Medicinal cannabis approvals under the Special Access Scheme bounced back in May, with a 26% increase bringing the total to 11,669 for the month, according to latest figures from the TGA.

SAS-B approvals since the turn of the year have now topped 50,000, an increase of 24% on the first five months of 2021.

Oil accounted for 53% of approvals, slightly up from last month, with flower down from 40% in April to 38% in May.

There was a slight increase in approvals for schedule 4 medicine (up from 17% to 20%), but schedule 8 still made up the significant majority at 80%.

Chronic pain and anxiety were again the most common indications medicinal cannabis was approved for, accounting for 46% and 32% respectively, followed by sleep disorder (6%), PTSD (3%) and cancer pain (2%).

The number of medical practitioners prescribing cannabis in May was 914, up from 814 in April.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...