Health Minister Cameron Dick on Tuesday introduced a Bill to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis in Queensland, creating two “pathways” for patients.
It means doctors will be given as-of-right authority to prescribe medicinal cannabis products to patients with specific conditions without state approval, while others will be able to apply though their doctor to the chief executive of Queensland Health on a “case-by-case” basis.
But Mr Dick told State Parliament patients who could benefit from the drug’s use would not have to wait until the laws were passed.
He said changes were being made to state regulations to enable patients to access the treatment once the Therapeutic Goods Administration finalised its rescheduling of some medicinal cannabis products. It is due to reschedule medicinal cannabis products from a prohibited poison to a schedule 8 medicine. BUY CANNABIS IN QUEENSLAND
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new laws Tuesday morning.
“My government has listened to the many points of view on this issue including from the parents of children with treatment resistant conditions who stand to benefit from this legislation,” she said.
“I have been moved by the stories of families with young children with epilepsy, suffering life-threatening seizures, and what they have to go through on a daily basis.
“Today marks another milestone for those who have campaigned tirelessly for changes that will allow access to medicinal cannabis.”
Ms Palaszczuk told the House the Bill did not give the green light to the recreational use of the drug, nor will it allow people to grow their own cannabis, even if it is for therapeutic use.
“These activities remain offences under the Drugs Misuse Act 1986,” she said.
“However, the lawful production of medicinal cannabis does present an opportunity for Queensland businesses to supply goods to this expanding market.
“My Government is working closely with industry representatives to assist them to participate in the Commonwealth’s licensing scheme for cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis.”
Mr Dick told the House the government last week approved the country’s first medically supervised prescription and use of medicinal cannabis.
“This approval is specific to an individual patient and does not constitute an open approval for use of medicinal cannabis in Queensland,” he said.
“But this landmark decision will pave the way for other Queenslanders wishing to apply to use medicinal cannabis. BUY CANNABIS IN QUEENSLAND
“Because we know there are patients in the community right now who may benefit from some relief that can be delivered through medicinal cannabis.”
Mr Dick said there was “overwhelming public support from Queenslanders” for the use of medicinal cannabis.
He said 1052 people completed a survey on the use of the drug for therapeutic purposes during consultation on the new laws with more than 96 per cent of respondents in favour of treatment with medicinal cannabis. BUY CANNABIS IN QUEENSLAND
“Under amendments made to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation late last year, the Chief Executive already has limited power to approve treatment with certain medicinal cannabis products,” Mr Dick said.
“To manage medicinal cannabis use in future, particularly if patient demand for this type of treatment increases, a more specific, transparent and robust regulatory framework is required.
“The new legislation will provide that framework. BUY CANNABIS IN QUEENSLAND
“It will allow the use of medicinal cannabis products in Queensland provided they are based on medical evidence and supported by clinical treatment plans.”