Victorian families are one step closer to legally accessing medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances with the Andrews Labor Government today introducing legislation into the Parliament.
The Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2015 will provide a legal framework to enable the cultivation and manufacture of safe and high quality medicinal cannabis products in Victoria.
This landmark legislation will deliver on the Andrews Labor Government’s election promise to make medicinal cannabis available to people in exceptional circumstances, safely, securely and lawfully, because no family should have to choose between breaking the law and watching their loved ones suffer.
Children with severe epilepsy will be given first access to medicinal cannabis from early 2017.
The Australian-first legislation reflects the recommendations made by the Victorian Law Reform’s Commission Report on Medicinal Cannabis.
The Report, tabled in Parliament in October this year, made recommendations on the cultivation, manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis, as well as patient eligibility, prescribing practices and ongoing research.
A key step to providing access to medicinal cannabis will be the establishment of cultivation and manufacturing industries in Victoria to support an ongoing and reliable supply of products.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will oversee cultivation trials and be given new regulatory powers to licence growers to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The Office of Medicinal Cannabis will be established within the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the manufacturing and dispensing of medicinal cannabis, as well as supporting new research. An independent medical advisory committee on medicinal cannabis will also be established.
Research shows 91 per cent of Australians believe the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes should be legal.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy
“I have seen first-hand how medicinal cannabis can change people’s lives – our legislation will mean families can legally access this life-saving treatment as soon as possible.”
“These laws will mean families will no longer have to choose between breaking the law and watching their children suffer.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford
“Our legislation will deliver supply for patients in the first instance, and also provide us with important information to support and facilitate the development of cultivation of medicinal cannabis in Victoria.”
“This landmark reform will mean Victorian families will be able to access medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances from as early as 2017.”