Medical cannabis has been legalized in Australia after Parliament approved an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act of 1967.

Susan Ley, Australia’s Minister of Health announced in a statement,

“This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals.”

Cannabis, whether to be used medicinally by patients or for research purposes, may now be grown legally within the country under the new law. Previously, the importation of cannabis products were permitted for medicinal use only.

“This is the missing piece in a patient’s treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy,”

continued Ley in her statement.

The new amendment allows for two different medical marijuana cultivation licenses. One license will regulate those growing cannabis to be used medicinally by patients, and the other will allow facilities to grow plants for research and studies.

The governing body of each Australian state and territory will be responsible for establishing and enforcing their own medical cannabis regulations, but the Secretary of the Department of Health will reserve the right to destroy plants at any time.

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