The new legislation gives access to child epilepsy patients first. Set to be implemented in 2017, the bill allows for the manufacture, supply and access to medicinal-grade marijuana in various forms including tinctures, oils, capsules, sprays and vaporisable liquids.
"We're starting with these children with severe epilepsy, whose lives have been shown to improve so significantly, because we know these children often don't make it until adulthood," Victoria's Health Minister Jill Hennessy told ABC News. Hennessy hopes the new legislation will mean parents of kids with epilepsy won't have to buy the drug illegally now.
The legalisation of cannabis for other patients will be rolled out gradually in Victoria. Next on the agenda? Patients in palliative care and HIV sufferers. Meanwhile, in Queensland, the government is trialling medicinal cannabis treatment for kids with epilepsy and New South Wales is trialling its use for chemotherapy patients.