The Greens' leader, Richard di Natale, has accused the federal government of “ignoring the will of parliament” on the importation of medicinal cannabis as doctors complain that the current system has “multiple obstacles” that prevent terminally ill patients from obtaining the drug.
Di Natale will introduce a bill on Tuesday to clear the way for importers to stock more medicinal cannabis products.
While the government made medicinal cannabis legal in 2016, it did not allow medical practitioners to prescribe terminally ill patients some previously approved products without seeking prior authorization, under Category A of the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s special access scheme.
Access is only allowed through Category B, which requires a prescription, an approval letter from the Therapeutic Goods Administration and, in the case of medicinal cannabis, approval from the state or territory government where the patient lives. This process can take several months, making it impractical for terminally and severely ill patients.