HomeNewsWA Medical Cannabis Inquiry Report Released

WA Medical Cannabis Inquiry Report Released

An inquiry in Western Australia looking into the potential to amend current legislation to address barriers to medicinal cannabis and hemp has delivered its findings.

In October 2021, Western Australia’s State Government agreed to allow the Legalise Cannabis -Western Australia Party to lead an inquiry into issues regarding accessing medical cannabis and opportunities for industrial hemp in the state. The Select Committee into Cannabis and Hemp is chaired by Dr Brian Walker MLC.

The Committee published a report last week, with 16 recommendations. Among those relating to medicinal cannabis:

  • Amending the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 to remove the requirement for healthcare professionals to be authorised to prescribe or supply cannabis-based Schedule 8 products for adult non-dependant patients.
  • Amending the Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code to allow the dispensing of prescriptions for Schedule 8 medicinal-cannabis products written by interstate prescribers in WA under certain conditions.
  • Upping the daily tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) prescribing limit from 40mg to at least 100mg.
  • Investigating the feasibility of a medicinal cannabis advisory service; and establishing such a service.
  • Development of information resources geared towards patients’ families, friends and employers.
  • Investigate the potential/implement a compassionate access scheme.
  • Amend the Road Traffic Act 1974 and Road Traffic (Drug Driving) Regulations 2007 to introduce a defence for patients using medicinal cannabis as prescribed who are not driving while impaired or under the influence of alcohol.

In terms of hemp, the Committee recommended:

  • The Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development review Western Australia’s Industrial Hemp Act 2004 to ensure the legislation is fit for purpose and does not impose unjustified restrictions on the industry.
  • Advocate for the Commonwealth Government to amend the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 and any other relevant legislation that will remove obstacles to the cultivation and commercial sale of industrial hemp under the Industrial Hemp Act 2004.
  • Continued encouragement and financial support for research of the industrial hemp industry.

Commenting on the release of the report, Dr Walker said:

“After 2 years of hard work, it was my pleasure to table the cross-party report featuring 16 recommendations for the government to consider, tackling some of the major obstacles associated with medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp.”

The full report can be accessed here.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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