MEDICINAL cannabis advocate Warren Entsch MP has congratulated the State Government for passing legislation last night which will enable Queensland residents with a range of conditions to be able to access medicinal cannabis products more easily.
“I applaud the Queensland Government for seeing the value in this and expediting the process,” he said. “This is the next step in making a significant improvement in the quality of life for many Queenslanders and shows what can be achieved when you get support right across the parliament, acknowledging the unnecessary suffering that people are going through.”
The legislation puts a regulatory framework in place to allow medicinal cannabis products to be prescribed and dispensed to patients in Queensland from early 2017.
“The framework provides a clear pathway for doctors to follow if they want approval to prescribe medicinal cannabis as part of their patient’s overall treatment,” Mr Entsch said.
“I’d encourage doctors to step up so they can be registered to prescribe these products.”
Mr Entsch welcomed news that trials using medicinal cannabis to treat children with drug-resistant epilepsy were due to start at the Lady Cilento Hospital in December.
“It’s important that we build on our knowledge about how medicinal cannabis can have a positive impact on many diseases and medical conditions and I’d urge Queensland to continue to be a leader in this field.”
At the Federal level, from October 30th people wanting to cultivate and manufacture cannabis for medicinal and research purposes can apply to the Office of Drug Control for a license.
This could see the first crops grown and processed in Australia by early to mid-2017.
“While we’re waiting for the first Australian-produced product to become available, I’d caution Queensland that it still needs to streamline its assessment process for people seeking to import medicinal cannabis products from overseas under the Federal Government’s Special Access Scheme or Authorized Prescriber schemes,” Mr Entsch said.
“There are significant delays in processing the applications because the Queensland Government, in assessing applicants under the state’s Drugs Misuse Act 1986, is duplicating the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s already very-comprehensive assessment of patients’ medical histories and proposed treatment regime.
“Having Queensland request and assess the same information from applicants is extending the approvals process by months and months, and putting extra financial and emotional pressure on patients who do not have time to waste.”
Anyone interested in applying to grow or manufacture medicinal cannabis can get all the information they need about the process here