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‘We know it works’: Cannabis oil firms chase approvals as over-the-counter CBD sales are legalised

Low dose cannabis oil can be bought over the counter at pharmacies from Monday for the first time, but don’t expect to find any for at least six months as none has been approved for sale yet.

Manufacturers are working at a “lightning” rate to get products approved for sale in pharmacies, the former president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Kos Sclavos, said.

A worker on the first farm licenced in NSW to produce medicinal cannabis prunes a plant. CREDIT: JANIE BARRETT FreshLeaf Analytics, specialists in the Australian medicinal cannabis industry, said the first company to get its product on chemists’ shelves will have a significant advantage in a market estimated to exceed $200 million a year.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced in December that it would “down-schedule” some low dose cannabidiol (CBD) preparations of up to 150 mg a day to allow pharmacists to dispense this medicine without a prescription.

The Australian Medical Association opposed the proposal to sell cannabidiol over the counter. A spokesperson said it had not changed its position.