Children with severe epilepsy will be given first access to medicinal cannabis from early 2017 following the passing of new laws in Victoria.
Victoria has become the first state to make medicinal cannabis available to people in exceptional circumstances, with the passing of historic legislation in parliament.
Children with severe epilepsy will be given first access to medicinal cannabis from early 2017, following the passing of the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2015 on Tuesday, a state government statement says.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy announced on Tuesday the government's small-scale, strictly controlled cannabis cultivation trial is about to get underway.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking to see families having to choose between breaking the law and watching their children suffer - and now ... they won't have to," she said on Tuesday.
The Bill creates a legal framework to enable the manufacture, supply and access to safe and high quality medicinal cannabis products in the state.
An Office of Medicinal Cannabis will also be set up to oversee the manufacturing of the drug and all clinical aspects of the framework.