The Federal Parliament of Australia has passed landmark legislation to allow the controlled cultivation of cannabis in Australia for medicinal and related scientific purposes. The Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill 2016 was passed on 24 February 2016.

This legislation will allow controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and related scientific research purposes through one national scheme. The licensing and regulation of cultivation in Australia will be overseen by the Commonwealth Department of Health to ensure compliance with our international obligations under the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961.

Cannabis legally cultivated in Australia under this legislation may then be manufactured into products for research, clinical trials or to be used by patients in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

The combination of a Commonwealth Government licence and permit system will control the quantities and strains of cannabis that can be cultivated. The permit system will also allow the Commonwealth Government to meet its reporting obligations to the International Narcotics Control Board.

The licensing scheme is expected to be in place later this year.

Further information about the legislation is available from the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control or you can contact the Office directly here.