Seriously ill Queenslanders will have faster access to medicinal cannabis under new laws which make the prescription process easier.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the government had repealed the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016 to introduce new legislation that makes it easier for patients and doctors to access medicinal cannabis.
Under the changes, specialists would be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients the same as other controlled or restricted medicine, such as codeine.
Minister Miles said the government was committed to improving pathways for Queensland patients to access medicinal cannabis and this new legislation joins some of the most progressive laws in the country.
"This law change will significantly streamline the prescription process by removing state-level approval and will ensure patients have access to the treatment they need sooner.
"The Palaszczuk Government led Australia in 2015 by enabling doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients and that legislation was vital.
"Now that the treatment has progressed, it makes sense for a nationally consistent approach and for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to take carriage of the prescription process," he said.
Mr Miles said that Australia's domestic medicinal cannabis industry is in its infancy but, believes it has great potential.
"There are several companies working towards having medicinal cannabis products produced locally in Queensland."
"I look forward to following their progress in taking their products to market. This will help improve access for people and reduce costs for these increasingly important medicines.
Non-specialist medical practitioners will still require a state based approval for schedule 8 Medicinal cannabis.
The Federal Government will maintain strict controls on the use of unapproved therapeutic goods through the Commonwealth licensing and approval system. It will remain illegal for the Queensland public to grow cannabis for medical purposes.