NSW cannabis medicines program

The NSW Government’s commitment to cannabis medicines

The NSW Government recognises the potential for cannabis and/or cannabis-based medicines to alleviate symptoms or potentially treat some debilitating or terminal illnesses in specific patient groups.

To build the evidence base, the NSW Government:

  • Established the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation to educate the community, help stakeholders navigate regulatory processes, and monitor the NSW Government-funded clinical trials.
  • Provided over $9 million over four years to fund clinical trials in three areas
    • investigating the safety and efficacy of cannabis medicines in reducing seizures in children with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, 
    • preventing nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, 
    • enhancing the appetite and appetite-related symptoms of palliative care patients with advanced cancer.
  • Launched the NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service to provide support and clinical advice to doctors considering prescribing a cannabis medicine to a patient (now embedded within the John Hunter Hospital Pharmacy Department).
  • Provided funding to the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence to undertake projects, including establishing a clinical trial in the palliative care population and a cannabinoid pharmacokinetics sampling program. 
  • Contributed $1 million in funding for agronomic research undertaken by the NSW Department of Primary Industries to support the development of high quality cannabis products in NSW.
  • Provided funding support for the Australian Government’s national review of the scientific evidence for the use of cannabis medicines in five areas (palliative care, nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and pain) and helped coordinate, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the development of clinical guidance documents for prescribers of cannabis medicines in these five areas.
  • Delivered educational sessions and resources to hundreds of health professionals across NSW, including webinars, conference presentations, fact sheets and symposia.
  • Awarded $1.45 million under the Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant scheme to a clinical trial examining whether cannabidiol can reduce chronic pain in spinal cord injury patients.