NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance

In 2018, ACRE received funding through NSW Government’s Clinical Cannabis Medicines Program to develop practical NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance to provide interim information to support NSW medical practitioners in prescribing cannabis medicines to patients for conditions where cannabinoids are perceived to have some benefit.

A suite of nine (9) Prescribing Guidance documents have been developed, focused on the following indications:

The NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance are intended to give interim practical information to assist medical practitioners in their decision-making around prescribing and managing the use of cannabis medicines for NSW’s patients within current regulatory frameworks and clinical practice. Further, the NSW Cannabis Medicine Prescribing Guidance documents have been developed to align with the way that the use of new therapeutic products are communicated to prescribers.


Pharmacologists, pharmacists and clinicians from ACRE, the University of Newcastle Clinical Pharmacology Group and the NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service (CMAS) were involved in the preparation and development of the initial Prescribing Guidance documents, including:

  • Professor Jennifer Martin
  • Myfanwy Graham
  • Dr Catherine Lucas
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Schneider
  • Dr Joanne Patel
  • Dr Jessica Ryan
  • Dr Mitchell Lycett

The Prescribing Guidance documents were also provided to the ACRE Clinical Advisory Group, comprised of relevant subject matter specialists, for review and feedback.


ACRE is sincerely committed to fostering collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, including patients, consumers and their representatives who have an interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis medicines. On this basis, the draft NSW Cannabis Medicine Prescribing Guidance documents were purposefully promulgated to over fifty individuals and stakeholders for input and feedback as part of a Stakeholder Consultation process in early 2019 to ensure that key stakeholders, including medical practitioners, pharmacists, and consumer advocacy groups, were also provided with an opportunity to inform these final documents.

The NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance are intended to be dynamic documents and will be reviewed and updated annually and/or as new evidence emerges.

The current versions available (Version 3) were last reviewed and updated in June 2021.


NSW Government through the NSW Clinical Cannabis Medicines Program supported development of the NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance.

ACRE was established and is funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council Centres of Research Excellence scheme.


For further information on the NSW Cannabis Medicines Prescribing Guidance, email [email protected]  



Information for Health Professionals

Clinical guidance for cannabis medicine prescribers in NSW

In NSW, expert clinical guidance and cannabis medicine prescribing advice for community general practitioners and rural clinicians is available via the John Hunter Hospital Pharmacy Department.

The service can assist with:

  • understanding the latest evidence around cannabis medicines
  • understanding the regulatory requirements for cannabis prescription
  • considering tools to monitor a patient’s progress whilst using cannabis medicines
  • provision of protocols to facilitate cannabis medicine prescribing
  • information about dosing and titration in individual patients.
The John Hunter Hospital Pharmacy Department can be contacted by email via [email protected].
Public health practitioners working in metropolitan local health districts should consult their local medicines information services for clinical guidance and prescribing advice.

TGA Medicinal Cannabis Clinical Guidance Documents

The Therapeutic Goods Administration have produced a medicinal cannabis landing page for consumers and health professionals. They also have a number of clinical guidance documents for prescribers of medicinal cannabis products in Australia. In addition to an overview of medicinal cannabis, available guidance includes using medicinal cannabis to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic non-cancer pain and palliative care.


NPS MedicineWise
'Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know'

NPSMedicineWise have a portal to assist health professionals and consumers navigate evidence-based information about medicinal cannabis. 

The information helps explain the regulatory framework and process required to access medicinal cannabis for both consumers and health professionals, and provides summaries on the latest evidence for medicinal cannabis. 

The content supplements clinical guidance provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for health professionals and provides additional information for consumer and pharmacist audiences.  

 Resources include:

  • For pharmaciststwo important resources for pharmacists: 7 questions pharmacists are asking about medicinal cannabisand Medicinal cannabis: dispensing process for pharmacists.
  • For prescribers important resources for prescribers including full evidence summaries with links to the TGA’s clinical guidance and a flowchart for prescribers that outlines the steps to accessing medicinal cannabis.
  • For consumers - includes answers to frequently asked questions in a downloadable article - Medicinal cannabis: What would you like to know? an infographic resource: Is medicinal cannabis suitable for me?, and an explainer article: Medicinal cannabis, explained.


Information for Patients

Accessing medicinal cannabis in Australia

Australian patients cannot arrange their own access to medicinal cannabis products. Only Australian registered medical practitioners with appropriate qualifications and/or expertise for the medical condition requiring treatment are able to arrange for access to medicinal cannabis on behalf of their patients. Approval or authorisation is granted by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and individual states on a case-by-case basis. For further information visit the TGA's Patient Information page.

WA Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in Western Australia visit the Western Australian Government's HealthyWA Medicinal Cannabis page.

NT Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in the Northern Territory visit the NT Government's Medicinal Cannabis page.

TAS Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in Tasmania visit the Department of Health and Human Services Medicinal Cannabis page.

ACT Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in the ACT visit the ACT Health Medical Cannabis page.

NSW Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in NSW and current NSW-based clinical trials visit the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation.

VIC Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in Victoria visit the Office of Medicinal Cannabis.

QLD Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in Queensland visit the Queensland Government's Medicinal Cannabis page.

SA Patient Access

For information on how to access cannabis-based medicines in South Australia visit SA Health's Medicinal Cannabis page.

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