Medical Cannabis in Adelaide – Access and Eligibility in South Australia

Alternaleaf Team
Written by
Alternaleaf Team
Aug 21, 2022
Last updated:
Sep 22, 2023

Don't sleep on Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. With some of the swankiest vineyards only miles away and a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, this region is a cultural gem for residents and tourists alike.

Plus, if you're wondering if medical marijuana is legal in South Australia, the answer is yes -- and here's what you need to know about it including access, eligibility, and more.

Medical Cannabis Patients in South Australia

Medical cannabis in Adelaide has been legal since the federal government approved it in 2016. This means people can speak with an experienced doctor or consult with a cannabis clinic to see if they qualify for a prescription.

According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), there are over 370,000 medical cannabis patients in Australia with a prescription, with almost 3,000 living in South Australia.

In South Australia chronic pain, anxiety, and cancer-related pain are the top concerns treated with medical cannabis. Interestingly, the majority of patients in the state are between the ages of 45 to 64, which is a slightly older group than we see elsewhere in the country.

The vast majority of medical cannabis patients in South Australia (and elsewhere in the country) ingest an oral cannabis liquid. Cannabis oils and cannabis solutions are the second and third type of products used in the state.

Eligibility for Medical Cannabis in South Australia

There is no specific criteria outlined by the TGA that determines who is eligible for medical cannabis in Adelaide. However, during your consultation with a doctor some qualifying questions will be asked to help determine your eligibility.

These questions include:

  • Do you have a chronic medical condition, and have you experienced symptoms for three or more months?
  • What other (if any) treatments have you tried for this medical condition?
  • Have these treatments provided relief of symptoms?

Those answers will help your doctor gain a comprehensive understanding of your medical conditions, as well as how medical marijuana may be a helpful part of an integrated treatment plan.

Is Cannabis Legal for Recreational Use in South Australia?

At this time, cannabis is only legal in South Australia with a prescription. Recreational use of marijuana remains illegal, as is personal cultivation of the substance.

That means even if someone has been prescribed medical cannabis for their condition, it’s illegal to source it outside of the Special Access Scheme. All prescriptions come from the TGA’s approved list of products, which have been produced under high quality standards and thoroughly tested.

Medical Cannabis in Adelaide

If you live in Adelaide, or elsewhere in South Australia and wondering if a medical cannabis prescription might provide relief, booking a consultation with a doctor at a medical cannabis clinic or your local GP is your first step. Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that’s personalised to your specific medical needs.

There are a number of risks associated with the use of medical cannabis and your doctor will explain these to you before issuing a prescription. Medical cannabis affects everyone differently and may not help with your chronic condition.

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