Why medical cannabis is not available for sale in Gladstone

Low dose cannabidiol (CBD) will be available over-the-counter in pharmacies across Australia this week, but the controversial drug will not be available in Gladstone.

This Monday, Australians will be able to purchase low-dose CBD over-the-counter without a prescription.

Last December, the Australian Government Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) downgraded certain low dose cannabidiol from a Schedule 4 (prescription medicine) to a Schedule 3 (pharmacist only medicine).

Residents can purchase a maximum of 150 mg/day, for use in adults, over-the-counter by a pharmacist, without a prescription.

Over-the-counter CBD products include low-dose oral, oral mucosal, and sublingual formulations.

Vaping and topical products will only be available through a prescription.

However there are currently no TGA approved products for sale as it does not meet the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) Schedule 3 criteria.

A number of pharmacists The Observer spoke to in Gladstone, Tannum Sands and Boyne Island said without TGA approval, the drug would not be available for purchase over-the-counter at chemists.

The decision to allow the drug to be available over-the-counter was made following an earlier TGA safety review of low dose CBD which indicated that the known effects of CBD at low doses were not serious.

Cannabis Doctors Australia (CDA Clinics) said CBD was gaining prominent attention in the health sector and had become an essential part of medicinal marijuana therapy.

“Clinical research has shown that low-dose CBD can reduce a plethora of issues, such as anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic refractory pain,” a CDA Clinics spokesman said.

“With it’s wide therapeutic window, low-dose CBD has been shown to have benefits in both paediatric and adult patients.”

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