One tonne of marijuana worth up to $17 million has been seized by police this year but it is unlikely to bring any comfort to those with chronic pain or a terminal illness.
ACT Policing has raided numerous grow houses across the territory as part of a crackdown dubbed Operation Armscote, including its biggest haul in July of 900 plants worth an estimated $6 million.
The raids have filled police coffers with close to 1100 kilograms of cannabis but the drugs are destined to remain in storage for testing or as evidence before being destroyed.
Despite this, many chronically ill Canberrans continue to call for a legal distribution of cannabis to provide relief from terminal illnesses or chronic pain.
ACT Policing chief officer Rudi Lammers said the force was sympathetic to sufferers of terminal illness and supported legally available methods to relive pain and suffering.
"ACT Policing strongly supports federally regulated cultivation, but opposes cultivation by individuals from groups of residential properties or private corporations," he said.
"[We] support a regulatory framework for persons accessing medical cannabis, available only on prescription and dispensed through pharmacies."
Greens minister Shane Rattenbury, who is expected to introduce a medicinal cannabis bill in the coming year despite opposition in the Legislative Assembly, said it would be inappropriate to distribute seized marijuana.
"Rather than provide cannabis in this fashion, the ACT should license a grower to grow a product of a controlled, consistent, pharmaceutical grade like they do in the Netherlands or Israel," he said.
"There are in fact economic opportunities for the ACT in licensing growers to produce cannabis for research or medicinal purposes in our jurisdiction and we should take advantage of them".
Jan Copeland, a professor and director of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, said any use of seized cannabis for medical purposes would be fraught with complications.
"The nexus between law enforcement and medical supply is unprecedented and not good practice," she said.
"The cannabis is only identified botanically by police so testing for potency and contaminants would be required. Such seizures are police evidence which causes delays and legal problems with release by them."
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said police were concerned the production of medical cannabis could be unsafe and dangerous unless it was strictly regulated.
"Cannabis can often be refined to much more potent levels, depending on the plant, which part of the plant is harvested and produced and growing conditions," he said.
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said unregulated use and different potency levels could negatively impact on the users' health, including mental health.
Professor Copeland said there was no shortage of cannabis in Australia and there was no evidence, beyond "marketing hype", that growers were modifying their crop for medical purposes.