The medical cannabis industry is poised to make a comeback after the Federal Government announced it will lift the ban on cannabis for patients.
Key points:Medical cannabis will be available to patients under the Medicines (Medical Cannabis and Therapeutic Goods) ActThe Health Minister has said that medicinal cannabis would be available for the publicUnder the Government’s proposed changes, patients will be able to use cannabis for medicinal purposesMedicinal cannabis will not be available on the streets or in private clinicsThe move is expected to be a boon for the industry, which has struggled in recent years to attract patients and support staff.
“We want to ensure the health and wellbeing of patients and the wider community is a top priority for the Government and its Health and Wellbeing Minister,” Health Minister Sussan Ley said.
“Medical cannabis can be used in the most efficient way for patients to alleviate their suffering, and is an important part of Australia’s comprehensive healthcare system.”
The announcement was made by Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on Tuesday.
Ms Ley said medicinal cannabis should be available in pharmacies for patients in “the most efficient and effective way”.
She said that under the new rules, patients would be able “to purchase their prescribed cannabis in a prescribed pharmacist’s pharmacy, and that pharmacies would be required to keep all cannabis products in stock for patients”.
“It will be in the public domain to purchase and sell cannabis, as the Government has previously said,” she said.
Under the proposed changes to the Government-funded National Health Insurance scheme, patients could apply to the Health Practitioners Insurance Scheme (HPIS) to receive medical cannabis.”HPIS will continue to offer the medical cannabis patient a benefit that is available to them, and they can access this benefit on a sliding scale,” Ms Ley said, “subject to the needs of the individual patients”.
She also said that the Government would ensure that the Medicinal Cannabis Therapeutics Act, which allows for the commercial cultivation and production of cannabis, would be in place to allow the commercial production of medicinal cannabis.
The new legislation will not affect existing GP prescriptions, and there will be no limit on the amount of cannabis that patients can purchase, Ms Ley added.
“Medicinal Cannabis is a therapeutic tool, which can be helpful for people who are suffering, but there is no evidence that cannabis reduces the pain of patients,” she told reporters on Tuesday morning.
“It does not alleviate pain.
It is a medicine, and I will say that to the people of this country.”‘
Healthy medicine’The changes come as the Federal government is expected next week to announce the introduction of legislation allowing the commercial sale of medicinal marijuana.
Under that legislation, medicinal cannabis could be sold for $50 a gram, or about $20 a bag.
In a statement, Ms Joyce said that, in future, medicinal use would be “healthier” and would help patients “cure their ailments”.
“This is why I want to make sure we provide more compassionate access to medicinal cannabis for people suffering from debilitating conditions, like cancer, for example,” he said.
Ms Joyce said the changes would ensure patients received the “best medical cannabis available”.
“We will ensure that cannabis is safe and affordable for patients, who will no longer be locked out of access to the medical marijuana that they need to manage their conditions,” he added.
Mr Joyce said patients would have to apply to have medicinal cannabis on their GP prescription.
He said the Government wanted to ensure that patients could obtain medical cannabis through the NHS.
“Under the Medicine (Medicinal and Therapies) Act, we will be giving patients access to medical cannabis as a prescription,” he told reporters.
“Our plan is to allow patients to access medicinal cannabis, which will allow us to provide patients with the best medical cannabis for them to use,” he continued.
“The Government is committed to providing the best treatment options for patients.”
Ms Ley’s comments come as several prominent medical practitioners, including GP Tony Wilson, who has been campaigning for the medical use of cannabis for years, are expected to endorse the Government for introducing the legislation in the coming weeks.
“This Government is a leader in changing our nation’s laws on cannabis and we can’t wait for this to happen,” Mr Wilson said.
Topics:health,health-policy,diseases-and-disorders,hospitals-and_medical_professionals,medical-research,government-and/or-politics,health,government—politics,princess,australiaFirst posted April 06, 2019 10:25:25Contact Tony Wilson