Progress update of licence applications and approvals
In November 2016, the Department began accepting applications for licences to cultivate, produce, research and/or manufacture cannabis products under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967. To this date, the following has been achieved:
- As at 30 April 2017, 63 licence applications have been received among the three licence types. Of those, around a quarter have subsequently been withdrawn, 7 have been approved, and the remainder are under assessment
- 4 Medicinal Cannabis licences have been issued allowing the licence holder to cultivate cannabis for medicinal use in humans through clinical trials or as a prescribed medicine through the Special Access Scheme or Authorised Prescriber Scheme
- 2 Cannabis Research licences have been issues authorising the cultivation and production of cannabis for medical research purposes
- 1 Manufacture licence has been issued authorising the licence holder to manufacture medicinal cannabis products
- 1 permit has been issued to a Medicinal Cannabis licence holder, authorising them to plant seeds
- 2 permit applications are likely to be finalised in the coming days; these will dictate the size and type of crops the licence holders are permitted to grow
- As part of an interim supply solution while the domestic industry develops, the first bulk shipment of medicinal cannabis product is due to arrive beginning of May.
Based on this information, it is expected that the domestic supply of medicinal cannabis products will likely be available to Australian patients by mid to late 2017.
It is important to note that we are unable to announce when licences are issued or disclose details of licence holders unless the licence holder authorises us to do so. So far, 5 of the 7 licence holders have chosen to remain anonymous and unannounced to ensure security and discretion.
We have been pleased with how applicants have worked closely with us throughout the assessment process, respecting that great care and thoroughness is needed.
For regular updates on the number and types of licences that have been issued, please see the list of approved medicinal cannabis cultivators and producers in Australia.