Melbourne is renowned for being one of the most livable cities in the world. Why? It’s not just the vibrant culture and coffee—Melbourne’s health system is also one of the best in the world, including straightforward options for patients to access medical marijuana in Victoria.
Medical cannabis offers patients across Victoria a holistic alternative to treat various chronic conditions and enhance their quality of life. If you live in Victoria, you can legally access medical cannabis through a simple consultation with a doctor. Here we explain what that access looks like.
Medical Cannabis Patients in Victoria
Since legalisation in 2016, the number of patients using medical marijuana in Victoria has grown annually. And since 2020, patient numbers have boomed — alternaleaf’s doctors have carried out over 32,000 consultations with patients in Victoria.
To date, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved almost 56,000 Special Access Scheme prescriptions for medical cannabis in the state. About half of those prescriptions were for chronic pain, while 15,000 were for anxiety. Oral liquids (like tinctures) were the most common product prescribed here, followed by dried herb and oils.
So, who’s using medical cannabis in Victoria? Medical marijuana patients are more diverse than you might think.
While more than half of patients were aged 18 to 44, over 25,000 prescriptions were for adults aged 45+ (including 9,000 for adults aged 65+). And more men than women have prescriptions for medical cannabis in Victoria.
How To Access Medical Marijuana in Victoria
Any doctor can prescribe medical marijuana in Victoria. However, not all doctors are experienced with the nuances of this alternative therapeutic option. And for patients living in rural areas, it can be difficult to find a doctor to work with.
That’s where telehealth services like alternaleaf come in. Through our consultation process, you can access the same high-quality medical cannabis from an expert doctor regardless of where you live.
The consultation process involves just five simple steps:
Quick eligibility screening to book your initial appointment
A pre-assessment consultation with a nurse to understand your medical history
Consultation with one of the doctors on our team, who will determine if medical cannabis is a good fit for you.
Your prescription is dispensed and shipped directly to you
A follow–up consultation with the doctor physician to change your prescription as needed
Is Cannabis Legal for Recreational Use in Victoria?
Since medical cannabis was legalised in 2016, we often get asked, “Is cannabis legal?” But recreational cannabis remains illegal in Victoria. Medical marijuana can only be supplied by prescription from a physician.
The law is unambiguous. As the Victoria Department of Health says, “Growing your own cannabis, or smoking illicit cannabis for medicinal purposes remains illegal in Victoria …Using cannabis that has not been prescribed by a doctor - in any form - remains illegal in Victoria.”
But the good news for those experiencing certain medical conditions, is that medical cannabis is now widely available, thanks to telehealth programs. And what’s more, with a medical cannabis prescription, you know you’ll get a safe, effective dose of the right cannabis product for you.
Eligibility for Medical Cannabis in Victoria
To access medical cannabis, you’ll need to go through a consultation with a nurse and doctor. They’ll check that you meet the criteria for prescribing medical cannabis, which are set by the Therapeutic Goods Association.
During your consultation, your physician wants to understand:
The chronic medical condition(s) you are experiencing
The other treatments you have tried
How effective (or not) those treatments were
From this information, they’ll work with you to determine if medical cannabis is the right prescription for you. They’ll also help you choose the right prescription, adjusting the cannabinoid profile, dose, and type of product to suit your condition(s) and preferences.
It’s worth noting that medical cannabis isn’t restricted to only a few conditions. The Victoria Department of Health clearly states, “Any patient, with any medical condition, can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by their doctor if they believe it is clinically appropriate.”
Another common misconception is that you can only access medical cannabis if all other treatments haven’t worked for you. That isn’t true. The TGA simply requires that you have tried some other approved treatments before applying for medical cannabis.
Accessing Medical Cannabis in Victoria is Easy
Thanks to telehealth options and the growing acceptance of medical cannabis, it’s easy to get a prescription for medical cannabis in Victoria today. In fact, thousands of people are already benefiting from medical cannabis for a wide range of conditions.
If you think medical cannabis could help you, book a consultation today to learn more and find out if it's right for you.