CBD Laws Australia: Is It Legal To Buy Cannabidiol Products?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is the entity responsible for the regulation of the sale and purchase of CBD products in Australia. Below, you’ll find an overview of the current legislation about these products.
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Between 2015 and 2020, there have been many changes in the legislation about CBD and cannabis in the country. From legalizations of production to amendments to previous regulations, the CBD laws in Australia keep becoming more lenient and increasing the levels of flexibility for consumers. Let’s have a look at these changes.
Brief History About Cannabis And Hemp Laws In Australia
The Federal Government announced back in late 2015 that the commercial production of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes would be legal. Just some months later, the Parliament performed the necessary amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act in order for this to become possible. These were the main changes in legislation that paved the way for further improvements:
- In 2017, the Office of Drug Control issued the first Cannabis Research licence.
- In 2020, the TGA decided to down-schedule some low-dose CBD products from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3. This means that certain products that required a medical prescription can now be purchased over-the-counter.
Unfortunately, at the time of this article, there are currently no CBD products that meet TGA’s requirements to be sold without prescription. Hopefully, this will change shortly.
Is It Legal To Buy CBD In Australia?
Yes, it’s legal to purchase CBD in Australia. Nevertheless, there are some regulations in place that should always be considered:
- Products made from cannabis must be registered with the TGA unless they are entered into the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
- Schedule 4 CBD products can be prescribed by doctors without the need to obtain approval from the relevant state or territory.
- Low dose CBD products that are considered Schedule 3 can be purchased over the counter. These products must be sold in parcels with a daily dose of CBD that is less than 150 mg. The product also can’t contain more than 2% of other cannabinoids.
Are CBD Oils Legal In Australia?
CBD oil, as well as any other Schedule 4 cannabis-based product that contains cannabidiol, can be legally purchased in Australia as long as a registered doctor provides the patient with a prescription. As of February 2021, it’s also possible for Australians to purchase CBD oil or other cannabidiol-based products over the counter at pharmacies without a prescription.
It’s important to note that the only products that can be sold over the counter need to be approved by the TGA and contain no more than 4500mg per pack. For the time being, there isn’t any product available that meets these requirements, but hopefully, this will change soon.
Can You Buy CBD Over The Counter In Australia?
Yes, it’s possible to purchase CBD over the counter in Australia. This became a reality after the TGA announced that certain CBD products would be classified as Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine) instead of Schedule 4 (Prescription Medicine).
According to this new regulation, that came into place earlier in 2021, it’s now possible to purchase CBD products over the counter that:
- Are TGA approved and included in the ARTG
- Contain a dosage of between 60mg to 150mg CBD per day
Although there aren’t any products that meet the first requirement, these products can still be purchased via the Special Access Scheme or through a prescription from an Authorised Prescriber (links for more information in references).
Can You Import CBD In Australia?
According to information available on this topic from the Office of Drug Control, there are existing arrangements in the country for the importing of cannabis products and, therefore, CBD.
You can purchase your CBD products online and have them delivered to your place of residence. The Office of Drug Control has shared a list of the licensed suppliers you can choose from that has the contact information and website of each retailer (link in references).
Taking into consideration the current legislation and guidelines in terms of dosage we mentioned above, any product you import may get seized by customs in case they don’t meet the limits.
Is The Hemp Culture Allowed In Australia?
Cultivating hemp is legal in Australia as long as the cultivator holds a medical cannabis licence or a cannabis research license. These licenses are issued by the Office of Drug Control and regulated under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
As such, the cultivation and production of cannabis plants can be done in the country, however, this can’t be done for industrial purposes unless the cultivator holds an industrial production license from the relevant state or territory.
It’s also important to note that each territory and state may have their own set of regulations in place. This means that while in some states it’s legal to cultivate industrial hemp, in others it may not be the same.
Department of Health, Australian Government, Medicinal Cannabis, Therapeutic Goods Administration, published 25th September 2020
Department of Health, Australian Government, Over-the-counter access to low dose cannabidiol, Therapeutic Goods Administration, published 15th December 2020
Australian Government, Narcotic Drugs Act 1967, Federal Register of Legislation, registered 7th December 2016
Department of Health, Australian Government, Medicinal Cannabis: Role of the TGA, Therapeutic Goods Administration, published 7th September 2021
Department of Health, Australian Government, Special Access Scheme, Therapeutic Goods Administration, published 21st April 2021
Department of Health, Australian Government, Authorised Prescribers, Therapeutic Goods Administration, published 21st April 2021
Department of Health, Australian Government, FAQ on Medicinal Cannabis, The Office Of Drug Control, published on 7th July 2021
Department of Health, Australian Government, Manufacturers and suppliers of medicinal cannabis products, The Office of Drug Control, published 25th August 2021
Department of Health, Australian Government, Cultivators of Medicinal Cannabis, The Office of Drug Control, published 2nd January 2020