Your questions answered

Rise Dispensary provides the most diverse and high-quality alternative prescription medicines, setting the bar for efficacy, quality, and safety. We believe it is vital that every patient access thorough, scientifically backed information about the alternative prescription medicines we prescribe. If you need more information or have questions that have not been answered below, please contact our team.

* Please note that Rise Dispensary provides this information for educational purposes only. It does not contain all available information and should not be used to make decisions or take action. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

The term ‘alternative prescription medicines’ refers to a variety of TGA sanctioned, quality-assured preparations intended for human therapeutic use. These may take the form of capsules, oils, flowers, and other plant extracts. 

Yes, it is for eligible patients.  Access to alternative prescription medicines in Australia and many other countries is only possible with the assistance of an approved provider. In 2016, legislation was changed to allow GPs to prescribe through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s special access schemes (SAS) or authorised prescriber scheme. Rise Dispensary doctors are A+ authorised prescribers.

The TGA has approved special access scheme applications that include, but are not limited to, the following conditions:

  • Pain conditions such as chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and cancer pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disorders, including insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Spasticity caused by neurological conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Palliative care

Many more conditions, in addition to those listed above, have been approved. There are no restrictions on the medical conditions for which your doctor may apply for access to alternative prescription medicines. However, you should first consult with your primary care physician or a specialist about your condition. Alternative prescription medicines are not considered a “first line” treatment for any health condition. It is only considered a treatment if standard approved treatments have failed to be effective.

To get started, answer a few simple questions in our safe, anonymous online eligibility checker.

Our doctors have undergone extensive study and have experience with the conditions and medicines involved. They have been pre-screened and approved by the TGA as authorised prescribers with A+ ratings. The authorised prescriber scheme allows authorised medical practitioners to supply a specific class of patients with a medical condition. An authorised prescriber may supply the product directly to specific patients under their immediate care without requiring separate SAS approval for each patient.

Every case is handled individually. The TGA’s current approval timeline is 48 hours, however, if you see one of our senior practitioners, you may be approved and prescribed on your first visit to Rise Dispensary.

Rise Dispensary has worked hard to ensure ease of access and availability for our patients. Your medicine is available through our on-site pharmacy upon prescription.

Our products’ prices vary depending on their form. Pricing information is available from your doctor or pharmacist. Pricing will be determined by your condition because dosage varies greatly. Depending on what you use and how much you need, your medicine could cost anywhere from $100 to $1000 per month. Because everyone is different, some patients require lower doses than others with the same condition.

If you have been prescribed alternative prescription medicines, always take the dose as directed. There are several ways to consume alternative prescription medicines:


When sprayed into the mouth or under the tongue, alternative prescription medicines can take effect between 10 and 90 minutes, with the effects peaking after 2-4 hours. Using a spray can make it easier to get the right dose of medicine.


When taken as oils, liquid capsules, or tablets, alternative prescription medicine effects usually begin within 30-90 minutes and peak between 2-4 hours. The effects may last up to 24 hours. For patients who would benefit from long-term relief, alternative prescription medicines should be swallowed. To avoid accidental overdose, wait at least 3 hours after taking a cannabis medicine before taking another dose.


Vaporising heats the alternative prescription medicines without burning it, releasing chemicals in the form of a vapour, which is then inhaled. The effects can begin as soon as 90 seconds and are typically strongest after 15-30 minutes. Vaporising is best for immediate, short-term relief.

Our doctors assess this on a case-by-case basis and work closely with you to choose the ideal products and dosages.

Unlike opioids and other medications, one can’t take a lethal dose of alternative prescription medicines. If you have a dose that is too high, you may experience vomiting, nausea, or dizziness. These effects generally wear off within a few hours, however we work closely with patients to find the right dose from the start.

No matter what condition is being treated, our patients begin slowly and gradually increase the dose if needed. Everyone, but especially those who have never used cannabis before, begins with the smallest dose possible.

Your doctor will advise you to gradually increase the dose of alternative prescription medicines until you achieve the desired effect. The goal is to determine the smallest effective dose.

Our medicines’ addiction profile is lower than that of caffeine. Rise Dispensary medicines are developed to be a far safer option than some other forms of treatment such as opioids.

Alternative prescription medicines have been shown to interact with other medications. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for more information on possible interactions, side effects, and contraindications.

Combining alternative prescription medicines and alcohol is not advised because their effects may amplify each other, resulting in discomfort and inebriation.

Keep your medication upright in its container at temperatures below 25°C. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat. Keep out of children’s reach and sight.

Drug-driving is a criminal offence, and patients should consult with their doctor about the implications for safe and legal driving. If you take an alternative prescription medicine and test positive in a mouth swab test, you may lose your licence.  

Some workplaces may require regular or random drug testing. If you have been prescribed alternative prescription medicines, you should research your workplace policy before beginning treatment. Speak with your prescribing doctor, who may wish to refer the matter to an occupational health specialist.

While it is legal for Australian pharmacies to sell these products, many do not keep them in stock, so you may have to wait while they order them in for you. Some pharmacists may be hesitant to provide information and advice on this revolutionary form of medicine. Rise Dispensary pharmacists are uniquely positioned to provide insight and advice on all types of alternative prescription medicine products.

No. It could be a few years before alternative prescription medicines are listed on the PBS. Medicinal cannabis products will need to be entered into the Australian Therapeutic Goods Register and then PBS approved by the federal government. Please check with your individual health insurance provider or community care organisation (e.g., Bluecare), as some companies are assisting patients by covering some of the costs of private alternative prescription medicine prescriptions.

Still have questions?

Please call our team during office hours on (07) 3059 1301

Scroll to top