22/02/2017 - 13:40

Govt to import medical marijuana to boost supply

22/02/2017 - 13:40

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The federal government will oversee the importation of marijuana into the country from overseas until domestic supply ramps up, giving patients easier and quicker access in the interim.

The government passed legislation to allow domestic marijuana production late last year.

The federal government will oversee the importation of marijuana into the country from overseas until domestic supply ramps up, giving patients easier and quicker access in the interim.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said today that the government would authorise controlled importation by approved providers from approved international sources for the supply into Australia until production in the country met local needs.

“At present, doctors approved to supply medical cannabis products must import the products as local production is only starting to be developed following the passage of legislation to allow domestic production late last year,” he said.

“We have listened to the concerns of patients and their families that are having difficulty accessing the product on prescription whilst domestic production becomes available.

“We are now making it easier to access medicinal cannabis products more rapidly, while still maintaining strict safeguards for individual and community safety.”

Mr Hunt said importers would be able to source medicinal cannabis product from a reputable supplier overseas and store the product in a secure warehouse within Australia.

“This will be an effective interim supply to be provided through approved commercial importers,” he said.

“Patients who have been prescribed medicinal cannabis by an authorised doctor will be able to source the medication from a company in Australia, rather than on an individual case-by-case basis from overseas, which involves delays in importation.

“This will shorten timeframes to the supply of medicinal cannabis for patients.”

Mr Hunt said Australia would have a store of imported medical cannabis products within eight weeks, so approved patients could take confidence in the supply arrangements for their doctors.

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