Find out how you can get legal marijuana next year

HUNDREDS of patients will soon be able to access medicinal marijuana products.

The passing of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 last week means health patients across the Fraser Coast could be reaping the benefits of marijuana legally from March 2017.

But getting hands on the drug won't be so simple.

Patients will need to apply through their general practitioner or specialist in order to access the treatment options.

The legislation itself has not specified the particular conditions that marijuana could be prescribed for, leaving the field open.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said certain specialist doctors would be able to prescribe medical marijuana products for patients without needing approval.

Specialists practising in medical oncology, neurology and palliative care medicine are expected to be the first to be approved of this ability.

There are oncology and palliative care specialists on the Fraser Coast who could fall under that category.

A total of 789 oncology patients were treated across the Fraser Coast by the Wide Bay Health and Hospital Service during the 2015/16 calendar.

Another 192 Fraser Coast patients have got treatment from WBHHS since July.

In terms of palliative care, WBHHS average 217 palliative care patients per month across the Fraser Coast.

This includes home and in hospital care.

Fraser Coast neurology specialists go to Brisbane hospitals for treatment.

Marijuana is linked to helping a range of illnesses, such as diabetes, depression and arthritis.

It can also help relieve general body pain.

With news of medical marijuana's legalisation, before you picture hospital patients in white gowns smoking joints - it won't be quite like that

Instead, it will be used through external methods such as oil.

Unless you are a patient in genuine need of marijuana's powers, using it will remain illegal.

Mr Dick said most of the medical cannabis would be imported from overseas, as it was illegal to cultivate commercial medical cannabis in Australia.

Topics:  fraser coast general-seniors-news marijuana medical wide bay hospital and health service

30 train services a day halted by driver shortage

FRUSTRATED: Sunshine Coast commuters Kieron Wallace and Jeff Addison, pictured in 2015, are among those frustrated at the state of current rail services.

Queensland Rail bolsters customer service staff after service issues

Crew numbers affecting train services

RAIL FAIL: Rail Back on Track's Robert Dow wants to know why there are not enough train crew to deliver a normal train timetable.

We all want to know why there are not enough train crew?

New didgeridoo program reaches out to Ipswich men

DEADLY IDEA: A new program, Didgeridoo Healing, has been launched at Ipswich Hospital headed up by Indigenous Health Co-ordinator Trevor Fourmile.

Indigenous music to help the community

Local Partners

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Festival blooms with Jacaranda trees

BLOOMING GOOD: Cr Paul Tully with the Goodna Jacarandas, in bloom ahead of the upcoming Jacaranda Festival.

This year's festival gets under way on Friday

Things to do this week

Dragon play Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday October 28

What's on in Ipswich

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.