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Drug Misuse Regulation (Qld)

The Queensland Drug Misuse Regulation 1987 outlines how the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 is to be administered. It contains information about controlled substances, prescribed drug disposal procedures, the certification of industrial cannabis, and the powers and responsibilities of inspectors and analysts. This article summarises the provisions of the Regulation.

Drug disposal procedures

Under the Regulation, hypodermic syringes must be disposed of by placing them in a puncture-resistant wall container that is securely closed so that its contents cannot cause injury, or by giving them to a medical practitioner, pharmacist or another authorised person.

The Regulation prescribes that dangerous drugs must be disposed of by giving them to an inspector appointed under the Health Act 1937.

Controlled substances in the Drug Misuse Regulation

Part 3 of the Regulation sets out processes that must be followed in transactions involving controlled substances, such as ephedrine, which are supplied to pharmaceutical companies to produce medication.

This Part of the Regulation requires a person dealing with controlled substances to verify the identity of the person to whom they are supplying the controlled substance,  as well as the quantity being supplied and the purpose for which it is supplied. The supplier must provide an invoice setting out the details of the substance that was bought and the name and address of the buyer.

Penalties apply for failure to comply with the provisions of this Part.

Commercial production of industrial cannabis

Part 4 of the Regulation deals with how medicinal cannabis is to be certified, supplied and possessed for the purposes of providing it to persons who are authorised to obtain it.

The Regulation provide that cannabis seed that originated in Queensland must be certified as stated in the Industrial Cannabis THC Seed Certification Code of Practice. Cannabis seed originating in other states or other countries must be packaged with documentation attached certifying that the seeds if grown will produce plants with a THC concentration of no more than 0.5%.

Inspectors under the Drug Misuse Regulation

Under the Regulation, inspectors are authorised to supply cannabis plants to analysts for testing and to supply the cannabis to people who are authorised to possess it.

Analysts under the Drug Misuse Regulation

The Regulation specifies that where an analyst is engaged to analyse a substance and determine its THC concentration, that this must be done in a laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). The analyst must keep the THC material in a securely locked bag except when they are testing it.

Licence conditions

The Regulation also sets out the responsibilities of licensees who are authorised to produce class A research cannabis. Such a person must grow the cannabis in a glasshouse that can be securely locked and keep it locked except when tending to the cannabis. A licensee must grow the cannabis in an area that is clearly fenced and must put up signs if directed to do so by the chief executive. They must keep the cannabis seed in a securely locked place except when using it for a licensed purpose.

They must keep a register of the strains and varieties of cannabis that they are growing and that are in their possession. They must keep records of the source and quantity of the cannabis delivered to them, when it was received, who delivered it and who it was intended for.

If a licensee receives a cannabis package that appears to have been tampered with, they must inform the inspector or the police. A licensee must allow the destruction of cannabis plants that are found to have a concentration of THC of more than a prescribed level in their leaves.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

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