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Guidance: Fees and charges

Summary of fees and charges arising from the Australian Narcotic Drugs legislation and associated regulations.

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Guidance

At the Office of Drug Control (ODC), within the Department of Health and Aged Care, we collect fees and charges for the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme (the Scheme) under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (the Narcotic Drugs Act).

  • Fees are charged when a good, service or regulation is provided directly to a specific entity or organisation. The Narcotic Drugs Regulation 2016 outlines the fees that are applicable to the Scheme.
  • Charges are also known as levies and are charged when a good, service or regulation is provided to a group of individuals or organisations. The Narcotic Drugs (Licence Charges) Regulation 2016 outlines the charges that can be imposed under the Scheme.

The information on this page does not relate to licences and permits granted under the Narcotic Drugs Act for the manufacture of other narcotic drugs.

Office of Drug Control (ODC) Fees and Charges for medicinal cannabis regulation

We are responsible for a wide range of tasks relating to the regulation of medicinal cannabis under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967. The Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) provides information on how we implement our cost recovery activities associated with the application processes, assessment requirements and the on-going compliance and monitoring in relation to medicinal cannabis.

For further information regarding cost recovery and the fees and charges framework, refer to our Medicinal cannabis cost recovery web page.  

Updated fees and charges effective from 1 August 2023

The Medicinal Cannabis Program Regulatory Fees and Charges Review (the Review) was an extensive review and consultation of fees and charges undertaken in 2022, to revise medicinal cannabis cost recovery arrangements to reflect the regulatory effort, or associated costs of managing the single licence framework and permit reforms that came into effect on 24 December 2021. These revised fees and charges commenced on 1 August 2023.

A revised Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) for 2023-24 has been published on our website reflecting the amended fees and charges framework following the review.

The final amounts for all fees and charges include minor increases from what was previously proposed during the public consultation process. These changes occurred following consultation with the Department of Finance who identified the need to include revised salary amounts in the costing model, which affected all amounts related to the fees and charges. 

Application fees are payable for each application for a licence or permit, or for each variation for a specified purpose, as set out in the table below. Licence/permit variations for various specified purposes have been grouped into a variation ‘type’ where the cost of the specified variations are similar, but each specified variation within that type attracts the relevant fee. Accordingly, where a licence holder applies for more than one specified variation, the total cost will be the cumulative amount of the applicable fees for each of the specified variations applied for.  

The table below lists all fees and charges for the Scheme effective from 1 August 2023.

Name of Fee/Charge

Explanation of Fee/Charge

Price as at
1 August 2023

Single Licence Application

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for a single medicinal cannabis licence application.

$13,220

Licence Variations - Type 1

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application to vary a medicinal cannabis licence for any of the following purposes:

  • vary the licence holder name (without changing the legal entity);
  • vary or remove any one or more of the following from the licence:
    • the name of a person authorised by the licence to engage in authorised activities
    • their description under paragraph 7B(a), (b) or (c) of the regulations
    • any other description of a person authorised by the licence to engage in authorised activities.

$580 each

Licence Variations - Type 2

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application to vary a medicinal cannabis licence for any of the following purposes:

  • vary or add the period for which the licence is in force;
  • vary, add or remove, for a particular licensed premises, any one or more measures to the approved system of security
  • any other variation not specified in licence variation type 1, type 3, or type 4.

$1,470 each

Licence Variations - Type 3

For the receipting, assessment, decisions making and notification of decision for an application to vary a medicinal cannabis licence for any of the following purposes:

  • vary the site plan for a particular licensed premises;
  • vary one or more floor plans of facilities at a particular licensed premises (unless the variation is required as a result of varying, adding or removing an authorised activity at that licensed premises);
  • vary, add or remove a particular activity that is to be authorised by the licence at a particular licensed premises; or
  • add an authorised person to engage in activities authorised by the licence at any one or more licensed premises.

$2,170 each

Licence Variations - Type 4

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application to vary a medicinal cannabis licence to add an additional licensed premises (ie site) (including any other variations to the licence that are required as a result of adding the new licensed premises)

$11,960

Initial C&P* Permit Application

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an initial application for a medicinal cannabis permit to authorise either or both cultivation and/or production at a particular licensed premises.

$11,910

Subsequent C&P* Permit Application

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for a subsequent application for a medicinal cannabis permit to authorise either or both cultivation and/or production at a particular licenced premises.

$9,070

Initial MAN* Permit Application

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an initial application for a medicinal cannabis permit to authorise the manufacture of a cannabis drug at a particular licensed premises.

$7,860

Subsequent MAN* Permit Application

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for a subsequent application for a medicinal cannabis permit to authorise the manufacture of a cannabis drug at a particular licensed premises.

$5,980

Permit Variations - Type 1

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application to vary a medicinal cannabis permit for any of the following purposes:

  • vary the licence holder name (without changing the legal entity)
  • vary the maximum numbers, units, or quantities specified on the permit as being held at one time with no change to any of the total numbers, units, or quantities that the licence holder is authorised for during the period of the permit.

$620 each

Permit Variations - Type 2

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application for a variation to a medicinal cannabis permit to add or remove a particular supply pathway that is specified by the permit.

$1,660 each

Permit Variations - Type 3

For the receipting, assessment, decision making and notification of decision for an application for the following variations to a medicinal cannabis permit:

  • vary any one or more of the types of cannabis plants, total numbers, total units, total quantities that the licence holder is authorised for during the period of the permit
  • vary, add, or remove a particular activity specified by permit to be undertaken at a particular licensed premises.

$5,140 each

Annual Licence Charge

An annual licence charge is imposed on all licence holders when a licence is granted and each year thereafter on the anniversary date of the licence. The annual licence charge is designed to recover the following costs to the ODC in regulating the Scheme.

  • Response to mandatory notification by the licence holder in accordance with section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs Regulation 2016.
  • Licence suitability review
  • Regulatory governance including enquiry and financial management
  • Compliance education campaigns
  • Continuous improvement activities within the ODC

$27,520

Annual Site Charge

An annual site charge was previously imposed on a licence holder after the first permit is granted which indicates the commencement of authorised activities at the licenced site. This charge is no longer applicable from 1 August 2023.

Removed

Inspection Fees and Charges

Fees/Charges below are invoiced after a particular type of inspection has occurred.

Application Based Inspection - (Inspection fee)

Following the submission of a licence, permit, or a variation (licence variation or permit variation) application, the ODC may undertake an inspection of the relevant premises.

$9,230

Routine/Ongoing Inspection - (Inspection Type 1)

An onsite inspection carried out by an authorised inspector to monitor a licence holder’s compliance with the Narcotic Drugs Act and its licence. These inspections are undertaken on a risk-based approach.  

$12,600

Verification Inspection – (Inspection Type 2)

An inspection carried out by an authorised inspector, either onsite or virtually, to verify the accuracy of information that has been provided to the ODC in relation to any licence or permit that is in force under the Narcotic Drugs Act.

$4,760

*C&P refers to Cultivation and Production; MAN refers to Manufacturing.

Important information

Fees

  • An invoice will only be issued for an application once information and documentation that must accompany an application has been submitted by an applicant.
  • Invoicing for the application fee does not indicate that an application will result in the grant of a licence, or that more information will not be required.
  • Payment of the relevant application fee is required upon receiving an invoice from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
  • We consider that an application has been made once the relevant invoice has been paid.
  • The application fee is non-negotiable and once paid non-refundable.

Charges

  • Once a charge (or levy) is invoiced, the Licence Holder incurs a debt to the Commonwealth and the relevant invoice/s must be paid.
  • Payment of the annual licence charge is a statutory obligation of all licence holders and non-payment can lead to revocation of the licence. The annual licence charge applies annually to all licence holders and is imposed on the licence anniversary date. 
  • An annual licence charge that has been incurred on the licence anniversary date is payable in full regardless of whether a licence holder has decided to surrender the medicinal cannabis licence during the licence period for which the annual licence charge applies. 
  • The annual licence charge cannot be pro-rated against the period of time a licence is in force if the licence holder decides to surrender the medicinal cannabis licence during the licence period the annual licence charge applies.
  • Consideration should be given by licence holders wishing to surrender their licence to doing so before the next annual licence charge is incurred. 

Unpaid invoices

Upon issue of an invoice for an application fee, the applicant has 28 days in which to pay the invoice in full. If payment has not been made within 28 days, we will assume the applicant is no longer interested in progressing the application and it will be considered 'not accepted' and no further action will be taken by us.

Payment options

Payment options will be provided on the invoice issued to the applicant.

Further information

Information and assistance regarding payment can be obtained by contacting the Medicinal Cannabis Section Applications Team (Ph. 02 6289 4618 – Option 2) or by email MCS.Application@health.gov.au. Please have your invoice number and application tracking number ready if you are seeking advice on a submitted application.

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