Medicinal cannabis report published

06 Oct 2015

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has published its report on medicinal cannabis, which was tabled in Parliament today. The report contains 42 recommendations for changes to the law to allow people to be treated with medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances.

The Commission recommends that licensed cultivators and manufacturers be able to produce medicinal cannabis products under laws like those used for Victoria’s opium poppy industry. Medicinal cannabis products would be sold at pharmacies, when authorised by a doctor, under arrangements based on the methadone program.

Medicinal cannabis would be available for the treatment of:

  • Severe muscle spasms or severe pain from multiple sclerosis
  • Severe pain from cancer, HIV or AIDS
  • Severe nausea, severe vomiting or severe wasting from cancer, HIV or AIDS (or from treatment for these conditions
  • Severe seizures from epileptic conditions, if other treatment options do not work or cause unacceptable side effect
  • Severe chronic pain where two specialist medical practitioners think that medicinal cannabis may work better than other medical options. 

Other patients in exceptional circumstances would be able to have their cases considered separately and may be approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Only specialist medical practitioners would be able to authorise treatment with medicinal cannabis. The patient’s local GP would monitor and modify the treatment as necessary.

The Commission has recommended that medicinal cannabis products:

  • Should not be smokeable
  • Should be available in a variety of forms, including tinctures, oils, capsules, sprays and vaporisable liquids. 

The Commission does not recommend that people be allowed to grow their own cannabis, nor that cannabis be legalised for wide medicinal use, nor that it be legalised for general use.

The Commission’s findings are based on existing research and on information from the community about personal suffering alleviated by medicinal cannabis. The Commission received 99 submissions and consulted with the public in Melbourne and across regional Victoria.

The Commission recommends that Victoria collaborate with the Commonwealth on the introduction of the Victorian scheme.

The report is online at the Victorian Law Reform Commission website. Download the medicinal cannabis report.  


For more information or an interview with the Hon. Philip Cummins AM, Chair of the VLRC,  contact: Nick Gadd, Communications Manager, Tel: 03 8608 7824 Mob: 0425 862 119 Email:

Date published: 
06 Oct 2015

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