Australia’s First Medicinal Cannabis Clinic is Open for Business
Cannabis Access Clinics has officially launched Australia’s first network of clinics focused on helping doctors and patients navigate the regulatory pathway for prescribing medicinal cannabis products.
The initial locations launched are in Sydney on George St and Melbourne on Collins St. Other clinics are set to open in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth next month. Patients unable to attend a physical clinic have the option of a video-based telehealth consultation.
The Sydney clinic opened its doors to media on July 25th to coincide with the launch, and received favourable coverage on both Channel Seven and Channel 10. ( https://tenplay.com.au/news/national/2018/7/25/medicinal-cannabis-shop-opens-doors) Cannabis Access Clinics’ Doctor Gull Herzberg also spoke to Triple J about the types of patients that can benefit from medicinal cannabis in Autralia http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/hack/10019776
Cannabis Access Clinics are staffed with GPs and Specialists, and support patients who suffer from conditions for which there is some evidence that medicinal cannabis therapies may be beneficial. The clinics work in accordance with TGA guidance on medicinal cannabis, consulting patients with conditions including chronic pain (including cancer pain), chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in cancer (CINV), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and other conditions.
Cannabis Access Clinics Medical Director, Dr Sanjay Nijhawan, (MBBS, FRACGP, FACRRM, DIPPDERM(WALES) MHCD(HARVARD) commented, “Our aim is to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic conditions and symptoms, while working within the regulations that the State and Federal governments have put in place for medicinal cannabis”.
The clinic welcomes referrals from GPs or specialists who feel their patients may benefit from medical cannabis treatments, and works with clinicians to provide ongoing monitoring and reporting of the patient’s status.
Cannabis Access Clinics patient, 54-year-old Lisa from Sydney, says, “I suffer from chronic pain due to cancer and have tried conventional medication without much relief. Now that I have my approval for medicinal marijuana, I can finally try legal medicine under the care of a doctor, without having to worry about what I am taking and how to get it”.
The clinic charges an out-of-pocket fee of $300 for an initial consultation which includes the application to government for approval. Approval can take up to 4 weeks from application submission date, subject to case complexity. The clinic does not take walk-in appointments, and only sees patients who have exhausted all conventional therapies for their condition and are likely to be clinically assessed as suitable.
Cannabis Access Clinics is privately owned and has a minor, passive shareholding from the ASX listed venture capital fund MMJ. Cannabis Access Clinics is not operationally affiliated with any product company and its doctors maintain complete clinical independence from a prescribing perspective.