Position Statement – Proposals to Amend Scheduled Access to Cannabidiol (CBD)

Key Messages:

Over the past 10 years, there has been an increasing demand for access to medicinal cannabis, including cannabidiol (‘CBD’), by patients and their families. As the social and political debate has intensified, Commonwealth, state and territory governments passed legislation to facilitate and regulate greater access. However, many patients still struggle to access medicinal cannabis.

Since 2016, Australian governments have together established a tightly regulated medicinal cannabis regime, including CBD, managed by medical practitioners and the state/territory health departments. In 2019, the World Health Organisation (‘WHO’) made a recommendation that preparations containing predominantly CBD with not more than 0.2% THC should not be placed under international drug control. CBD has a very low risk of abuse or misuse as it is not psychoactive.

A recent Senate Inquiry occurred to better understand and address the current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis(including CBD), which reported on the 12 February 2020. Submissions to the Senate Inquiry from affected consumers and representative disease groups overwhelmingly supported low cost and easily available consumer access to high-quality CBD products. The Inquiry recommended that the medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) consult with the public on reducing barriers. In particular, Senate Recommendations 12 and 13 provided that the TGA conduct broad public consultation on the down-scheduling of CBD as a matter of priority.

Key Policy Positions:

CMA supports down-scheduling of cannabidiol (‘CBD’) in Australia as a critical measure to reduce community barriers to accessing medicinal cannabis. The level of access must meet consumer expectations for Cannabidiol set by the Senate Inquiry into Medicinal Cannabis, whilst taking into consideration community expectations and transparency on safety, quality and efficacy.

Read the full statement here.

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