Hardings Pharmacy is delighted to welcome experienced General Practitioners Dr Lee Ho  and Dr Guy Wright to our team of Health Professionals, who are able to assist suitably qualified patients to gain access to Medical Cannabis products via the Special Access Scheme.


Information about this plant has been suppressed for decades and it was not until about 40 years ago that a scientist in Israel studied the compounds that make up Cannabis and discovered their medicinal properties.

The main compounds derived from the cannabis plant are called THC and CBD.

These are formulated as oils, capsules or dried flower.

  • THC is what causes the ‘high’ feeling, but it has also been found to reduce nausea, vomiting, pain, muscle spasms and improve sleep and appetite.
  • CBD has been found to reduce the ‘high’ caused by THC, and may also be effective for seizures, pain, and to reduce anxiety.
  • Terpenes are also present in the plant and together with the cannabinoids form what’s termed the “entourage effect”
  • Together, THC, CBD and the Terpenes may benefit a range of conditions.

About the Special Access Scheme (SAS)

The SAS refers to arrangements that provide for the import and/or supply of an unapproved therapeutic good for a single patient, on a case-by-case basis. Three pathways exist under the scheme, that can be utilised by health practitioners.  The two most common pathways are as follows:

  • Category A is a notification pathway that can only be accessed by medical practitioners for patients who are seriously ill with a condition from which death is reasonably likely to occur within a matter of months, or from which premature death is reasonably likely to occur in the absence of early treatment.
  • Category B is an application pathway that can be accessed by health practitioners for patients who do not fit the Category A definition and where the unapproved good is not deemed to have an established history of use and cannot therefore be accessed through Category C. An approval from the TGA is required before the good may be accessed. Approvals for medicines accessed through this pathway are typically only issued to medical and dental practitioners. View the TGA-SAS website here.

To be eligible for medical cannabis in Australia, you must have a condition for which there is some evidence that medical cannabis helps. Patients must also have tried conventional treatments for that condition and found them to be ineffective. The decision to try medical cannabis must be a made together with your GP or specialist.

Some of the eligible conditions are:

  • Epilepsy,
  • Multiple Sclerosis,
  • Chronic Pain,
  • Palliative Care and
  • Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting.

Our Doctors  will be able to advise you if your condition is an eligible condition and worthy of an approval application being submitted to the TGA and Queensland Health.  Consultation fees are not bulk-billed but a Medicare rebate may apply.

Whilst Hardings Pharmacy has an established MedReleaf Cannabis Clinic, any registered Doctor can prescribe this new medicine.


Available Products

The manufacture of medicinal cannabis is highly regulated and must conform to strict Good Manufacturing Practices – this means products are manufactured under GMP conditions, are free from harmful ingredients, that doctors know what is in it, and that the effect it has for a patient will be consistent from bottle to bottle.

All drugs have side effects, and like any other medicine, medicinal cannabis may or may not be right for you. It’s important to speak to your doctor about your treatment and questions about medicinal cannabis.

There are several manufacturers establishing in Australia and until local product becomes available, most are importing ready-prepared products from sister companies in Canada. These products are at the required standard of the TGA and are designed to assist patients who have one of the eligible conditions

The MedReleaf Cannabis Clinic uses products that are renowned as being of the highest quality, accredited by both Health Canada and the EU and manufactured under stringent GMP manufacturing processes, including MedReleaf, Cannimed and Aurora products as well as other established TGA approved products.


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