Unwell Australians will be able to access medicinal cannabis more quickly under changes being introduced by the Turnbull government.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that approved importers will be able to buy the medication from overseas and store it in Australia for immediate distribution until domestic production meets local needs.
The move will make it easier for patients who now must wait for the product to be imported once prescribed by an authorised doctor.
"What this means is that there will be a supply to meet all Australian demand," Mr Hunt told ABC Radio.
It's expected that Australia will have a store of imported medicinal cannabis products within eight weeks.
Local production was only legalised late last year and will take time to develop, he said.
The first licence for private cultivation was only issued last week.
"We want to get on right now in making easier and faster access available for patients who are ultimately the real users of safe, high quality, appropriately- obtained medicine," Mr Hunt said.
Victoria expects locally-sourced medicinal cannabis to be available by the middle of the year or a little bit later.
Back on this side of the Tasman New Zealanders must get a Ministry of Health official to sign-off any requests to use medicinal cannabis.