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Medicinal cannabis offer on the table

Patients in all states and territories could get faster access to medicinal cannabis under a deal to be put to health ministers today.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has already signed up NSW to the process which is expected to make medicinal cannabis available to patients within two days.

However other states, especially Queensland, where the wait can be as long as six months, have been harder to convince.

The deal involves a single approval process under the Therapeutic Goods Administration, avoiding duplication with state authorities.

Tasmania and Victoria are understood to be the most interested in taking up the offer.

At the Sydney meeting the health ministers will also discuss a plan from Western Australia to raise the smoking age to 21.

However, it is unlikely to get any traction.

Likely to gain support is a national action plan for endometriosis, including research, GP training and education in schools.

Endometriosis is present when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility.

There will be ongoing discussions on hospital funding, with WA and NSW already signed up to new agreements but other states holding out.

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