Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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Mapping regulatory models for medicinal cannabis – a matrix of options

Vendula Belackova , Marian Shanahan , Alison Ritter


Objective: To develop a framework for assessing regulatory options for medicinal cannabis in Australia. Methods: Review and document the diversity of international regulatory regimes for medicinal cannabis synthesise and analyse key features, leading to a conceptual framework that facilitates decision-making across multiple dimensions Results: Two central organising dimensions of medicinal cannabis regulation were identified: cannabis supply and patient authorisation (including patient access). Across these two dimensions there are a number of mix and match options within each. Conclusions: The regulatory options, as used internationally, involve different forms of cannabis (synthetic and plant-based pharmaceutical preparations or herbal cannabis) and the varying extent to which patient authorisation policies and procedures are stringently or more loosely defined. The optimal combination of supply and patient authorisation options in any jurisdiction that chooses to make medicinal cannabis accessible will depend on the policy goals.

AH16257  Accepted 04 April 2017

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