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

Charity ball makes $120K school bus dream come true: Video

COMMUNITY: A sea of people turn out to support Rosella Park School.

A SHOW of community spirit has seen a local school collect $120k

Curtis Island flaring brings plume of black smoke

A previous incident of increased flaring on Curtis Island in November.

UNPLANNED shutdown brings black smoke to Curtis Island.

Dredging begins in Gladstone's port

Dredging the 2.3km Narrows crossing of the QCLNG and APLNG gas pipelines. The dredging involves a small backhoe dredge mounted on a barge, two tug boats, a survey vessel. After the pipelines are laid in the same trench, they will be covered with rock for protection from shipping and will still allow sufficient depth for boat traffic through The Narrows. Photo taken on the GPC Gladstone Harbour Tour.

BUOYS removed to make room for dredging operations.

Local Partners

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

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

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.

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

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

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.