This is sponsored content for CBD Assist.
While traditional pharmaceutical prescriptions are expensive as well as sometimes creating debilitating side effects, the fear of breaking marijuana laws prevent many around the world from accessing this natural herb for treatment.
However, according to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, the progressive stance of a large majority of Australians is evident in their support of the legalisation of cannabis for recreational and therapeutic uses. The efforts of cannabis advocates in Australia paid off.
According to Andrew Barr, chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the latest cannabis laws that were passed represent an evolution in the approach of the jurisdiction to drug reform. This article summarises the CBD and cannabis laws in relation to current options for the access, management, possession, and consumption of marijuana in Australia.
Legalised personal use of cannabis
In September 2019, ACT became the country's first jurisdiction to pass legislation legalising the personal use of weed. This cannabis law took effect on January 31, 2020.
Keeping abreast of the latest updates on regulations related to cannabis consumption and possession in Australia is highly recommended for everyone using cannabis. Meanwhile, here's a review of the key facts about this cannabis law.
- It's now legal for any adult to possess marijuana (up to 50 grams maximum).
- Each adult can grow two cannabis plants per household.
- Each household is limited to 150 grams for "wet" cannabis.
- Marijuana users should take precautionary measures to ensure that cannabis plants are not accessible to children and the public.
- Selling or supplying cannabis is still a criminal offense in Australia, unlike in some parts of the USA and Canada.
Online purchases and consumer law
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), all consumer rights apply whenever a customer shops with an Australian online business. At the same time, consumer rights apply whenever you buy from overseas online businesses. However, repairs, replacements, or refunds can be difficult if those businesses aren't based in Australia.
Online businesses that sell goods and offer services must not mislead consumers or hide costs and other important details of products and services. The vendor should compete fairly and provide consumers a wide array of choices in terms of price and quality.
When an online business is based in Australia, the business owner should ensure that products and services offered do meet Australian safety regulations. Here are some tips to exercise your consumer rights under Australia's consumer laws:
- Only buy from a seller or online store with a good reputation and one that displays clear policies for resolving purchase issues such as returns and refunds.
- Make sure that the company has a clear system of how they protect your security and privacy.
- To help and ensure that you're dealing with a legitimate online business, transact only with online businesses with a physical address, phone, and fax numbers, and business registration number.
- Before you buy, check the terms and conditions to know what you're paying for. This can help you avoid paying for hidden costs or for dealing with restrictions later.
- Ensure that your phone, tablet, or computer is secure. Install or update your anti-virus software.
- When shopping online, check the listing carefully. Ask for additional pictures and articulate your concerns or queries to the seller.
- Whether you're buying a cannabis product or related user paraphernalia online or any related products, report any seller to ACCC who asks for your password or bank PIN.
CBD and hemp products: PI regulations
Because of the recent Food Standard changes, some hemp seed products are allowed for human consumption. However, remember that extracts from the other parts of the hemp plant, including dried cannabis, are considered a drug over the allowed amount for use.
The Department of Health of the Australian government has amended controls to support these changes under the Customs Prohibited Imports or PI Regulations 1956.
This PI regulation allows specific hemp fiber and hemp seed products to be imported without a permit and license. Imported hemp products shouldn't exceed the cannabinoid thresholds.
If you're found to be importing weed-based products, the Australian Border Force tests hemp products and shipments to check if you should face legal charges or not. In addition, CBDAssist.com.au provides information about CBD oil and how to access medical cannabis in Australia. For instance, under the current PI Regulations, these are the substances that one can import without permission:
- Hemp seed oil: This should be extracted using a cold expression from viable or ripened hemp seeds. The hemp seed's total cannabidiol (CBD) content should be 0.0075 percent (75mg/kg) or less. At the same time, the total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content should be 0.005 percent (50mg/kg) or less.
- Hemp seed meal: This is a flour or meal obtained from milling or grinding hemp seeds. Note that hemp seeds come from hemp plants, in which the flowering heads and leaves contain no more than one percent of the total THC content.
- Hemp fibre: Hemp is an eco-friendly "super fibre" from the Cannabis sativa species. Hemp fibre is a high-yield crop, producing significantly more fibre per acre than flax or cotton. It is used to produce hemp fabric.
The Australian Consumer Law dictates that all businesses operating in the country must meet mandatory safety standards. Consumer products should fit their intended purpose. One way to determine product safety is to test them if they meet industry standards. A product that fails any product test will be removed from the market.
For instance, electrical appliances should be designed so as not to cause electric shock, physical injury, fire damage, or death during normal use. Fair Trading laws govern the pre-sale certification of electrical appliances. At the same time, gas appliances must first be certified and tested to make sure that they comply with mandatory safety standards.
ACL requires businesses to meet safety standards before selling goods, including:
- How the product was created
- Content of the product
- How the product works
- What product tests are needed to be done and passed
- Any instructions or warnings
The ACCC Product Safety Guide is designed to help Australian businesses to:
- Identify products covered by mandatory bans and safety standards
- Identify products that require compliance testing
- Implement quality assurance measures and effective risk management to minimise the risk of manufacturing, buying, and selling unsafe products.
Most suppliers voluntarily recall their products after realising or discovering that their products present a safety risk. The NSW Fair Trading Retail Trading Act 2008 and other regulations handle voluntary product recalls.
You can report unsafe products by lodging your complaint on the Product Safety Australia website that is managed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
To ensure proper regulation and public health and safety, different laws were formulated to govern products in Australia including the Consumer Law for online purchases, the latest cannabis law that permits personal use of cannabis, product safety regulations, and the PI regulations governing hemp products. Now more than ever, Australian consumers have more options when it comes to alternative treatment to signs and symptoms of various ailments.
This is sponsored content for CBD Assist.