The industry has been urged to drive out ‘cowboys’ by informing authorities of illegal advertising and exposing baseless medical claims, particularly those made by celebrities.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration said it was striving to tackle the problem, but admitted it was struggling to win the battle.

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TGA boss John Skerritt said the health regulator has received 400 complaints relating to the advertising and supply of medicinal cannabis by “websites and clinics”.

“This partly reflects that it’s a new industry and partly because there are some cowboys,” he said.

The industry has been urged to help the TGA drive out ‘cowboy’ advertisers

While advertising of medicinal cannabis products by Australian firms is banned, the TGA does not have jurisdiction over offshore firms marketing locally.

Among the major frustrations are endorsements and claims made by celebrities surrounding CBD.

TGA first assistant secretary of regulatory health, Gillian Mitchell, called on the industry to “drown out” celebrity messaging.

Speaking during this week’s PharmOut Medicinal Cannabis Conference, Mitchell said a newly drawn up list of priorities for advertising compliance again included medicinal cannabis.

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...