We grant licences and permits for cultivation and production.
Cultivation includes sowing a seed of cannabis plant, planting, growing, tending, nurturing, harvesting, grafting, dividing, or transplanting a cannabis plant. all steps up to, but not including, harvest.
Production means the separation of cannabis and cannabis resin from the plants from which they are obtained.
The Office of Drug Control (ODC) may grant a medicinal cannabis licence authorising cultivation, production and/or manufacturing activities (for supply for human medicinal use and/or scientific purposes).
Most of the time, applicants seeking to cultivate, will apply for both cultivation and production activities to be authorised by a licence and permit.
However, where appropriate, the ODC may be able to grant a licence authorising production activity allows for the harvesting function separately from cultivation activity (or either of those activities separately from manufacturing activities).
Medicinal cannabis licence
A medicinal cannabis licence may authorise either cultivation (the growing of cannabis plants) or production (the separation of cannabis and cannabis resin), or both. It may also authorise manufacture activities. These activities may be authorised either separately, or all under the one licence.
In order to be able to cultivate and/or produce cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes, a cultivator will need to hold a medicinal cannabis licence, granted under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (Cth) (the ND Act) by the Office of Drug Control (ODC), which authorises cultivation and production activities.
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 relevant permit 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.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.