22 June 2022

A medicinal cannabis licence authorises either cultivation (the growing of cannabis plants) or production (the separation of cannabis and cannabis resin), or both. It can also authorise manufacture activities, all under the one licence.

A cultivator will need to hold a medicinal cannabis licence granted by the Office of Drug Control (ODC) under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (Cth) (the ND Act) that authorises cultivation and production activities in order to cultivate and produce cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes.

While there is no restriction on the number of licences that can be granted in Australia, under international conventions, the overall quantities produced must not exceed domestic requirements. Therefore, the number of cultivators that will be licensed to grow and supply cannabis will depend on the demand for medicinal cannabis (considering prescribers and the patient groups they treat).

In all cases the licensee will need to hold a permit(s) issued under the ND Act before any cultivation or production commences.

When applying for a permit, a licensee will need to have, and submit to ODC, a contract with the producer/manufacturer and certain other documentation that satisfies any requirements set out in the ND Act and Narcotic Drugs Regulation 2016 (Regulations).

See the forms and guidance section of the website for further guidance on licence and permit applications.