Premier of Tasmania – Improvements to the Tasmania Controlled Access Scheme for medical cannabis


March 16, 2021

Sarah Courtney, Secretary of Health

We’re investing more in the essential services Tasmanians need, including our healthcare system, so Tasmanians can get the care they need, when they need it.

In the first term of the current Liberal government, Tasmania called on the country to call for a national, evidence-based response to ensure safe access to medical cannabis.

The opening of the Tasmania Controlled Access Scheme in 2017 was a significant advance in this policy area, and as noted at the time of launch, the system was not restricted by age or illness, allowing for wider access than other states.

I am pleased that the Prime Minister announced today that the government will improve the controlled access system in Tasmania.

Changes are being made to improve access to unregistered medical cannabis products in Tasmania. This includes empowering Tasmanian general practitioners to prescribe medicinal cannabis products and allowing more pharmacies across the state to dispense these products.

Subject to the required approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Tasmania will also adopt the national streamlined online application path and 48-hour approval period.

The government is aware that changes have been made in the other states and territories in recent years to expand their regulations. Because of this, the changes to the Tasmanian regime have been made to be in line with the models used in other jurisdictions.

It is important that the system of controlled access remains in place and is reviewed to ensure that Tasmanians with a serious illness that has not responded to traditional therapies continue to have subsidized access when prescribed through the medical specialty pathway.

The Ministry of Health will shortly hold targeted consultations with key stakeholders on the changes. The start of the new access system begins on July 1st of this year.

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