Medicinal cannabis products are regulated and controlled drugs in Australia. This includes regulations on the cultivation, production and access of medicinal cannabis.
Patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia is growing, and businesses are investing in Victoria to develop medicinal cannabis products.
Agriculture Victoria Research is licensed by the Australian Government to undertake medicinal cannabis research.
Agriculture Victoria Research is seen internationally as an emerging world leader in cannabis plant genomics and systems biology and has developed a resource of proprietary medicinal cannabis strains.
Agriculture Victoria Research provides:
- access to Victorian Government proprietary plant strains
- cannabinoid analytical services
- plant genetics technical agreements.
Agriculture Victoria Research can offer Australian growers and manufacturers technical and research services including:
- Commercial licensing of its proprietary medicinal cannabis strains
- Provision of advisory services
- Provision of technical services, including cultivation, extraction, manufacture, and comprehensive compositional analysis of medicinal cannabis
- Collaborative and industry sponsored research and innovation in medicinal cannabis systems biology and accelerated precision breeding of medicinal cannabis
- Other technical and research services.
For information about clinical trials, see the Department of Health website.
Cultivation and production
A licence and permit is required for cannabis cultivation and production.
- Cultivation includes sowing a seed of cannabis plant, planting, growing, tending, nurturing, harvesting, grafting, dividing, or transplanting a cannabis plant.
- Production means the separation of cannabis and cannabis resin from the plant.
Licences and permits are issued and regulated by the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control (ODC) under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
If you have an ODC licence and permit, you do not need an additional Victorian licence or permit for cannabis cultivation or production.
More information can be found on the Department of Health website.
Manufacturing and wholesale
There are Commonwealth and Victorian government regulatory requirements that a manufacturer or wholesaler must comply with before operating in Victoria.
Firstly, a manufacturer must obtain both a licence and permit for the manufacture of medicinal cannabis from the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control.
Secondly, a manufacturer will likely require a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) licence from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Finally, a manufacturer or wholesaler may need to obtain a Victorian licence or permit from the Department of Health to possess, sell or supply by wholesale any cannabis products.
Export and import
Export and import and medicinal cannabis is permitted with licences and permits issued by the Commonwealth Office of Drug Control and Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration. For more information see the ODC and Department of Heath’s website.
If you are a Victorian medicinal cannabis business looking to access new export markets, you can contact Global Victoria.
Legal access to medicinal cannabis products is possible through the Special Access Scheme and Authorised Prescriber Pathway administered by the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). More information is available on the TGA website.
Further information for doctors and patients in Victoria is available on the Department of Health website.
Investing in Victoria
Victoria is an exciting hub for the development of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical technologies. Collaboration across industry, academic and clinical communities facilitates access to expertise and knowledge, and stimulates the development of new technologies and products.
If you are a company looking to invest in Victoria, government assistance may be available depending on the nature, size and potential location of your business. For further information please visit Invest Victoria.
If you are a small business or just starting out on developing a business, a range of information and support is available through Business Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria can provide limited technical advice about cultivating medicinal cannabis for Victorian cultivators where it relates to:
- licensing proprietary genetics
- genotyping and chemotyping of plant strains
- compliance management
- cannabinoid analytical services
Medicinal Cannabis Industry Development Plan
Victoria was the first Australian state to legalise access to medicinal cannabis, which has driven policy reform nationally.
The Victorian Medicinal Cannabis Industry Development Plan sets out government actions to support the state's emerging medicinal cannabis industry.
- Industry Development Plan: Developing a Medicinal Cannabis Industry in Victoria 2018–21 (PDF - 4.6 MB)
- Industry Development Plan (accessible) (WORD - 528.8 KB)
The Victorian Government commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to investigate and report on the current and future Victorian medicinal cannabis industry. The Deloitte report highlights a significant increase to production capacity and supply, as well as increasing patient cohorts and export opportunities. The findings highlight that Victoria is leading the way for medicinal cannabis cultivation, research and manufacturing in Australia, positioning itself as the nation’s hub.
- Medicinal cannabis: Industry development modelling summary report (PDF - 940.6 KB)
- Medicinal cannabis: Industry development modelling summary report (WORD - 461.9 KB)
Key industry milestones
Download the Key Milestones of Victoria’s Medicinal Cannabis Industry Development: