Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, The Hon. Cameron Dick MP announced the release of Australia’s first medical practitioner guidance document, designed to assist Queensland- based doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients, on Australia Day (Jan 26), 2017.

“Through legislation, our Government has provided a legitimate pathway for Queensland patients of any age and with a range of conditions to access legal medicinal cannabis products.

“That legislation requires the use of medicinal cannabis to be overseen by a medical practitioner, to ensure the right monitoring and controls are in place,” Mr Dick said.

In a release issued by Minister Dick’s office, he explained that while medical practitioners are familiar with conventional treatment methods, the use of medicinal cannabis is an emerging treatment area for a variety of conditions and up until now, practitioners have had to access international literature for guidance.

“That’s why we have developed documents which provide a starting point for health practitioners who have not had experience with medicinal cannabis products.

“Importantly, the documents will give doctors the confidence to consider the use of medicinal cannabis as part of the treatment plan for their patients, and ensure they do so in a safe way,” said Mr Dick.

According to the guidelines, a medical specialist or general practitioner in consultation with a medical specialist, can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis in Queensland, if they have:

  • Applied under the Queensland Health single-patient prescriber pathway (applications assessed on a case-by-case basis); and
  • Obtained the mandatory Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Queensland Health approvals.

The new guidelines feature a seven-step process of how to prescribe medicinal cannabis in Australia, involving:

  1. Initial consultation
  2. Provide clinical evidence
  3. Secure Queensland Health approval
  4. Find a product
  5. TGA approval
  6. Import/export licence and permit)
  7. Report patient progress.

To learn more or access a copy of the guidelines, head here.