Medicinal Cannabis Permit Reform

Closed 18 Dec 2020

Opened 11 Nov 2020


The Department of Health through the Office of Drug Control (ODC) is seeking comments from interested parties on a review of the structure, design and administrative processes for medicinal cannabis related permits (the review).

This review is part of the broader reforms being implemented as a result of the statutory Review of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 undertaken in 2019 by Professor John McMillan AO.

Why your views matter

As part of the review, the ODC is seeking your views. The perspectives and experiences of stakeholders are valued and will be important in informing the review’s outcomes.

The current permit arrangements, particularly for cultivation and production related permits, were initially designed to authorise relevant activities and to assist the ODC in managing compliance and reporting functions in the infancy of the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme (the Scheme). The process for granting these permits has increased in complexity to encompass the wide variety of cultivation, production and supply activities undertaken by licence holders. This has led to a high level of prescription in such permits, requiring holders to seek variations to change what are often operational matters. This has resulted in an unnecessary regulatory burden on industry and the workload of the ODC.

This review considers ways to simplify permit arrangements. It also proposes implementing periodic reporting and compliance monitoring to maintain appropriate regulatory outcomes under the Scheme.

In conducting this review, the ODC’s proposed approach aims to:

  • simplify the level of detail in the permits, particularly for cultivation and production
  • allow for greater flexibility in business decision-making
  • improve the ODC’s efficiency, and
  • improve industry understanding of regulatory obligations and compliance requirements.

It is anticipated that minimal, if any, legislative change will be required to give effect to the proposed changes. Any impact on fees and charges will be monitored and adjusted, as necessary, through the annual review of fees and charges for the Scheme.

This consultation process is your opportunity to contribute to helping the ODC simplify permit arrangements and implement periodic reporting and compliance monitoring. The ODC is particularly interested in your feedback on the proposed approach for the reform of medicinal cannabis related permits, including any transitional issues to be considered.  

In providing feedback, please provide examples of circumstances in which you think the proposed approach may be problematic or ask specific questions about how the proposed approach would be applied to your specific circumstances.

Submissions may address any, or all of the matters contained in the Medicinal Cannabis Permit Reform Consultation Paper under 'Related', below.

All submissions should be made via this online portal. Questions should be directed to

What happens next

Feedback collated through this consultation process will be taken into account prior to finalising a brief to the Minister for Health, seeking approval for changes.

With your permission, the ODC may publish some or all of your submission on the ODC or Department of Health website (or both).

Note: If you consent to the ODC publishing your entire submission in full, including your name and work title as it appears on your submission, Australian Privacy Principle 8.1 will not apply. More information on privacy can be found on the ODC website.


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