Businesses in and around Australia can now obtain licenses that will legally permit them to grow cannabis or marijuana purely for medicinal purposes.
This comes after the Narcotics Drugs Amendment Act 2016, which was recently implemented to legalize the production of cannabis and other cannabis products for the benefit of patients who are in need of the drug.
The Act will also cover the manufacturing of cannabis products and the research into the previously illegal substance for medical advancement.
The Recreational Use of Marijuana is Still Illegal
Medicinal cannabis was previously considered a banned substance in Australia prior to the recently passed Act. Despite the legalization of the medicinal form of the substance, the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal and subject to prosecution, according to Health Minister, Sussan Ley.
She also mentioned how a lack of domestically grown medicinal cannabis had proved troublesome for patients in need of the drug, whose only option was to import it expensively from other countries.
Individual States Yet To Set Proper Legislation
Although the Act generally legalizes the use of medicinal cannabis, it is up to the specific states to determine exactly how the drug is distributed and to whom.
Dosages per patient have not yet been set and still remain an issue to be taken up by the respective states and the medical specialist who are licensed to prescribe drugs.
The lack of firm specifications for each individual state poses a potential hindrance.
Each state seeks to introduce its own legislation on the law and has the power to disapprove the use of the medicinal cannabis completely.
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 is the only benchmark available that instructs how the legislature should enclose medicinal cannabis.
The law, which was set by the United Nations, is the only material available that details the use of the said drug.
Literature is limited in general due to the strict laws that banned the use of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Strict Security Tests for Prospective Cannabis Growers
A number of red tapes exist for potential cannabis farmers as a few strict rules have been instated to ensure the control and standardization of cannabis production.
Although the specific state will have the final say on who gets to grow and use cannabis for medical purposes, a security test has to be passed before anything else is considered.
Cannabis Has Numerous Health Benefits
Among the pain-relieving benefits of medical cannabis and its active ingredients, THC also cures anxiety and nausea.
According to Peter McCormick, from the University Of East Anglia School Of Pharmacy, research shows that THC could also significantly reduce the size of cancerous tumors in cancer patients.
On the downside, THC could also have some serious side effects such as anxiety, memory loss, and addiction.
Patients who will most likely benefit from medical cannabis include cancer patients, epileptic individuals and people suffering from MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and HIV/AIDS.
Doctors will be expected to provide proof that the patient requires medicinal cannabis before issuing the dosage as there will be no age restrictions on the use of the previously controlled substance.
Not Yet Home and Dry for Cannabis-reliant Patients
Although the laws are all in place, patients that are depending on medicinal cannabis still have a long way to go before the Act can be fully implemented.
The lack of good quality information on the growth of medicinal cannabis will without a doubt slow lead to slow progress, but in the near future, medicinal cannabis will be readily available for those who need it.