More than 4100 applications for medicinal cannabis were approved in May through category B of the Special Access Scheme, according to latest figures released by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The figure, 4133, is a monthly record, surpassing the previous high of 3926 in March. In April, approvals fell to 3378.

The number of approvals has risen steadily over the past 12 months

The May number brings the SAS-B approval total in 2020 to 18,153.

Approved Prescriber numbers climbed to 89 as at May 31.

The number of approvals does not equate to patient numbers as some are likely to be repeat prescriptions or multiple prescriptions for one individual.

A Senate inquiry earlier this year, which explored the barriers of accessing medicinal cannabis, heard from the Department of Health that more than 19,000 people have been granted access to medicinal cannabis through the SAS and Approved Prescriber schemes.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...