No, there is no accreditation required. The prescriber prescribing an unregistered cannabis medicine arranges supply with a pharmacy which will be convenient for the patient to have the prescription dispensed. This can be any registered pharmacy (or hospital pharmacy) in NSW. If the cannabis medicine is registered (Sativex® and Epidyolex® are currently the only registered cannabis medicines), you may obtain these from the wholesale supplier. If the cannabis medicine is unregistered (non-ARTG), the prescription should be accompanied by a Commonwealth approval under the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber scheme. The wholesale supplier can only supply you with the unregistered cannabis medicine if you have this document. If the cannabis medicine is not available in Australia, the prescriber will need to inform you of the importation arrangements.
All compounded Schedule 8 cannabis medicines require the prescriber to hold prior written Authority issued by the NSW Ministry of Health. It is illegal to prescribe or dispense such medicines without such Authority.
except those cannabidiol-only products as defined in Schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard.
All cannabis products not classified as Schedule 8 or Schedule 4 (see below) default to their classification as prohibited drugs under the
Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, whose possession is illegal, unless authorised for the purpose of scientific research, instruction, analysis or study.
There are legal provisions allowing possession and supply of these
And if approved for supply under the FSANZ Food Standards Code:
Yes, if the raw material ingredient has been imported, or cultivated and produced, with the approval of the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control and/or Therapeutic Goods Administration, in accordance with the Commonwealth’s
Narcotic Drugs Act 1967,
Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, and if it accords with the Medicinal Cannabis Standard (TGO 93), and is included in Schedule 8 of the Poisons List.
If not, it is illegal to possess of any material derived from cannabis to manufacture medicines.
No, not until you receive the actual prescription, unless it is a registered medicine on the ARTG. Currently the only ARTG Schedule 8 cannabis medicine is Sativex® brand nabiximols oromucosal spray 80mg/mL for treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis.
There is no provision in NSW legislation for recognising interstate authorities to prescribe S8 cannabis medicines.
Yes, if all of the following are met:
Yes, if the prescription is valid for dispensing in NSW - see
Can I dispense a Schedule 4 cannabidiol medicine on a prescription from a medical practitioner practising in another State or Territory?
Where the patient has a paper prescription for a Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 Appendix B medicine, inform the patient before dispensing that you will need to retain the prescription (including any repeats), as patients from interstate may not be familiar with this NSW requirement. For an electronic prescription with a repeat, you will need to issue a token for the repeat and the next dispensing pharmacist will need to determine if the prescription is valid for dispensing in that State or Territory.
It should not be assumed that an unregistered Schedule 8 medicine lawfully prescribed and dispensed in NSW can be sent to or transit through another State or Territory. Before dispensing the medicine, confirm from the
medicines regulator in the other jurisdictions that it is legal for a carrier to possess the medicine in that State or Territory, and legal for the patient to possess and use the medicine in that State or Territory.
[back to top]
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has published guidance on their
website to assist providers of cannabis medicines (sponsors, manufacturers, importers, pharmacists, health professionals and marketers) to comply with therapeutic goods advertising restrictions.
NSW law does not apply in other states and territories. The medicines regulator of the state or territory you are travelling to can provide this information. See the
TGA's website for details.
You will need to check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. In some countries import, export or possession of any cannabis product, even if obtained legally for medical use in Australia, may be subject to heavy penalties including imprisonment. Further advice can be obtained on the
Some cruise ship companies may prohibit the possession of cannabis medicines. You will need to contact the relevant company for further advice.
Commonwealth's Customs laws also limit the type and quantity of medicines with which a traveller may leave and re-enter Australia.
Possession of cannabis which has not been obtained legally under NSW law is an offence, however enforcing compliance with this is at the discretion of police. A small quantity of a medicine prescribed and dispensed legally for you in that state or territory (that is, with approval/authority from the TGA and the state or territory regulator if necessary) would likely be allowed. We recommend you carry a prescription or letter from your doctor describing the cannabis medicine you are taking and how much you are bringing with you. Keep the medicine in the packaging and labelling as dispensed by the pharmacist.
[back to top]