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Business plan: 2022-23

The Office of Drug Control Business Plan for 2022-23 is now available.

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As an Australian Government regulator, the Office of Drug Control (ODC) is committed to maintaining the confidence of the Australian public and the international community in relation to effective narcotic drugs control. The landscape of narcotic drugs regulation in Australia continues to change, largely due to the growth of medicinal cannabis industry.

The ODC is committed to continuously improving its performance and engaging with stakeholders on Australia's regulatory framework for medicinal cannabis. Since the 2019 review of the medicinal cannabis scheme, the ODC has progressively implemented the Review recommendations, culminating in the introduction in December 2021 of a single licence framework with simplified permit arrangements for medicinal cannabis regulation. These reforms are aimed at reducing the regulatory burden and increasing operational flexibility for industry.

The ODC's medicinal cannabis regulatory functions are supported through industry cost recovery, with some other activities being directly funded by Government. Medicinal cannabis fees and charges are regularly reviewed to ensure consistency with the Australian Government Charging Framework. An objective for 2022-23 will be ensuring the cost recovery model remains appropriate following the recent medicinal cannabis reforms.

Our focus on compliance with the legislation and conditions of a narcotics licence and permit is essential to prevent the diversion of narcotics for illicit supply and use and will assist Australia to comply with its international obligations. The ODC will evolve its approach to appropriately manage risk while not unnecessarily impeding the operations of the entities that it regulates.

2022-23 sees the second year of the two-year pilot program for the commercial importation of kava. The Department of Health and Aged Care, through the ODC, is the lead agency for the kava pilot, which includes a comprehensive evaluation to inform recommendations to Government at the conclusion of the pilot.

In 2022-23 we will also focus on progressing the ODC's business and digital transformation, including redeveloping its website, to enhance stakeholder's interactions with us. We will continue to nurture a culture that values innovation and supports business process improvements.

Adjunct Prof John Skerritt FTSE FIPAA (Vic)

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