Medicinal cannabis

The legalisation of medicinal cannabis has created confusion and uncertainty for some patients. There are frequent media reports about medicinal cannabis, which have fuelled patients asking their GPs to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

While the federal government has legalised medicinal cannabis, there are still many relevant state and territory legislation and administrative processes to navigate before the substance can be prescribed by GPs. Rigorous testing and development of clinical guidelines is still occurring and there is uncertainty amongst the healthcare community about eligibility in patients for medicinal cannabis.

Dr Bartone, Vice-President of the AMA, told that he does not see those patient-doctor exchanges changing until the medicinal cannabis trials in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland are complete.

"We need the information and evidence from those trials to inform appropriate preparations, concentrations and delivery. We are at least a couple of years off in terms of clinical guidelines that will inform GPs. Usually studies and evidence and documentation is all in place before GPs have the ability to prescribe," he said.

The AMA has consistently advocated caution on the legal sale of medicinal cannabis: 

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