Only 11 doctors in Qld can prescribe medical marijuana

Only 11 doctors in Queensland can prescribe medical marijuana.
Only 11 doctors in Queensland can prescribe medical marijuana. Glen Stubbe

ONLY 11 doctors in Queensland have the authority to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

The NewsMail made inquiries this week after receiving reports of difficulty in accessing medical marijuana and the story of Sunshine Coast woman Katrina Spraggon, which went viral online.

Ms Spraggon's daughter has 18 medical issues and she has been treating her with medical marijuana.

However, she says her daughter can't take part in a legal trial of the drug as she is not willing to fulfill the requirement her daughter not be treated with marijuana for one month beforehand.

Ms Spraggon's story also involves access to oxygen, an issue addressed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Parliament.

The Sydney Morning Herald this week revealed only 153 people were being prescribed medical marijuana across Australia.

A Queensland Health spokesman said to date 20 applications had been made to prescribe medical marijuana in the state.

Eight of those have been approved, 10 are being assessed and two were withdrawn.

In addition, three specialists have registered with the department to be "patient class prescribers", allowing them to prescribe to any number of patients at one time.

There are four medical marijuana trials under way in Queensland.

The spokeswoman said Queensland Health was conducting clinical trials to test medicinal marijuana as a safe and effective treatment for children with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy, such as Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.

"Under the compassionate access scheme, 30 children are enrolled to receive Epidiolex, a medicinal cannabis product, as part of their treatment plan under a medically supervised trial at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital."

The spokeswoman said the state's laws required the use of medicinal cannabis to be overseen by a medical practitioner, "for the safety of the patient, and to ensure the right monitoring and controls are in place".

"Anyone who believes they may benefit from treatment with medicinal cannabis should talk to their doctor," she said.

Almost one year ago to the day, State Parliament passed laws making medicinal marijuana products legal. The laws were enacted in March.

Doctors not only need authorisation from Queensland Health to prescribe but also permission from the Therapeutic Goods Administration to import the products.

It can only be prescribed for drug-resistant epilepsy in children; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults; symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis; and symptom control in palliative care.

The rules and regulations have frustrated many people who don't meet the requirements in the view of authorities.

The full process of legally accessing medicinal cannabis for patients is at

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