To date, there are no regulatory approved medicines for companion animals using cannabinoids derived from the medical cannabis plant in the Asia Pacific region.
CannPals lead drug candidate, CPAT-01, is in development as a pain and inflammatory control for dogs containing cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, and CannPal will be seeking approval as a veterinary medicine to be sold by veterinarians in Australia and regulated by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority).
Veterinarians should check with their federal animal health regulator prior to discussing any of the approved human medicines with pet owners in any of the states or countries below.
Medical cannabis is legal in all states in Australia, for selected illnesses.
- Victoria: Legal for use by children with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy, from early 2017: Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016. (See Health.Vic for details.)
- Queensland: Legal by prescription from specialists for use by patients with a range of conditions including MS, epilepsy, cancer, and HIV/AIDS, from March 2017: Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Act 2016. (See Queensland Health for details.)
- NSW: Legal for use by adults with end-of-life illnesses, from July 2016: Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Regulation 2016. (See NSW Government’s Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation for details.)
- ACT: People who fall under category 6 illnesses within certain criteria as of 2017 – See ACT Health for details on what this means.
- Tasmania: Controlled Access Scheme began in 2017 to allow patients to access unregistered medicinal cannabis. No legislative changes were required in Tasmania. (See Tasmanian Department of Health for details.)
- WA: Legal by prescription from doctors under certain conditions, from November 2016: Misuse of Drugs Act 1981. (See WA Department of Health for details.)
- SA: Legal by prescription from doctors under certain conditions, from November 2016. (See SA Health for details.)
- NT: The Australian Government Department of Health regulates therapeutic medicines containing cannabinoids through the Therapeutic Goods Administration – access is restricted to patients with certain medical conditions (See NT Government or Department of Health for details.)
In December 2018, New Zealand passed laws to make medical marijuana widely available to the public in the coming years with a referendum on recreational cannabis proposed for 2020.
Thailand’s military government, which has called elections for the end of February, has backed medical usage, which must be approved by the nation’s monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
By a vote of 166 to 0, the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly approved legislation this week that would allow the use of cannabis under medical supervision. Thirteen members abstained.
The measure is expected to take effect in 2019
The highly conservative nation of South Korea announced in December 2018 that the Narcotics Control Act was amended, thereby legalizing access to certain medical marijuana, expected to only be cannabidiol or low THC varieties. However Sativex will be approved for prescription.