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WA patients can’t access medicinal cannabis despite legalisation last year

Perth mother Joelle Neville has long been pushing for greater use of medicinal cannabis in the state, and is in the process of trying access cannabis-based medicine to treat her 11-year-old daughter Ava's epileptic seizures.

West Australian patients are finding it almost impossible to obtain medicinal cannabis more than eight months after it was legalised, advocates say.

By May, no health professional had applied to prescribe the drug, despite it being made legal in November.

The Department of Health confirmed this week it has granted permission to three doctors to prescribe cannabinoid-based drugs, and is in the process of assessing two more applications.

It would not say whether the doctors who have been granted permission are working within a public hospital, citing privacy concerns.

Advocates say the process of obtaining the medicinal cannabis drugs legally in WA remain overly bureaucratic, with doctors needing approvals from both the Therapeutic Goods Association and the Health Department.

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