Australia: Making A Submission To “The Senate Community Affairs References Committee” On Medical Cannabis

Current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia

On 14 November 2019, the Senate referred an inquiry into the current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 12 February 2020.

Further detail about the scope of the inquiry is provided in the terms of reference.

Terms of Reference

The current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia, including:

(a) the appropriateness of the current regulatory regime through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Special Access
Scheme (SAS), Authorised Prescriber Scheme and clinical trials;

(b) the suitability of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for subsidising patient access to medicinal cannabis products;

(c) the interaction between state and territory authorities and the Commonwealth, including overlap and variation between
state and territory schemes;

(d) Australia’s regulatory regime in comparison to international best practice models for medicinal cannabis regulation and
patient access;

(e) the availability of training for doctors in the current TGA regulatory regime for prescribing medicinal cannabis to their

(f) the education of doctors in the Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS), and the appropriateness of medicinal cannabis
treatments for various indications;

(g) sources of information for doctors about uses of medicinal cannabis and how these might be improved and widened;

(h) delays in access, and the practice of product substitution, due to importation of medicinal cannabis and the shortage of
Australian manufactured medicinal cannabis products;

(i) the current status of the domestic regulated medicinal cannabis industry;

(j) the impacts on the mental and physical wellbeing of those patients struggling to access medicinal cannabis through
Australia’s regulatory regime;

(k) the particular barriers for those in rural and remote areas in accessing medicinal cannabis legally;

(l) the significant financial barriers to accessing medicinal cannabis treatment;

(m) the number of Australian patients continuing to rely on unregulated supply of medicinal cannabis due to access barriers
and the impacts associated with that; and

(n) any related matters.

Making a submission

Submissions are requested by 17 January 2020.

If you would like to make a submission, you may find it helpful to look at the guide for preparing a submission. It includes suggestions on what to include in a submission, a check list, and information about what happens to your submission once it has been received by the committee.

Do you have questions about how to make a submission?

If you require any special arrangements to enable you to make a submission to the inquiry, please contact the secretariat. You can also contact the secretariat if you have questions about the inquiry or need more time to write your submission.

Submissions can be public (published on the internet) or confidential (only read by the committee)

The committee can receive submissions as public documents—which are published on the committee webpage. If your submission is published, the information in it, including your name can be searched for on the internet. If you do not want your name to be available with your submission on the internet, you can ask for your name to be withheld.

If you do not want your submission to be publicly available, you can ask the committee to keep your submission confidential – please include the word confidential on the front of your submission as well as a reason for your request. Confidential submissions can only be read by members of the committee and secretariat staff.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829

Inquiry Status

Accepting Submissions

Upload Submission

How to make a submissionThe committee invites individuals and organisations to send in their opinions and proposals in writing (submissions)


If you require any special arrangements to enable you to participate in the Committee’s inquiry, please contact the Committee Secretariat.

Further information regarding accessibility can be found at

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