Australia’s Office Of Drug Control Publishes Cannabis Regulations

Australia medical marijuana regulations
Cannabis Image: BigStock

Australia’s Office Of Drug Control (ODC) has released the much-anticipated (and by some, feared and maligned) regulations relating to medical cannabis.

The Regulation is part of the legal framework for the licensing of cultivation and production in Australia of cannabis, and the manufacture of marijuana-derived drugs.

The document also details the information and supporting documentation to be provided by applicants seeking licenses at various stages, along with rules regarding suspension and revocation of licences and permits.

With regard to fees, the following will apply.

Item Application Fee ($)
1 Application for a medicinal cannabis licence 5,290
2 Application for a medicinal cannabis permit 1,830
3 Application for a cannabis research licence 5,290
4 Application for a cannabis research permit 1,830
5 Application for a variation of a medicinal cannabis licence 4,150
6 Application for a variation of a medicinal cannabis permit 1,730
7 Application for a variation of a cannabis research licence 4,150
8 Application for a variation of a cannabis research permit 1,730

So what’s the difference between a license and a permit?

Put simply, a license holder will also require a permit. The permit will:

  • Specify approved activities
  • Detail the number of cannabis plants to be cultivated
  • The number of cannabis plants (or seeds) that can be obtained to start and maintain cultivation of cannabis plants
  • The amount of cannabis or cannabis resins that can be produced during the licence period (where relevant).

It appears that licence holders will also need to be very careful who they employ. In a section regarding “suitable staff”, unsuitable persons include those who have ever undertaken treatment for drug addiction, anyone who has used illicit drugs in the previous 5 years (good luck with determining that), or who is an undischarged bankrupt.

The Narcotic Drugs Regulation 2016 is a hefty tome and can be viewed in full here.

“We encourage all who are interested in cultivating or manufacturing cannabis for medicinal purposes to make themselves familiar with the Regulation,” stated the Office Of Drug Control in a short statement accompanying its release..

The release of the document follows a series of information and consultation sessions in July that weren’t particularly well received by some interested in entering the industry; who accused the Government of playing to the big end of town.

The Office Of Drug Control is part of the Health Products Regulation Group of Australia’s Department of Health.