Published on: 08/13/18
Despite the legalization of medical cannabis in 2016, the issue of CBD’s legality in Australia remains a thorny one, with many Australians unable to use CBD oil or CBD hemp oil because of the strict criteria that underpin its access.
While this legalization was a huge step in the right direction, subsequent use of CBD oil has proved limited with only a small number of patients who suffer from a very specific set of health conditions actually gaining the requisite access to CBD.
Although, CBD has been available via prescription in Australia, a variety of red tape and bureaucracy has made the obtention of a CBD prescription about as likely as winning a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket.
Indeed, very few (reported to be just over 500) have actually been prescribed CBD since it’s rescheduling in 2016 and with even fewer doctors actually having the power to write a prescription, CBD oil, despite its legality, has remained out of reach for the vast majority of the country.
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Sadly, this has resulted in almost all Australians being denied legal access to CBD oil and CBD hemp oil, either because they do not meet the strict criteria or because their doctor is not authorized to write a prescription.
Historically, Australia has adopted a tough approach to both recreational and medical cannabis, but with much of the Americas and Europe now relaxing their cannabis and CBD regulations, Australia has now decided to follow the trend by giving more and more people the potential to use CBD with the advancement of their SAS scheme.
The newly revamped scheme is expected to provide CBD treatments to many more Australians in the coming years.
At present, there are a variety of different schedules for cannabis products.
Recreational cannabis remains a scheduled 9 drug, which means that is still considered a “prohibited substance” and it is illegal to administer it to someone else, possess, cultivate or be involved in the cultivativation of any quantity of it and sell or supply any quantity of it.
Penalties for cannabis offenses start at $100 fines and range up to $250 000 fines and life imprisonment for more serious cannabis offenses.
Thankfully, following a change in legislation back in 2017, CBD is no longer considered to be a schedule 9 drug having been changed to a schedule 4 drug, meaning that it is legally available in Australia, but only as a prescribed medicine from your doctor.
While the majority of countries deem CBD hemp oil (containing less than 0.3% THC) completely legal, Australia still regards the cannabinoid cannabidiol a schedule 4 controlled substance, meaning that CBD hemp oil can only be accessed via prescription.
This means that there are restrictions on all CBD oil, regardless of whether it contains low levels of THC.
Legal but Still Unavailable for Many
It has been reported that as few as just 23 doctors in Australia were previously able to write a prescription for CBD oil and medical cannabis, which has resulted in just over 500 Australians being given access.
With estimates suggesting that over 100,00 Australians actually use cannabis for medicinal purposes, it was clear that this area required urgent attention.
It was recently reported that despite two years passing since legislation was introduced, that allowed a system of legal cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis, The Office of Drug Control (OCD) had only issued 35 cannabis-related licenses.
As a result, CBD has remained legally inaccessible for the vast majority of the country which has forced many Australians to turn to the black market in search of the treatments they require.
With so many people in Australia now being aware of the plethora of potential CBD benefits, it seems desperately unfair that so many who need access to CBD have not yet been given that opportunity.
SAS Scheme Brings Hope
However, with the Australian government announcing their new SAS scheme in July of 2018, prescribing doctors in certain states /territories can now register under the SAS to be able to administer medical cannabis to their patients.
This will now allow medicinal cannabis which is a non-Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved product to be prescribed where it had not previously been possible and gives fresh hope to thousands of Australians who wish to use CBD oil or CBD hemp oil.
As a consequence, many more people in Australia will now be able to access Endoca CBD Hemp Oil and other medical cannabis products through the new scheme.
The promise of greater access to medicinal cannabis through the SAS is a tremendous boost for the growing number of Australians who wish to use CBD as a treatment for a variety of different health conditions.
With so many people across the planet now discovering the potential benefits of using CBD oil, it is only fair and right that those in Australia are given the same legal access, with many normal Aussies having been forced to purchase their CBD from the black market.
While there is no doubt that attitudes and laws are beginning to shift across the planet, Australia has been a little slower on the uptake.
Still, it was only two years ago that medical cannabis was still considered a Schedule 9 drug in Australia and thankfully, those old laws are no longer a part of CBD’s future.
Clearly, with more and more people now expected to have the opportunity to access CBD Oil in Australia, there is cause for significant celebration but the journey is only just beginning.
Until CBD hemp oil is completely legalized, legitimized and fully available in Australia, it is vital that we continue to share our knowledge and understanding of this magnificent and potentially life-changing treatment so that those who have yet to experience its wonders, will finally have the opportunity to do so.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).