Medicinal Cannabis in Australia Update, June 2022

According to the Australian Journal of General Practice, published by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, more than 130,000 medicinal cannabis approvals have been issued in Australia to date, mostly by general practitioners, with approximately 65% of these to treat chronic non-cancer pain. Despite robust supportive data from animal models, current clinical trial evidence for THC and CBD efficacy in chronic pain is incomplete. In their prescribing decisions, doctors must balance patient demand and curiosity with caution regarding potential risks and limited efficacy (Source:

Australian Health Journal met with 3 speakers at the recent @arcsaustralia ARCS22 Conference providing an update on medicinal cannabis. The discussion with the speakers now centres on affordability and access.

– Dr Teresa Nicoletti is a Partner and the National Head of Health and Life Science at Mills Oakley lawyers. She is a pre-eminent health and life sciences practitioner who has more than 25 years’ experience in the therapeutic goods industry in Australia. She is also widely regarded as Australia’s leading lawyer in the regulation of medicinal cannabis and hemp. Teresa’s particular expertise is in the regulatory space and in commercial contracts. She particularly specialises in advising companies on statutory and regulatory interpretation, supply chain management, risk management, and corporate structure and governance. She is also an experienced negotiator and regularly liaises with federal and state/territory regulatory authorities and government administrators, including the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Office of Drug Control and federal and state/territory health departments. In addition to her role at Mills Oakley, Teresa is a part-time senior member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, a position which she has held since August 2006. This has equipped her with extensive knowledge of administrative law and a unique understanding of administrative decision making. Source:

– Professor Iain McGregor is Professor of Psychopharmacology and Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics in the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Iain’s research is focused on the discovery and development of new medications for the treatment of disease and involves the full pipeline from chemistry, to cellular and animal models, to clinical trials. The discoveries of his team around the use of oxytocin-like molecules to treat addiction and social withdrawal led to the successful spinoff company Kinoxis Therapeutics. Iain has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and multiple patents. The Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics which was formed in 2015 with a gift of unprecedented generosity from the Lambert family to the University of Sydney. The Lambert Initiative, under Iain’s leadership, conducts world-leading research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids in epilepsy, pain, cancer, addictions and mental health conditions. It has also developed a large library of proprietary small molecules. Recently Iain and his team have diversified into psychedelic research and are currently developing plans for a research program around psychedelic drug discovery including a recently-funded clinical trial of psilocybin in the treatment of eating disorders. Source:

– Robert Stringer is a pharmacist with more than 25 years of experience in the Australian and New Zealand pharmaceutical industry. Robert’s career experience extends to establishing a consultancy business and holding leadership and management roles in Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research, Product Sourcing and Development and Strategic Planning. Robert is an active supporter of the industry. His long engagement with professional associations includes the provision of various presentations and training programs at ARCS and the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Association (RAPS). Robert is a Senior Director and Head of Regulatory Affairs, PharmaLex Source:



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