Is medicinal cannabis legal in the Northern Territory?
Medicinal cannabis has been legal in the Northern Territory (NT) since 2016. The Australian government legalised it nationwide in 2016 for medicinal and scientific applications. This allowed regulated access to these products for businesses and medical professionals. Activities related to the cultivation, manufacturing, importation and production of medicinal cannabis products require the appropriate permits and licences.
Do you need a prescription for medicinal cannabis in the NT?
You must acquire a medicinal cannabis prescription to access these products in the Northern territory. Your doctor may prescribe medicinal cannabis products to you if they believe it would benefit your treatment. Prescriptions outline which products you may access as well as the appropriate dosages.
Who can prescribe medicinal cannabis in the NT?
Doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory if they believe it would benefit a particular patient. Due to medicinal cannabis being Scheduled medicines and “unapproved therapeutic goods”, doctors must use specific pathways to obtain these products.
Doctors using the Special Access Scheme (SAS) pathway, must obtain approval from the for every individual prescription. Authorised prescribers may prescribe medicinal cannabis products to a range of patients under their care without individual prescription approvals. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Prescribers don’t need to apply for any specific state-wide authorisation in the Northern Territory. However, they must notify a Chief Health Officer if treatment is successful and a patient is receiving medicinal cannabis treatment for more than two months.
Who can supply medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory?
Businesses that have obtained the appropriate licences and permits can supply medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory. A national-level licence from the Office of Drug Control (ODC) is necessary for any manufacturing or import activities. If engaging in manufacturing and packing activities, they must also uphold the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards set by the TGA. Manufacturing activities require the appropriate certificate from NT Health. For companies engaging in the wholesale of medicinal cannabis products, a specific application must be submitted.
Who is eligible to qualify for medicinal cannabis in the NT?
Any patient in the Northern Territory is eligible for medicinal cannabis treatment if their doctor recommends it. The TGA has not listed specific conditions that medicinal cannabis treatment may be used for. A doctor incorporates medicinal cannabis into a patient’s treatment when they believe it will provide benefits. The two methods used to acquire medicinal cannabis for patients are the SAS and the authorised prescriber scheme.
Where can I buy medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory?
In the Northern Territory, you can buy medicinal cannabis from any pharmacy if you have a valid prescription. Medicinal cannabis products are considered scheduled goods and pharmacies must take special steps when handling them. These requirements include reporting to the monitored medicines database, taking extra safety measures when dispensing, and storing according to regulations.
How much medicinal cannabis can I possess in the NT?
The amount of medicinal cannabis you may have in your possession in the Northern Territory depends on your prescription. In your prescription, you will see which product you may access and exactly how much of it you have access to. Any medicinal cannabis products in your possession must be in their original packaging and have their original pharmacy labelling.
Can you drive while undergoing medicinal cannabis treatment in the NT?
Legally, you are not allowed to drive in NT if you are undergoing medicinal cannabis treatment that includes THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has the potential to cause cognitive impairment, which affects the safety of driving. It is an active component in many medicinal cannabis products, making them incompatible with driving.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the other substance commonly found in medicinal cannabis products. It is not illegal to have CBD in your system while you are driving. However, many CBD-dominant products potentially contain traces of THC. CBD-isolate products may be appropriate for medicinal cannabis patients who must drive. These products have the lowest chance of containing traces of THC. Make sure to read your prescription label and talk with your doctor for further clarification.
Can you be fired for using medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory?
You may potentially be fired for using medicinal cannabis products in NT. This depends on your workplace and their specific drug policy. THC is a common component in medicinal cannabis products that is banned in many drug policies. Testing positive for THC could result in firing, even if it comes from a legally prescribed source. Talk with your employer about their company drug policy before commencing medicinal cannabis treatment.
Can I travel domestically to the Northern Territory with medicinal cannabis?
If you have a prescription, you are able to travel domestically into NT with medicinal cannabis products. The products on your person must remain in their original packaging. You also need to keep your prescription with you at all times.
Does health insurance cover medicinal cannabis in the Northern Territory?
Your health insurance policy may cover the costs of medicinal cannabis treatment in NT. If you are using a public health insurance provider such as Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), this will not be the case. However, private health insurance policies sometimes cover medicinal cannabis treatment costs under optional extras. Make sure to get the exact details from your chosen insurance provider.