How to get medicinal cannabis – Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics – University of Sydney

An overview of medical cannabis access for patients and medical professionals
Any medical doctor can prescribe medicinal cannabis in Australia with the approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the relevant State or Territory’s Health Department. 
Patients may be eligible to trial medicinal cannabis if they have a chronic medical condition where conventional treatment options were determined to be unsuitable, and there is evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis for the condition. 
Most medicinal cannabis products are unapproved products in Australia as they do not appear on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). This means that you can’t simply go to a doctor, obtain a prescription, and fill it at a pharmacy as you would with conventional registered medicines.
Instead, the TGA, the governing body that regulates access to all medicines including medicinal cannabis, have created pathways for doctors to access medicinal cannabis products for their patients, where clinically appropriate.
Australian registered medical practitioners who would like to access unapproved medicinal cannabis products for the treatment of appropriate patients may choose to do so through the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or the Authorised Prescriber Scheme. Alternatively, doctors can suggest their patients for a clinical trial or refer them to a doctor more experienced with medicinal cannabis.
Access option
Special Access Scheme
For prescribing medicinal cannabis to a single patient
Authorised Prescriber
For prescribing medicinal cannabis to multiple patients (with similar indications)
Clinical Trials
Referring patient for a clinical trial, if available
Referring patient to a doctor more experienced in prescribing medicinal cannabis
The medical practitioner has two ways of applying for unregistered medicines:
To source a drug for a single patient, a doctor can use the Special Access Scheme.
The doctor can apply to the TGA to become an Authorised Prescriber (AP), allowing the doctor to prescribe an unregistered medicine to a whole class of patients. For example, a paediatric neurologist might apply to the TGA to become an AP to prescribe medical cannabis products to children with epilepsy.
Some patients may be eligible for clinical trials investigating medicinal cannabis products. 
Information on the clinical trials taking place at the Lambert Initiative can be found here.
A list of all Australian medicinal cannabis clinical trials can be found on the Applied Cannabis Research website.
It is the responsibility of the prescriber to specify which product they wish to access. The TGA does not maintain a list of unapproved medicinal cannabis products but do provide a list of Manufacturers and suppliers of medicinal cannabis products that can assist prescribers with selecting the appropriate medicinal cannabis product. Find out more.
There are many different medicinal products available in Australia that differ in active ingredients, concentrations, format, quality and regulatory control.



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