Are medical marijuana and recreational marijuana legal in Australia?

Medical marijuana was legalized in Australia in 2016 and recreational marijuana was approved in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which includes the capital city of Canberra.

Recreational cannabis is illegal in the rest of the country.

The ACT is located 30 minutes by plane from Sydney and is an independent administrative region that oversees Australia’s six states and the Northern Territory.

CBD products are legal in Australia, and over-the-counter sales of CBD products have been permitted since 2021.

Recreational Marijuana in Australia

Recreational marijuana is legal in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and illegal in other areas.

The ACT, where the capital city of Canberra is located, became the first region in Australia to legalize recreational marijuana in 2020.

The ACT allows adults 18 years and older to possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or 150 grams of fresh cannabis grass, personal use in the home, and cultivation of up to two plants per person (up to four plants per household). Use for personal purposes is legal, but the act of transferring marijuana to acquaintances or others is illegal.

It is also illegal to use marijuana in public, even in out-of-the-way places. Marijuana use is limited to private property.

Recreational marijuana use and possession remains illegal in all states except the ACT, where it is subject to crackdowns.

Penalties for marijuana use and possession vary by state, but in Eastern New South Wales, where the largest city, Sydney, is located, possession of marijuana is punishable by up to two years in prison. Possession for the purpose of sale awaits even harsher penalties.

Medical marujuana in Australia

Medical marijuana was legalized in Australia in 2016.

In August 2016, the Minister of Health and Welfare established the Medical Cannabis Scheme in the ACT.

The Medical Cannabis Scheme is designed to ensure safe and legal access to high quality medical cannabis, and has introduced medical cannabis into the category system of Australia’s healthcare system.

The introduction of medical cannabis into the category system allows for efficient access to safe, high-quality medical cannabis once a physician’s approval for prescribing has been obtained.

Medical marijuana is now Category 6, and the conditions allowed under Category 6 are as follows.

・Spasticity in multiple sclerosis

・Nausea and vomiting related to cancer chemotherapy

・Patients with life-threatening illnesses and malignancies with an expected prognosis of 12 months or less

・Intractable pediatric epilepsy

It is illegal to use marijuana in public, even for medical use.

Legal for medical use, legal in some areas for recreational use

In summary, medical marijuana is legal and recreational marijuana is legal only in the ACT.

In the ACT, the use of marijuana for personal use by adults over the age of 18 is allowed.

It is illegal in all other states except the ACT.

Use of marijuana in states/areas where it is illegal is punishable by up to two years in prison, depending on the state. For a first offense, possession of a small amount, 15 grams or less, for personal use may be a warning at the discretion of the police.

According to a 2019 survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW), 36% of the public aged 14 and older said they had used cannabis at least once in their lifetime.

There is also a growing movement to legalize cannabis, with the Legalise Cannabis Party having introduced a legalization bill in Parliament.

Recreational marijuana is illegal in many states and areas, but with the number of people who have used marijuana and the calls for legalization, it is possible that recreational marijuana will be legalized in the next few years, with some restrictions.

CBD products are legal

CBD products are legal in Australia.

CBD products are legal in Australia. However, due to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the ACT, CBD products can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription in 2021.

The conditions for over-the-counter sales of CBD oil are as follows.

・The product must be approved by the TGA (The Agency for Health Care Administration).

・Less than 1% THC

・Dosage must be labeled to be no more than 150 mg per day.

As of 2023, over 400 CBD products have been approved through the TGA and are easily accessible without a prescription.

Home growing is illegal.(Legal in ACT with restrictions.)

Growing cannabis is illegal in Australia and is considered a serious offense.

However, formal cannabis cultivation licenses and strictly controlled cultivation is legal in all states.

In the Capital Territory (ACT), where recreational marijuana is legal, you can grow up to two plants per adult without applying for a license. If there is more than one person in a household, the limit is four plants per household.

Exceeding this limit is a crime, punishable by a fine of $75,000 or 15 years in prison, or both.

What you should know before going to Australia

Australia is known around the world as a country with some tolerance for cannabis.

Medical marijuana is legal throughout Australia, but recreational marijuana is legal only in the ACT. Therefore, the use of cannabis in any state or area outside of the ACT is punishable.

Possession for the purpose of sale is even more severely punished.

When it comes to CBD products, we only sell approved products, so you can be sure that you are using safe, high-quality products. There are more than 400 approved CBD products, including a wide variety of other types of oil, so you can use the product that is right for your body.


This article has introduced the cannabis situation in Australia.

Although recreational marijuana is not legal in Australia, there are calls from marijuana users and some members of parliament to legalize it.

The day may come within the next few years when cannabis will be lifted throughout Australia.

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