Weeds within the Australian Capital Territory – Australia Sequence


This is part 4 of our 8-part series on weed research in Australia. We’re talking about weeds in the Australian Capital Territory, the smallest region in Australia and home to Canberra. Ok, technically Jervis Bay Territory is the smallest region in mainland Australia, but still.

In terms of size, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is about 13 times larger than DC, or 75% the size of Rhode Island. Canberra is essentially the only city with the territory. There are several other smaller settlements, but urban sprawl has almost engulfed them. Like DC in the US, ACT is the most liberal and forward-thinking place in Australia. At least that’s what typical voting habits suggest. Canberra legalized recreational cannabis use early in 2020 and made history as the first Australian state or territory to do so.

Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this article at the time of reading. We are not responsible for incorrect information.

Weed laws in Canberra, Australian capital territory

On January 31, 2020, the ACT legalized weeds. Adults aged 18 and over can now legally own:

Up to 150 grams of fresh cannabis up to 50 grams of dried cannabis

Adults can legally use cannabis as long as it is for personal use and on private property such as your home. Smoking weed in public in Canberra is still a criminal offense. As well as the exposure of minors to cannabis use or storage and the cultivation of cannabis using hydroponics.

In order to grow cannabis legally, it cannot be open to the general public, e.g. B. in your front yard, where passers-by could reach over your fence. However, these rules still leave cannabis users to fill a legal loophole.

The legal loophole

Other than medical marijuana, you cannot legally buy any weeds in Canberra. You also can’t legally buy cannabis seeds, and giving away or sharing cannabis is illegal too. No matter how you originally got your cannabis in Canberra, it’s currently illegal. You can legally grow your own (with the few restrictions listed above), however, getting these first seeds is illegal.

While this sounds like a potential legal nightmare, acquiring cannabis has always been illegal so nothing really has changed there. Put simply, this change in the law means the risk of consuming cannabis at home is eliminated for adults. So yeah it’s not perfect but it’s the best in Australia right now.

Medical marijuana in Canberra

Medical marijuana is also legal in the Australian capital city territory. An individual must be approved by both the area’s chief health officer and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

To be eligible, a patient must have one of the following conditions:

Nausea / vomiting due to chemotherapy-resistant pediatric epilepsyspasticity due to multiple sclerosis Anxiety or pain due to an incurable disease with a prognosis of less than 12 months

Other conditions can be considered on a case-by-case basis. This seems like a fairly strict permitting process and a fairly narrow list of eligible conditions for a region where recreational herbs have been legalized. Since the legal adult weed uses in Canberra are less than a year old, these requirements could be updated soon.


Beth Edmonds