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Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Amendment (Securing Patient Access) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

MEDICINAL CANNABIS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (SECURING PATIENT ACCESS) BILL 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

                                                                                                     

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Richard Di Natale)



MEDICINAL CANNABIS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (SECURING PATIENT ACCESS) BILL 2017

 

OUTLINE

 

This Bill includes amendments to the Customs Act 1901 and the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 .

 

The changes to the Customs Act 1901 are intended to ensure that import permit conditions cannot be used to block the importation of medicinal cannabis products through the Special Access Scheme Category-A. The Special Access Scheme Category-A is a pathway for seriously ill patients whose 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.

 

The changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 are intended to ensure that medicinal cannabis products that are produced in Australia are also available via the Special Access Scheme Category-A.

It is intended that the Secretary of the Department may approve a licence to manufacture medicinal cannabis if it is to be supplied in the circumstances stated in the amendment. In deciding whether to approve a manufacturing licence, the Secretary must take the matters stated in the Act into account as relevant considerations.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1: Short Title

1.           This clause provides for the Act, when enacted, to be cited as the Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Amendment (Securing Patient Access) Act 2017

Clause 2: Commencement

2.           This clause provides that the whole of the Act commences on the day after the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Clause 3: Schedules

3.                   Each Act specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as is set out in the applicable items in the Schedule.  Any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1—Amendments

Customs Act 1901

Item 1 - After Section 51A

4.                   This item adds section 51B to the Customs Act 1901 . New subsection 51B provides that prohibited goods intended to be used as medicinal cannabis products are, for the purpose of satisfying import conditions, taken to be drugs required for medical purposes.

5.                        Goods that are permitted to be supplied for the purposes mentioned in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 for the Special Access Scheme Category-B, the clinical trials scheme and authorised prescribers scheme will also be permitted for Special Access Scheme Category-A.

Item 2 - Application provision

6.                        This item clarifies that the amendment applies in relation to prohibited goods imported on or after the commencement of the Schedule, and in relation to conditions of a licence, permission, consent or approval imposed at any time.

Narcotic Drugs Act 1967

Item 3 - After subparagraph 11K(2)(b)(ii)

7.                        This item adds subparagraph 11K(2)(b)(iia) to the Narctoric Drugs Act 1967. New subparagraph (iia) provides a further condition. If this condition is satisfied the Secretary may approve the grant of a manufacture licence for drugs containing cannabis.

Item 4 - After subsection 11K(2)

8.                        This item adds subsection 11K(2A). Subsection (2A) sets out the circumstances which must be met to satisfy the condition in subparagraph 11K(2)(b)(iia). These are where a person is seriously ill, and where the medical practitioner has complied or is likely to comply with the relevant requirements in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 . In effect this will mean that the Secretary may not decline a licence to manufacture a medicinal cannabis product for supply through Special Access Scheme Category-A.



 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Amendment (Securing Patient Access) Bill 2017

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

The Bill has the effect of permitting the importation of cannabis for seriously ill patients and permitting licences to be granted for the manufacture of cannabis products in Australia for seriously ill patients.

 

Human rights implications

This Bill engages human rights. The following human rights are promoted by this Bill:

Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that “The States Parties recognise the right of the child to the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services”.

By enabling access to cannabis products for medicinal purposes this Bill will give medical practitioners the opportunity to administer these products to improve the health of seriously ill patients.

 

Conclusion

This Bill does not raise any issues with the human rights recognised in the international instruments referred to in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Richard Di Natale