Medical cannabis is a legal substance in Tasmania (TAS). To ensure pharmaceutical-grade products and consumer safety, the Australian government heavily regulates the production and prescribing of cannabis medicines, as well as its consumption. Legislation may differ from state to state, so patients, prescribers, and pharmacists should always stay updated on the latest regulations surrounding medicinal cannabis.

Is medical cannabis legal in Tasmania?

Medical Cannabis has been legal in Tasmania (TAS) since its federal legalisation in 2016. This allowed the use of medicinal cannabis for therapeutic and research purposes. Tasmanian patients can access medical cannabis with a prescription from their doctor. Even with these allowances, the manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of medical cannabis is heavily restricted and monitored by government bodies.

Medical cannabis prescriptions in TAS

You can access medical cannabis in Tasmania with a valid prescription from your healthcare professional. The doctor must be a registered practitioner, assess your medical condition and history, and determine whether cannabis is an appropriate treatment option. To prescribe cannabis, your doctor needs approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This ensures product quality and safety for consumers. In some cases, prescribers may also need approval from state health authorities.

Medical cannabis supply in Tasmania

In Tasmania, the supply and manufacture of medical cannabis are governed by stringent regulations and legislation. The state follows the broader Australian framework for medical cannabis, which allows for the cultivation, production, and supply of medicinal cannabis products. Licensed manufacturers and suppliers must adhere to federal regulations, including the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967, which authorises the legal production and distribution of medical cannabis. Tasmania, known for its fertile agricultural land, has become a significant hub for cultivating high-quality medicinal cannabis. Patients with valid prescriptions can access a range of medicinal cannabis products through authorised healthcare providers and pharmacies, all under the strict oversight of both federal and state regulatory bodies.

Medical cannabis eligibility in Tasmania

Eligibility for medicinal cannabis in Tasmania is determined by the patient’s medical condition and recommendation of a registered practitioner. If you have tried other treatments for your condition without luck, a doctor may prescribe medical cannabis as an alternative treatment. After evaluating your medical history  and current health conditions, your doctor can request approval from the TGA and prescribe a medicinal cannabis product.

Medical cannabis in workplaces TAS

In many TAS workplaces, medical cannabis products containing THC may be considered restricted substances during and after work. Different companies enforce varying drug testing policies, and may allow specific cannabis products if you hold a prescription. It’s important to speak with your employer regarding your workplace’s drug policy before beginning medical cannabis treatments. They may request proof of your prescription, or a note from your doctor confirming your ability to perform work duties while undergoing treatment. Your healthcare provider can also talk you through CBD-only alternatives that may better align with your work regulations.

Travelling with medical cannabis in Tasmania

It’s generally safe to travel within Tasmania with medical cannabis if you hold a valid prescription. However, if you’re crossing state borders, make sure you have documentation to support your prescription. Your cannabis products should be stored in their original container or bottle, with all pharmacy labels intact and your details legible. As an extra step, you could also request a letter from your doctor including the details of your prescription, encompassing dosage and the amount you’ll be carrying. If you’re planning to travel overseas, check your destination’s drug policies carefully. Carrying cannabis, even with a prescription, is still considered an offence in some other countries.

Driving with medical cannabis in TAS

It is prohibited to drive in Tasmania while having medicinal cannabis containing THC in your system unless the product was obtained and administered in accordance with the Poisons Act 1971 (prescribed via a prescription). Tasmanian drivers using legally prescribed medicinal cannabis may not be charged as long as their driving is not impaired and they can properly control their vehicle. Please note that medicinal cannabis can cause impairment and affect fitness to drive and the Tasmanian Department of Health website recommends that patients do not drive whilst being treated with medicinal cannabis. The same site also advises that a person who drives a vehicle while under the influence of a drug that leaves them incapable of properly controlling their vehicle is guilty of an offence, even if the drug is prescribed.

THC has psychoactive effects, posing a risk of intoxication and potential cognitive impairment. This makes it unsuitable for driving or handling heavy machinery. Current police roadside testing procedures don’t actually test for impairment, just the presence of THC, which can sometimes take days, or weeks, to fully leave your system. 

Although it should be legal to drive while using CBD-only products, which lack any THC and therefore psychoactive effect, some CBD products obtained illicitly online may contain THC. For patients who rely on regular driving, it’s vital to engage in discussions with your doctor to explore suitable treatment options, and purchase cannabis medicines via legal pathways to ensure medication labels and contents are accurate.

Medical cannabis cost in Tasmania

The cost of medical cannabis in Tasmania depends on the product and dosage. Medicines could be between $250 to $300 a month, including doctor consultation expenses. Most government schemes like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or Medicare don’t cover medicinal cannabis. However, certain health insurers are starting to include cannabis treatments as part of their extras cover. They don’t always advertise this kind of coverage, so contact your insurer directly to check what rebate you may be eligible for.

Medical cannabis pharmacies in TAS

Pharmacists in Tasmania are authorised to distribute medical cannabis with the right approvals from the TGA and relevant health authorities. Prior to dispensing cannabis medicines, pharmacists must verify the prescriber’s credentials and ensure the prescription’s validity. With a legitimate prescription, you should be able to access your medication at any pharmacy in Tasmania. When travelling interstate, check with the local cannabis regulations to ensure your prescription can be filled in another state.

Other State Legislation

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

In the Northern Territory, medicinal cannabis is legal with a prescription. In November 2019, the first NT resident received a medicinal cannabis prescription.  However, many patients in the NT will need to find a telehealth doctor in another state because there are few authorised prescribers based locally, and the area’s remote nature makes it difficult for residents to travel to the right doctors.

Medical Cannabis in NT

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

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.

Medicinal Cannabis in Perth & WA
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