19 October 2018


The Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis (the Council) will provide advice to the Minister for Health on issues relating to the medicinal use of cannabis and the implementation of the regulatory scheme under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.


The Council is advisory in nature and will provide advice to the Minister for Health 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.


The Council comprises of 16 members from various professional areas that contribute to the use of medicinal cannabis in Australia. The professional background of members include: medical professionals; government representatives, including law enforcement, patient groups and law experts. Members also have expertise in the fields of: cancer, epilepsy, palliative care, toxicology, law, pharmacology, law enforcement and botany.

The term of appointment for Council members is for two years, from February 2017 through to February 2019 inclusive. The membership as of 18 October 2018 is at Attachment 1.

Members may resign from the Council at any time by providing a letter stating the intention to resign to the Minister for Health (copied to the Council Chair and Secretariat) at least four weeks prior to the date of resignation.

The Minister for Health will consider appointments to vacancies, as appropriate.

The Minister for Health retains the discretion to terminate a member's appointment to the Council at any time and for whatever reason.


Meeting frequency

Based on the current and increasing interest of medicinal cannabis in Australia, it is anticipated that the Council conduct four face-to-face meetings per calendar year, with consideration of out-of-session meetings to address urgent matters of medicinal cannabis as they arise. These special meetings may be undertaken face-to-face or via teleconference.

Meeting communiques




The Office of Drug Control under the Commonwealth Department of Health will provide secretariat support to the Council. The Therapeutic Goods Administration under the Commonwealth Department of Health will provide travel and administrative support to the Council membership.

Member guidelines

In addition to the Terms of Reference, Council members should also refer to the Member Guidelines. The Office of Drug Control may revise the Member Guidelines as the Council evolves.

Attachment 1

Council membership, 18 October 2018
Name Organisation Role
Professor James Angus Victorian Independent Medical Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis Chair
Emeritus Professor Anne Tonkin South Australian Medication Advisory Committee Deputy Chair
Ms Liz Callaghan Palliative Care Australia Practice and policy in palliative care
Professor Richard Chye St Vincent's Hospital Palliative care and pain
Dr Ian Freckelton QC Professorial Fellow in Law and Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne Former Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission reference on Medicinal Cannabis which resulted in the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 (Vic).
Professor Wayne Hall University of Queensland Toxicology (drugs)/ Advising the QLD Government
Dr Chris Hayes Faculty of Pain Medicine - Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Pain specialist
Ms Carol Ireland Epilepsy Action Australia Practice and policy in epilepsy care
Ms Michelle Lynch Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Pharmacy profession representative
Professor Terence O'Brien Epilepsy Society of Australia Professional society representing doctors, researchers and health professionals in the epilepsy field
Dr Morton Rawlin Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Medical profession representative
Dr Simon Walsh Australian Federal Police Chief Scientist
Dr Phil Wright NSW Department of Primary Industry Chief Scientist / Cultivation
Dr Jeanette Young Queensland Government nominee Queensland Chief Health Officer
Professor Helen Zorbas Cancer Australia Practice and policy in cancer control