Medicinal cannabis

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

In order to build the evidence base and develop a better understanding of the potential role that medicinal cannabis could play in alleviating symptoms, the NSW Government has implemented a number of initiatives including:

  • providing funding for three clinical trials in order to explore the use of cannabis and cannabis products in providing relief for patients suffering some debilitating or terminal illnesses.
  • establishing the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research & Innovation to help us better understand the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabis products and support evidence-based innovation.

While the clinical trials are underway, the NSW Government has also implemented the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme to extend compassion to adults with a terminal illness. The Scheme provides guidelines for NSW Police Force officers to help them determine appropriate circumstances in which to use their discretion not to charge adults with terminal illnesses, or their carers who assist them, who use cannabis.

What is medicinal cannabis?

The term ‘medicinal cannabis’ used in this context refers to the use of cannabis-derived products for therapeutic purposes. It does not include the recreational use of cannabis products, which will remain illegal in Australia.