The Office of Drug Control (ODC) regulates the import of controlled substances, such as cannabis for medicinal purposes under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (PI Regulations).
Medicinal cannabis and products (such as cannabis oil, extracts and tinctures) are regulated as medicines in Australia and are prescription only substances.
Only delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is permitted for importation into Australia. All other associated isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not permitted for import for use in Australia.
Importers must declare the form of THC being imported to the ODC when completing import permits
If you are travelling to Australia with your personal medication visit our Travellers page.
Permitted purposes for importing medicinal cannabis
An application may be made to import medicinal cannabis products for the following purposes:
- Authorised Prescriber (AP) Scheme
- Special Access Scheme (SAS)
- Clinical Trials
- Animal Studies
- Laboratory or analytical testing
- Cultivation under an ODC Medicinal Cannabis Permit.
Medicinal cannabis requires import permission (a licence and permit) from the ODC, before importation can occur.
The licence is valid for up to 12 months and a permit is required for each shipment entering Australia and for each substance and/or preparation type.
Imports are restricted to medical or scientific use. The quantities imported and supply routes are strictly controlled under the international drug control conventions.
The importer must provide information with their licence application on the products that they intend to import and the quantities of each product.
Before making an import application, importers should ensure that the relevant exporter already has the appropriate licence/approval. The exporter needs a licence or approval from their own government to request export approval of medicinal cannabis products to Australia.
Please see Importers for more information.
Manufacturing requirements for imported medicinal cannabis
Imported medicinal cannabis products may be subject to the following manufacturing requirements:
- A medicinal cannabis licence from the ODC. For further information see Cultivation, production and manufacturing of cannabis in Australia for medicinal or research purposes.
- The Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Medicinal Cannabis) (TGO 93) Order. For further information see the Medicinal cannabis hub on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) website.
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) licence requirements. For further information see the Manufacture of medicinal cannabis page on the TGA website.
Authorised Prescriber (AP) and Special Access Scheme (SAS)
To find out more information on the regulation of medicinal cannabis in Australia, including how to supply it as part of the Special Access Scheme (SAS), Authorised Prescriber (AP) scheme or through clinical trials see the TGA’s Medicinal cannabis hub for more information.
For information on obtaining a licence and permit to import medicinal cannabis approved under the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme see our Prescribing unapproved drugs page.
Local state and territory laws
Local state and/or territory laws may have different requirements for importation and possession of medicinal cannabis. You must ensure you comply with all relevant legal requirements. See Related authorities for contact information.