Easier access for medicinal cannabis prescriptions in SA

HEALTH: Chef Daniel Quigley, who suffers from scoliosis, says medicinal cannabis will help with his chronic back pain. Medical practitioners will no longer require state approval to prescribe the Schedule 8 drug to patients.
HEALTH: Chef Daniel Quigley, who suffers from scoliosis, says medicinal cannabis will help with his chronic back pain. Medical practitioners will no longer require state approval to prescribe the Schedule 8 drug to patients.

STATE government announced on Sunday April 23 that patients will have easier access to prescribed medicinal cannabis products by their doctors.

Medical practitioners will no longer need state approval to prescribe Schedule 8 medicinal cannabis in the first instance, with the decision to be made by a medical specialist in the best interest of their patient.

State approval is still required when prescribing medicinal cannabis for longer than two months or to a patient already using a Schedule 8 drug.

The Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis has been established by state government to help develop South Australia’s medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp industry.

Acting Premier Kyam Maher said the Office of Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis will provide a single contact point for information and advice regarding these industries.

“The South Australian government is committed to ensuring South Australians have access to the full range of treatments and services to promote the best health outcomes for patients and the community,” Mr Maher said.

“The opportunities for industry development of medicinal cannabis may also provide for high value jobs across the supply chain from research and development, growing, manufacture and transport and logistics.”

SA is one of the few states where the cannabis derivative cannabidiol can be prescribed by a medical practitioner under the Schedule 4 prescription regulations.

Highway One Motel Port Augusta chef Daniel Quigley, who suffers from scoliosis, said medicinal cannabis would help relieve his chronic back pain.

“Because I’m a chef, I’m always on my feet and leaning, so I always come home with back pain,” he said.

“(His fiancee) Felicity has to massage me most nights and put my back back in for me. I go for deep radial and deep tissue massages as well just to help me get through.”

The 35-year-old said he has suffered from scoliosis his whole life and none of the medicine he has been prescribed has been able to ease the pain.

“I’ve looked into medicinal uses for marijuana and it’s probably one of the best anti-inflammatories you can get, so I'm pushing that way to see if it can help me out.”

SA’s medicinal cannabis access pathway has been developed as a result of comprehensive consultation from SA Health.

Patients and health professionals seeking more information about medicinal cannabis can visit SA Health’s website. To learn more about the Office for Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis, visit the Department of State Development’s website or call 8463 563.