The Western Australian government has taken the scissors to the red tape that has been holding back the local medicinal cannabis sector.

Now West Australian GPs can prescribe cannabis without having to refer the patient to a specialist. The previous laws still apply if patients are under 16 or have a history of drug addiction.

The move follows a review by the Department of Health into cannabis prescriptions over the last three years.

(And we’re sure this has nothing to do with the fact that the Western Australia media recently reported that half of the McGowan cabinet admitted to trying cannabis.)

“Medicinal cannabis is often prescribed as a drug of last resort for people who are suffering and in terrible pain, [but] this announcement underpins the McGowan government commitment to putting patients first,” Health Minister Roger Cook said.

“The new changes bring Western Australia closer into line with other states and territories.”

WA has joined Queensland, NSW and Victoria, which already had similar laws.


Locals welcome decision

The company most affected by this move is local company Little Green Pharma. Little Green Pharma is Australia’s only cannabis company to produce locally grown and GMP-manufactured cannabis products for patients.

The company has the only growing and manufacturing facilities in WA and has made 1,500 prescriptions of its cannabis oil.

Little Green Pharma managing director Fleta Solomon welcomed the decision, having long lobbied for less red tape in the sector.

“We applaud the health minister for implementing this streamlined policy and are confident it will make a huge difference to Western Australian patients, who have previously been disadvantaged by the state’s time consuming and costly access process,” she said.

“When considering many using medicinal cannabis products have serious illnesses and are sometimes financially strained, the previous access regime unnecessarily added a number of months and additional costs to the process.

“This will significantly reduce cost and time pressures placed on West Australian patients.”

The move came only a couple of months after Little Green Pharma made its first export, to Germany.