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Can You Grow Cannabis in Australia?

Cannabis cultivation laws in Australia are subject to a complex web of regulations, varying from state to state and influenced by federal legislation. As the landscape of cannabis legalization evolves globally, many Australians are curious about their rights and limitations when it comes to growing cannabis for personal or medicinal use. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the legal framework surrounding cannabis cultivation across different regions of Australia.

Is Cannabis Legal in Australia?

is cannabis legal in australia

Medical Marijuanas in Australia

In Australia, medical marijuana is legal. The country legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016. However, access to medical cannabis is highly regulated and strictly controlled.

Patients seeking medical marijuana must have a valid prescription from an authorized medical practitioner. The prescription is typically reserved for patients with specific medical conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer-related symptoms.

Adult-Use Marijuanas in Australia

As of now, adult-use marijuana remains illegal in Australia. Possession, cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes are all prohibited under federal law. However, laws regarding cannabis vary between states and territories, and some have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

In these jurisdictions, individuals caught with small quantities of cannabis may receive fines or diversion programs rather than facing criminal charges.

Is It Legal to Grow Marijuanas in Australia (by States & Territories)?

Northern Territory

Cannabis is largely decriminalized, but possessing small amounts in public places leads to custodial sentences. Possession of less than 50 grams at home and small plantings (up to 5 plants) are misdemeanors. Over 20 plants or giving minors access can result in a life sentence.

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, a gradual process of decriminalization began in 2020, allowing residents over the age of 18 to possess up to 50 grams of dry cannabis or 150 grams of wet material. Additionally, individuals are permitted to cultivate up to 2 plants outdoors, or 4 per household, as a measure to deter theft. An indoor cannabis grow system for micro-growing may be the best option.

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New South Wales

In New South Wales, recreational cultivation of cannabis is illegal, but qualified patients with specific medical conditions can access medical cannabis products under the supervision of healthcare professionals.

In New South Wales, if caught with less than 15g of cannabis, NSW police may exercise discretion by issuing a warning without charge. Alternatively, individuals may receive an on-the-spot penalty notice fine of $400 for possession of no more than a 'small quantity' of the drug.

Victoria

Growing cannabis in Victoria is generally prohibited unless specifically authorized by either the Victorian Government or the Commonwealth Government.

Possession of cannabis for recreational purposes is considered a criminal offense in Victoria. Typically, first-time offenders found with quantities under 50 grams may receive a warning along with drug counseling.

Queensland

In Queensland, both the cultivation of marijuana and its recreational use are strictly prohibited by law. Violators may face severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 20 years.

South Australia

In South Australia, growing cannabis, even for medical purposes with prescription by an authorized medical practitioner, is illegal.

However, an exception exists for cultivation under a license and permit granted as part of the Commonwealth licensing scheme for medicinal purposes.

Western Australia

Legal cultivation of cannabis in Western Australia is permissible only under the federal licensing scheme for medicinal use. However, severe penalties persist for individuals caught growing cannabis with the intent to sell or supply it to others.

Possession of 10 grams or less may lead to a Cannabis Intervention Requirement (CIR), mandating participation in a Cannabis Intervention Session within 28 days. Possession exceeding 10 grams can result in a $2,000 fine, two years' imprisonment, or both.

Tasmania

Cultivating cannabis is prohibited in Tasmania except for medicinal purposes by individuals licensed under the federal licensing scheme. Penalties for cultivating controlled plants, including cannabis and opium poppies, vary based on the quantity grown, with corresponding levels of punishment.

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How Can I Grow Medical Marijuanas in Australia?

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To grow medical marijuanas legally in Australia, you must obtain a Medicinal Cannabis Licence issued by the Australian Government.

This license is necessary for the cultivation or production of medicinal marijuanas. It's crucial to understand that cannabis cultivation under this licence is strictly for medicinal purposes.

Additionally, if you plan to grow industrial hemp, you'll need to acquire additional licensing from your State or Territory Government.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuanas in Australia?

where to buy medical marijuanas australia

In Australia, medical patients have access to purchasing cannabis for medicinal purposes from licensed dispensaries.

Doctors submit applications to the TGA for cannabis on behalf of patients. Patients can access medicinal cannabis through the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or Authorized Prescriber (AP). As medical marijuanas isn't covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, patients have to bear the full cost.

  • Discuss your condition with your doctor.
     Schedule an appointment with your doctor and discuss how medical marijuana could potentially benefit your condition.
  • Ask your doctor to initiate the application process.
    If your doctor agrees, they will submit an application to the TGA, outlining the severity of your condition and the rationale for opting for medical cannabis.
  • Obtain your medication from a licensed dispensary.
    Your doctor will coordinate with a licensed pharmacy to dispense the medication to you.

Can You Smoke Medical Marijuanas in Australia in Public?

In Australia, smoking medical marijuana in public is generally prohibited. It's important for medical marijuana users to be aware of local regulations and to consume their medication in accordance with the law.

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