21 July 2022

Role

The Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis (the Council) was established in April 2016 and is in its third tenure. The Council provides advice to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on issues relating to the medicinal use of cannabis in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and the implementation of the regulatory scheme under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.

Objectives

The Council is advisory in nature and will provide advice to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on the following matters:

  • implementation of the regulatory scheme allowing for the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis
  • design of prescribing guidelines and the use of Authorised Prescriber and Special Access Scheme mechanisms allowing for patient access and
  • evidence supporting the use of medicinal cannabis for a variety of conditions, patient groups and in the most appropriate form.

Membership

The Council comprises of 15 members from various professional backgrounds. These include medical professionals, government representatives, patient groups and law experts.

Within these professional backgrounds members expertise range in the fields of cancer, epilepsy, palliative care, public health and policy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, law, pharmacology and toxicology.

The term of appointment for the third tenure will be for two years ending 30 June 2023. Four members of Council from the previous tenure, including Professor James Angus AO (in his role of Chair of the Council) will continue to serve in the third tenure. A complete list of Council members is below.

Members

Name Organisation Expertise
Chair
Professor James Angus AO
Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria
Professor Emeritus of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Pharmacology
Professor Terence O'Brien Chair of Medicine (Neurology) and Head of The Central Clinical School, Monash University, and Program Director Alfred Brain and Deputy Director of Research, Alfred Health. Epilepsy
Ms Michelle Lynch National Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Pharmaceuticals
Professor Helen Zorbas AO Chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Cancer
Professor John McMillan AO Emeritus Professor ANU College of Law Administrative and Constitutional Law
Dr Meredith Craigie Specialist Pain Medicine Physician, South Australia Health Chronic pain
Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent Victoria Police Law enforcement
Assistant Commissioner Peter Crozier Australian Federal Police Law enforcement
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Emily Kirkpatrick South Australia Health Public Health
Associate Professor John Allan Executive Director of Mental Health Alcohol and other Drugs Branch in Queensland Health. Psychiatry
Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Neurology
Professor Avni Sali Founding Director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine Medical Representative
Mr Rohan Greenland Chief Executive Officer of MS Australia Consumer Representative
Professor Alison Jones Director of Medical Education at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals Group Toxicology and Health
Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos Adjunct Associate Professor, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University Specialist General Practitioner

Meetings

Current and increasing interest in medicinal cannabis in Australia, supports the Council conducting up to four meetings per calendar year, with consideration of out-of-session meetings to address urgent matters concerning medicinal cannabis should they arise. These meetings may be undertaken face-to-face or via videoconference.

Meeting communiques

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Secretariat

The Office of Drug Control, part of the Commonwealth Department of Health, provides secretariat support to the Council. Questions, comments or enquiries can be made at MCCouncil@health.gov.au.