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Choosing a Medicinal Cannabis Clinic in Australia: What to Look For and What to Avoid

Discover how Polln facilitates accessibility to medical cannabis services for Australians, providing insights into their offerings and how they streamline the process of accessing medical cannabis treatments.

min read


medically reviewed by


August 1, 2023

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Since the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia in 2016, more and more clinics offering medicinal cannabis treatments and prescriptions have popped up all across the country. And while more clinics means more choice for patients, more visibility, and more public recognition for medicinal cannabis being a viable treatment choice for many medical conditions, the growing number of clinics can also make it hard for patients to choose a medicinal cannabis clinic to suit their needs.

At Polln, we understand how important it is for people to find a clinic that supports them in their health goals. After all, the clinic you choose will directly impact your well-being, your patient safety, and your treatment’s effectiveness. By making an informed choice, patients can access the potential therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis while also receiving professional guidance from qualified medical experts.

Today, we’ll explore what to look for when choosing a medicinal cannabis clinic, teach you how to spot any red flags, explain the legal landscape surrounding medicinal cannabis access in Australia, and give you the knowledge you need to make a well-informed decision.

Understanding Medicinal Cannabis in Australia

While not as advanced as our  Canadian and American counterparts, Australia has made significant strides in legalising and regulating the use of medicinal cannabis. In 2016, the Australian government amended the Narcotic Drugs Act, allowing for the legal cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis products. This change marked a crucial turning point in providing patients with access to alternative treatment options.

However, medicinal cannabis here in Australia is still subject to fairly strict regulations. Patients must meet certain eligibility criteria and get a prescription from a qualified medical practitioner to access medicinal cannabis treatments. Learn more about accessing medicinal cannabis in Australia here.

Can you get medicinal cannabis from your GP?

While you can choose to visit a general practitioner (GP) to access medicinal cannabis in Australia, there are several advantages to using a specialised medicinal cannabis clinic to access advice and treatments. 

While GPs play a vital role in primary healthcare and are knowledgeable about a wide range of medical conditions, medicinal cannabis clinics offer specialised expertise and a more comprehensive approach to cannabis-based therapies.

Some reasons to choose a specialised medicinal cannabis clinic include:

  • Expertise in Medicinal Cannabis: Medicinal cannabis clinics are specifically focused on cannabis-based treatments, which means they have in-depth knowledge and experience in prescribing and managing medicinal cannabis treatments - as well as the conditions and symptoms that could potentially be managed with natural therapies.
  • Access to Specialised Treatment: Certain medicinal cannabis clinics provide access to a broader range of medicinal cannabis medications and treatment options that may not be readily available through a GP. This could include newer medications, treatments that may be conventionally more difficult to procure as well as uniquely compounded medications.  
  • Convenient All-in-One Appointments and Pharmacy Dispensing: Some specialised medical cannabis clinics like Polln provide complete end-to-end care, meaning that patients can book and attend their consultations conveniently from home and have their treatments delivered to them. This can be especially beneficial for patients living in rural or remote locations.
  • In-Depth Understanding of Cannabis Laws and Regulations: Medicinal cannabis clinics stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving laws and regulations surrounding medicinal cannabis in Australia. They can navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring patients receive treatment in full compliance with relevant regulations and obtain the necessary approvals from regulatory bodies.
  • Holistic Patient-Centric Care: Some medicinal cannabis clinics, like Polln, adopt a patient-centric approach, focusing not only on the medical condition but also on the overall well-being of the individual. 
  • Streamlined Medical Assessment: At specialist medicinal cannabis clinics, the process of assessing a patient's eligibility for medical cannabis cannabis-based treatment is more efficient. The medical professionals at these clinics have experience in evaluating patients' medical histories and symptoms to determine whether medicinal cannabis is a suitable option for their condition.

Some clinics like Polln also help all of their doctors become Authorised Prescribers (AP) which means that they have received approval from the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) to write medical cannabis prescriptions. This focused approach can save patients time and reduce potential delays in accessing treatment.

However, it's important to note that consulting with your regular GP may be a good idea as a first step. Your GP can provide important background information and referrals to medicinal cannabis clinics and work together as a team for your healthcare needs.

Green Flags: What to Consider When Choosing a Medicinal Cannabis Clinic

Before choosing a clinic, it’s a good idea to consider a range of factors to find a clinic that will provide the best care for you. Just like any healthcare option, there is a lot to consider beyond just whether or not your clinic can provide you with medication. Some things you may want to consider include. 

✅ Easy Accessibility: Just like with your local doctor's surgery, it’s important to choose a close-by or online clinic that won't add commuting stress to your regime. Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer a reputable online clinic that allows you to speak to your doctor from the comfort of your home. This can be especially beneficial if you live in a remote or rural location, if you require frequent appointments or follow-ups.

✅ Highly Qualified Medical Professionals and Staff: Look for high expertise and qualifications of the medical professionals and staff at a potential clinic. It’s best to look for additional medical cannabis qualifications or experience - bonus points if doctors are Authorised Prescribers. Look for doctors who are also Authorised Prescribers (AP) who have TGA approval to write medical cannabis prescriptions — saving you time in receiving treatment. 

✅ Long and comprehensive consultations: When deciding on a clinic, make sure your doctors will take the time to fully understand your health background and needs. Some patients find that anything less than a 30-minute in-person or video consultation is not thorough enough. It’s also a good idea to consider how they make you feel — a supportive and compassionate team can enhance your treatment experience.

✅ Product agnostic clinics: Product agnostic clinics, like Polln, do not have vested interests in promoting specific medicinal cannabis products. As a result, the medical professionals in these clinics can offer unbiased treatment recommendations based solely on your medical condition and needs and have access to any medicinal products available in Australia. Their primary concern is finding the most effective treatment plan for you, regardless of which licensed producer's product it involves.

It is also essential to inquire about the sourcing and quality control measures of the medicinal cannabis products offered. Legitimate clinics work with licensed producers and adhere to stringent quality standards to ensure patients receive safe and effective treatments.

✅ Easy Delivery and Treatment Access: Your clinic should provide fast and easy delivery options for your medication. Some clinics or GPs may only provide a prescription, leaving you to search for one of the scarce medicinal cannabis prescribing pharmacies to physically fill your script. By selecting an online clinic that includes delivery services, you’ll be able to access your medication quickly and easily every time.

✅ Good Clinic's Reputation and Experience: The reputation and experience of the medicinal cannabis clinic are a good indicator of the quality of care they can provide. Research potential clinics online and look for patient reviews and testimonials to gauge the experiences of others. 

What Kind of Consultation Process Should I Look For?

When choosing a medical cannabis clinic, look for one that provides a comprehensive consultation process and longer appointments. 

More face-to-face time (whether it be online or in person) during the initial consultation, means that your doctor will be able to conduct a thorough assessment of your health, medical history, and the specific symptoms you are experiencing. Anything below 30 minutes for a first consultation may not give your prescribing doctor enough time to understand your conditions and symptoms and write an effective, personalised treatment plan.

The clinic should provide personalised advice on medicinal cannabis usage, including appropriate dosages and potential side effects. Follow-up appointments and the option for adjustments to your treatment plan as needed are also essential elements of a reliable medicinal cannabis clinic. These kinds of regular check-ins allow the medical team to monitor your progress and make necessary modifications to optimise treatment outcomes.

Red Flags: What to Avoid When Choosing a Medicinal Cannabis Clinic 

While the growing acceptance of medicinal cannabis in Australia has opened doors to many legitimate and trustworthy clinics, it has also led to the emergence of some questionable providers. 

To protect your health and ensure a positive treatment experience, it is important to be aware of red flags that may suggest a medicinal cannabis clinic is unreliable or may not provide a high level of care. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

🚩 Not speaking with an actual doctor: When choosing a medicinal cannabis clinic, make sure you always have access to speak to a doctor (whether it’s in person or over a video call). Some providers will only provide phone consultations or even text-based consultations. Make sure you are getting the quality of care you deserve. 

🚩 Product-specific clinics: A responsible medicinal cannabis clinic should tailor your treatments to you. Avoid clinics that only prescribe one brand. Treatment decisions should be based on your medical needs alone, not about making profits.

🚩 One-size-fits-all approaches: Avoid clinics where doctors appear to have a one-size-fits-all method, who seem to write prescriptions for medicinal cannabis without conducting thorough assessments. Each patient is unique, and a personalised treatment plan is crucial for optimising outcomes. Reputable clinics will take the time to understand your specific medical history, symptoms, and needs before recommending any treatment.

🚩 Unrealistic treatment promises: Beware of clinics that make unrealistic promises or guarantees about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in curing/treating specific conditions. While medicinal cannabis has shown therapeutic potential for certain conditions, it is not a miracle cure for all health problems.

🚩 Slow or delayed medication delivery: Some medicinal cannabis providers might not be set up to quickly dispense and deliver your medication. While this might not be a problem for some people, if you are living with chronic pain or a condition that requires timely treatments you may want to ensure that you choose a clinic with end-to-end consultation and expedited medication delivery.

🚩 Lack of transparency or vague information: Reputable medicinal cannabis clinics prioritise transparency and medical cannabis education with their patients. If you find a clinic that seems evasive or avoids answering your questions or doesn’t have an emphasis on patient education, it could be a sign of potential issues.

🚩 Lack of referrals or positive patient reviews: A credible medicinal cannabis clinic should have a track record of positive patient experiences. Look for feedback from previous patients about their encounters with the clinic. If you find a clinic with consistently negative reviews or a lack of positive feedback, it may be best to explore other options.

🚩 Unsympathetic doctors: A trustworthy medicinal cannabis clinic should have medical professionals who genuinely care about their patient's well-being and prioritise individualised care. Be cautious if you encounter doctors who seem disinterested, rushed, or lack empathy during consultations.

Tips for Making an Informed Clinic Decision

Like any healthcare choice, choosing the right medicinal cannabis clinic for your needs is a big decision that requires careful consideration. To ensure that you make an informed decision and find a clinic that best suits your needs, here are some essential tips to guide you through the selection process:

  • Conduct Thorough Research: Be wary of advertising or making impulsive decisions. Take the time to research various medicinal cannabis clinics and look for reputable clinics with a history of positive patient experiences and a track record of providing quality care.
  • Seek Recommendations from Healthcare Professionals: Consulting with your other healthcare providers (including general practitioners (GP), naturopaths, nutritionists, or other specialists) can provide valuable guidance on medicinal cannabis treatments. They may recommend reliable clinics or provide advice to ensure that your treatment plan aligns with your existing medical conditions/medications. 
  • Contact the Clinic First, If You Need: It’s ok to need a little more information than what you find on a clinic website. A good clinic will give you the option of calling their team to ask any questions you might have before making an appointment. This also helps you gauge the clinic’s approach and how they communicate with patients.
  • Compare Costs and Services Offered: Different medicinal cannabis clinics may offer varying services and pricing structures. Compare the costs of consultations, products, and any additional services provided. Remember: the cheapest option may not always be the best, so prioritise the quality of care and the reputation of the clinic over cost alone.
  • Evaluate the Consultation Process: A reputable clinic will conduct a comprehensive consultation that includes an in-depth assessment of your medical history, symptoms, and overall health. The medical professionals should discuss potential treatment options, address any concerns you may have, and tailor a personalised treatment plan based on your needs.
  • Trust Your Gut: At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your instincts and choose a medicinal cannabis clinic where you feel comfortable and confident in the medical professionals' abilities. A caring and supportive environment can significantly impact your treatment experience and overall well-being.

By following these tips, you can navigate the process of choosing a medicinal cannabis clinic with confidence and make an informed decision that aligns with your health needs and treatment goals. Your health is important, so take the time to find a reputable medicinal cannabis clinic that will support you and your health goals now and in the future.

The Wrap Up

The process of choosing a medicinal cannabis clinic is an important decision for many patients in Australia. By understanding the legal landscape, evaluating crucial factors, and being aware of both green and red flags, you can make an informed decision that supports your health needs and ensures a safe, effective, and compassionate medicinal cannabis treatment experience.

Remember that as everyone's medical background, health goals, and experiences with medicinal cannabis will vary, and it is essential to select a clinic that will take the time to conduct a full medical evaluation and find the right treatment schedule for you. Armed with the knowledge and insights provided in this article, we hope you can prioritise your well-being and seek a reputable, caring clinic, like Polln, that will put your well-being first.  


Australian Government. (2016, March 8). The Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 (Cth). Retrieved from

Switch to Polln for doctors who really care and express delivery
Get 20% discount on your first consultation
Take your first step with medicinal cannabis

Our caring doctors are here to help every step of the way.

Book your online consultation
Book an appointment with a cannabis-friendly Polln doctor
Book Now