The cannabis treatment in TAS is available for certain medical conditions and is prescribed by your health practitioner. Cannabis clinics are experts in the prescription process of cannabis that suits various illnesses and disorders.
Note: The information given on this page is not medical advice and should be taken in conjunction with medical professional advice. Individuals wanting medical advice on this issue should consult their local healthcare professionals.
General practitioners have the ability to prescribe medicinal cannabis
Tasmania established a medical cannabis controlled access scheme (CAS) in 2017 (Read More). The medical cannabis scheme provides patients with both safe and legal access to medical quality cannabis products to treat specific illnesses and disorders.The scheme allows relevant medical specialists to be authorised to prescribe medical cannabis (unregistered cannabinoid products) in limited circumstances where conventional treatment has been unsuccessful. Currently in Tasmania, general practitioners (GPs) will not be authorised to prescribe these products under the CAS.
How a patient can access medicinal cannabis in TAS?
Talk to your treating doctor about whether medicinal cannabis may be suitable as a treatment for you.
You will be required to give informed consent and sign that you are aware of the effects of THC and the laws against operating heavy machinery if medical cannabis contains primarily THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) rather than CBD Cannabidiol.
The specialist will then considers if an unregistered cannabinoid product treatment is clinically appropriate for your condition.
If YES. the specialist may apply for a legal authorisation to the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to prescribe the product for you.
Your application will be submitted to a specialist panel for review in parallel to a notification to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) 'Special Access Scheme'
A prescription will be provided under the scheme and the unregistered cannabis dispensed by a Tasmanian Health Service (THS) Hospital Pharmacy.
If NO. you should discuss the specialist’s assessment with your GP.
Things to consider when taking medicinal cannabis
You cannot drive
Research has shown that cannabis use has an effect on a person’s ability to drive (Read More). Unlike alcohol, there is no specific concentration of cannabis that can be identified as an indicator of impairment. It is illegal for any patient being treated with medicinal cannabis containing THC to drive while undergoing treatment.
If a patient is at school, they can have the prescribed product administered at school in the same way as other medicines. Medicinal cannabis is not a “rescue” medication, and it would not be given in an emergency situation. Children usually receive doses of medical cannabis twice a day, therefore it’s unlikely to be required at school with a morning/evening schedule.
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Medical cannabis for human use has been regulated as a medicine in South Australia since 2016. The federal legislative changes came into effect and the patient access pathway to aquirer medical cannabis products accordingly.