24 February 2017

The Office of Drug Control (ODC) collects fees and charges along the following lines:

  • a fee is charged for a service, such as the assessment of an application. This reflects the cost of the government in terms of human and other resources expended to provide a direct service to the client.
  • a charge is a form of tax imposed on the regulated industry and is applied to all licence holders.

The below summarises fees and charges arising from the Australian Narcotic Drugs legislation and associated regulations.

Please note that fees are only currently applied to medicinal cannabis and cannabis research cultivation and production licences and permits, not to other licences issued by ODC. Further, while anticipated, charges are not yet in place for licence holders.

Fees for medicinal cannabis and cannabis research cultivation and production licences and permits

ODC collects fees for the conduct of regulatory activity, including assessing applications, processing of variations, and for the conduct of inspections.

ODC collects fees for the following principle activities:

  • Medicinal cannabis and cannabis research licence application assessments
  • Medicinal cannabis and cannabis research permit application assessments
  • Assessments of licence variations
  • Assessments of permit variations
  • Inspections associated with applications and variations.

    In collecting fees, ODC only does so for services which are specifically tied to an individual receiving the benefit of that service.

    Note that all fees are non-refundable.

    Fees for licences and permits

    The following fees apply to applications received by the ODC for licences and/or permits for the cultivation, production or manufacture of cannabis.

    Assessment Fee ($)
    Application for a medicinal cannabis licence 5,290
    Application for a medicinal cannabis permit 1,830
    Application for a variation of a medicinal cannabis licence 4,150
    Application for a variation of a medicinal cannabis permit 1,730
    Application for a cannabis research licence 5,290
    Application for a cannabis research permit 1,830
    Application for a variation of a cannabis research licence 4,150
    Application for a variation of a cannabis research permit 1,730
    Application for a manufacture licence 0
    Application for a variation of a manufacture licence or permit 0

    Important information:

    • A fee does not currently apply to an application seeking only a Narcotic Drugs Act manufacturing licence or permit.
    • The fee is non-negotiable and cannot be altered through any form of request or discussion.

    Inspection fees

    Where an inspection is conducted in relation to an application for a licence, a permit, or a variation to a licence or permit, then additional fees are payable.

    Those fees are set at $470 per hour per person conducting the inspection.

    You can reasonably anticipate that an inspection will consist of at least two officers and take a full day per premises. This then equates to an average inspection fee of $7050 per inspection.

    Inspection Fee ($)
    Inspection in relation to an application (est) 7,050
    Inspection in relation to a variation (est) 7,050

    It is possible that inspections will take longer than a day, and/or will require additional inspectors. If this is the case, the resultant fee will be proportionally increased.

    Important information:

    • A fee does not currently apply to inspections relating to a Narcotic Drugs Act manufacturing licence or permit.
    • The fee is non-negotiable and cannot be altered through any form of request or discussion.

    Fees for a concurrent research licence application

    A reduction of up to 75% in one application fee may apply if an applicant makes concurrent (at the same time) applications for a medicinal cannabis licence and cannabis research licence.

    The reduced fee on the second application will only apply:

    • if the activities proposed for each licence are undertaken at the same licensed premises, and
    • the information and documents provided by the applicant in support of each application are sufficiently similar to enable assessment of each application to be undertaken simultaneously.

    This will be decided by the ODC on a case-by-case basis.

    Applicants will be charged in the first instance the full cost of both licence applications. Where a reduction in application fee is subsequently determined by ODC to be appropriate, the applicant will be credited the sum of up to the 75% application fee. This credit may be used by the applicant in payment for other subsequent applications (such as for variations or permits etc.).

    Charges

    In addition to licence fees and inspection fees, there are statutory charges which are in place to cover non-direct cost recovery of activities associated with licences. This includes the conduct of unannounced inspections, administrative processing of minor operating procedure variations lodged by licence holders, and other activities need to maintain the licencing scheme.

    The quantum of charge for a licence is as follows:

    1. for a medicinal cannabis licence - $27,360 for each period of 12 months, or part of a period of 12 months, for which the licence is in force;
    2. for a commercial cannabis research licence - $27,360 for each period of 12 months, or part of a period of 12 months, for which the licence is in force;
    3. for a non commercial cannabis research licence - $27,360 for the period for which the licence is in force.

    Processing and payment

    Invoice for payment

    An application received by the ODC, for which fees apply, requires payment in full before the application can be assessed, and ultimately an application decision made.

    ODC will assist each applicant by ensuring their application contains all the prescribed information needed to conduct the assessment (is materially complete) before requesting payment of the relevant application fee.

    Importantly, an incomplete application will not be assessed and no invoice will be issued.

    Payment by instalment

    Payment of an invoice by instalment is allowed. However, it should be noted that the full payment of the invoiced amount must be received within 28 days of the invoice being issued to the applicant. It is important to note that the application will not be released for assessment until the full payment has been received and processed by the ODC.

    Unpaid invoices

    Upon issue of an invoice for an application fee, the applicant will have 28 days in which to pay the invoice in full. Process will begin to lapse the application after this period. Once lapsed, the application cannot be restarted and a new application will be required. A partial payment of the fees will not prevent the application from being lapsed after the 28 day window.

    Unable to pay

    The applicant should withdraw a submitted application if they are unable to pay the relevant fees in full. Withdrawal of an application can be achieved by emailing the MCS@health.gov.au formally requesting such an action. The tracking number and invoice number (if an invoice has been issued) should be provided in full in the communication.

    Payment options

    • Payment option will be provided on the invoice issued to the applicant.
    • A range of payment options will be detailed in the invoice.

    Refunds

    • ODC regulatory fees and charges are non-refundable and non-transferable.
    • Charges, including annual charges, for licences cannot be refunded following payment where the licence has been in force at any time.

    Assistance

    Information and advice on payment can be obtained by contacting the Medicinal Cannabis Section (Ph. 6232 8433) or email MCS@health.gov.au. Please have your invoice number and application tracking number ready if you are seeking advice on a submitted application.