CBD

Australia Loosens CBD Rules, But Stakeholders Say It’s Not Enough

CBD products must be approved by the TGA and must earn listings

Australians will be able to access some CBD products from pharmacists without a prescription after authorities announced re-written drug standards. But some critics are calling the rules too restrictive.

The changes will see the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) amend its Poison Standard by downscheduling CBD from a Schedule 4 prescription drug to Schedule 3 “pharmacist only” medicine – meaning some low-content CBD products will not be available off-the-shelf but may be obtained from pharmacists who can consult on usage.

CBD products must be approved by the TGA and must earn listings in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

‘Right direction; do more’

“While the scheduling changes announced by the TGA are a step in the right direction, there is much more they can do to allow easy and affordable access of CBD to the community,” Tim Schmidt, President of the Australian Hemp Council, told HempToday. “This product should be available in supermarkets and corner stores, at the same time creating a lucrative cropping option for Australian farmers,” said Schmidt, whose organization has representatives from each state and territory in Australia representing growers and processors.

Critics have said the requirement to meet ARTG and other standards means CBD products will face many of the same hurdles and regulations that govern approval of prescription pharmaceuticals in Australia. The current registration pathway for Schedule 3 drugs requires efficacy data, which could be difficult to produce from CBD with low doses, some have warned. 

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