A Medicinal Cannabis Scheme to regulate production and prescription was passed by New Zealand Government on 18 December, to come into effect on 1 April 2020.
Administering the scheme will be a newly-established Medicinal Cannabis Agency, tasked with increasing access to medicinal cannabis products by establishing a licencing regime to enable the cultivation of cannabis in New Zealand for the manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis products. For the scheme to meet its objectives, it must deliver quality products to patients and be commercially sustainable.
The scheme covers only cannabis products for medicinal use, not medicinal cannabis products manufactured from synthetic cannabinoids, or the cultivation and manufacture of cannabis products for non-medical use.
As part of the 2020 General Election, a referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill will take place. This is a separate matter entirely to the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. Learn more about the referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.