guarantee product quality and consumer safety. The precise legal framework governing medicinal cannabis prescriptions and products has slight variations depending on the particular state. Staying ahead of the most up-to-date rules and regulations empowers patients, prescribers, and pharmacists to make well-informed choices concerning healthcare and treatment.

Is medical cannabis legal in the Northern Territory?

Medical cannabis was made legal in the Northern Territory in 2016. The government passed nationwide legislation that allowed the use of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. Your doctor may prescribe medicinal cannabis if they believe it will benefit your health condition and they have the right approvals. Approvals must be acquired from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Even though medicinal cannabis is legal, it is still highly regulated and monitored by government authorities.

Medical cannabis prescriptions in NT

Registered medical practitioners may prescribe medical cannabis in the Northern Territory if they have the proper approvals. The TGA evaluates all products classed as ‘unregistered therapeutic goods’ to ensure quality and safety. Before prescribing, doctors need TGA approval for each prescription they give out. They may also become an Authorised Prescriber and prescribe medical cannabis without seeking TGA approval every time. State approval isn’t necessary in the NT, but medical practitioners must notify the Chief Health Officer if treatment is successful and the patient has been using prescribed cannabis for longer than two months.

Medical cannabis supply in Northern Territory

All businesses in the NT need a national-level licence from the Office of Drug Control (ODC) to import or produce medicinal cannabis. To ensure medicinal cannabis products are high quality and safe for human use, manufacturers must comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards put in place by the TGA. They will also need a certificate from NT Health.

Medical cannabis eligibility in the Northern Territory

After discussing with their doctor, an NT patient may access cannabis products through the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or Authorised Prescriber Scheme, with a valid prescription. It is advisable to consult carefully with your doctor to determine which products are suitable for your health condition, considering your medical history. This ensures you get the most effective product to use in conjunction with other treatments to benefit your health.

Medical cannabis in workplaces NT

While medicinal cannabis is legally accessible in the Northern Territory, several workplace considerations merit exploration. Employers are obligated to address employees with prescriptions for medical cannabis just as they would for other prescription medications. This might entail providing a medical certificate, alternative proof of your prescription, and a physician’s endorsement confirming your capacity to fulfil your daily work responsibilities. In many workplaces, the use of products containing THC during treatment is prohibited, as THC possesses psychoactive qualities that could potentially impact cognitive function. It is crucial to speak with your employer about their drug policies before commencing treatment.

Travelling with medical cannabis in the Northern Territory

Carrying medical cannabis during travel is typically permissible in the Northern Territory when you possess a valid prescription. Nevertheless, if you intend to transport it across state lines, it’s advisable to have proper documentation on hand. Your prescription should be kept in its original container, regardless of the product type. Ensure that all pharmacy labels are unaltered and legible. For added assurance, consider obtaining a letter from your physician outlining your medication details, dosage, and the quantity you plan to carry during your journey. Some medical facilities provide patient cards for this purpose. Remember that taking your medication across state lines may be subject to local legislation, affecting your ability to access your prescription from another pharmacy. For international travel, thorough research into your destination’s drug regulations is essential, as the possession of cannabis, even with a prescription, may be illegal in some countries.

Driving with medical cannabis in NT

In the Northern Territory, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with THC-based medicinal cannabis in your system. THC is known for its notable psychoactive properties, which can lead to intoxication and potential cognitive impairment. This makes it unsafe for driving or heavy machinery operation. Legally, driving is permitted while undergoing treatment with CBD-only products. However, it’s worth noting that some CBD products may contain small amounts of THC if they were obtained illicitly online. For individuals requiring regular driving, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional to explore suitable treatment options. Depending on the type and dosage of the product, it may take up to five days for THC to completely clear from your system, and current roadside testing policies do not test cognitive impairment, only the presence of THC.

Medical cannabis cost in the Northern Territory

The cost of medical cannabis in the Northern Territory varies based on the specific product and dosage. On average, patients may anticipate spending approximately $250 to $300 per month, considering expenses such as doctor consultations. Regrettably, medicinal cannabis is typically not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or public healthcare providers like Medicare. However, some health insurers may offer coverage for cannabis-based medicines under their supplementary plans. They don’t typically advertise this kind of cover, so speak directly with your insurance provider to see what rebates you may be eligible for.  An alternative avenue for more affordable access to medicinal cannabis is participation in clinical trials. If you’re interested in enrolling in a medicinal cannabis trial, it’s advisable to consult with your physician for further information.

Medical cannabis pharmacies in NT

In the Northern Territory, pharmacies can procure and distribute medicinal cannabis, provided they have obtained the necessary approvals from the TGA. Authorised Prescribers are not required to seek TGA approval each time they issue a prescription, but they must include their product or category approval letter along with the prescription. It’s important to note that the ability to have your prescription filled in another state may be subject to that state’s specific laws.

More Medicinal Cannabis Regulations

In the Australian Capital Territory, medicinal cannabis is allowed on a case-by-case basis. In appropriate situations, you may possess, distribute, and consume cannabis with the correct license, permit, or prescription.  To prescribe medicinal cannabis, doctors need to have approval from both the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the ACT chief health officer. This is separate from the ACT’s changes to state laws in 2020, allowing the use of cannabis for personal use in certain amounts.

We’ve broken down all the rules and regulations for residents of the Australian Capital Territory.

Medical Cannabis in the ACT

Medicinal cannabis is legal in New South Wales in medical and scientific situations. Doctors can prescribe it when necessary with TGA approval. The government has also established the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation to conduct community education and keep track of clinical trials.

Medical Cannabis in NSW

Registered medical practitioners are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis in Queensland if it’s medically necessary. In the past, they had to get approval from the Commonwealth. However, new legislation in 2020 determined that any Queensland medical practitioner could prescribe Schedule 4 CBD or Schedule 8 THC or CBD oil without approval from health authorities.

Medical Cannabis in QLD

You can get medicinal cannabis in South Australia with a prescription. The prescription needs to come from an authorised SA medical practitioner. In some cases, the practitioner must seek approval under South Australian Controlled Substances legislation. This approval is subject to exceptions such as elderly people or terminally ill patients.

Medical Cannabis in SA

Medical practitioners can prescribe medicinal cannabis in Tasmania if they feel it’s the best course of treatment for a patient. To do this, they must acquire approval from the Commonwealth and state authorities.

Medical Cannabis in TAS

In the state of Victoria, medicinal cannabis is legal when prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner, usually with Commonwealth or state approval. Medicinal cannabis is prescribed when the doctor feels it will be beneficial to the patient. Beginning in 2022, practitioners can prescribe Schedule 8 medicinal cannabis to non-drug dependent patients without a Schedule 8 treatment permit.

Medical Cannabis in VIC

Prescriptions for medicinal cannabis can be given by any prescriber in WA if they have the appropriate government approval. Prescriptions need to align with the Medicines and Poisons legislation. As long as a WA-based medical practitioner provides your prescription, it can be dispensed at any pharmacy in the state.

Medical Cannabis in Perth & WA
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