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Friday, Dec 3, 2021
Mugglehead Magazine
Cannabis & psychedelics industry news based in Vancouver, B.C.
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Industry update

New Zealand launches medical cannabis program

New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme came into effect April 1 to give Kiwi patients better access to quality weed products

New Zealand launches medical cannabis program
New Zealand launches medical cannabis program

New Zealand’s new regulations for medical cannabis came into effect April 1, which should give Kiwi patients better access to quality legal weed products in time.

Under the new rules, doctors can prescribe legal cannabis products containing THC, and companies can apply for manufacturing and cultivation licences.

However, domestic cannabis companies and importers are required to follow stringent standards set by the nation’s Medicinal Cannabis Agency, which includes receiving New Zealand GMP certification.

Read more: New Zealand and Brazil move to relax cannabis policies

New Zealand’s Cannasouth (NZE: CBD) currently holds a cannabis research licence, but the company said it will be applying for licences to produce its own cannabis and register new medicinal products, according to its website.

“Because patient safety is Cannasouth’s highest priority, we support the Medicinal Cannabis Agency’s approach where all NZ medicinal cannabis products are required to comply with the minimum quality standard set forth under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme,” the company says.

Cannasouth added it’s also investigating importing white label cannabis products that meet government standards while its manufacturing operations are being set up.

“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the deployment of Ministry of Health resources into priority projects to support these efforts, the time frame for acceptance of applications is unknown,” it said.

Producers will be able to use seeds and plants from the illicit market if they pay a fee and declare the products with New Zealand regulators.

The types of products that patients can legally access are limited to cannabis oils, tablets, ointments and creams. Dried flower will be available, but can only be consumed with a vaporizer approved by regulators for medical use. Infused edibles and drinks are not allowed.

Before April 1, Sativex — a drug that combines THC and CBD to treat patients with multiple sclerosis — was the only medical cannabis product approved under the New Zealand’s Medicines Act 1981. Under the new regime, doctors can continue to prescribe Sativex without seeking further legal approval.

New Zealand lawmakers approved The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019 in December. The new rules are entirely separate from the upcoming referendum on recreational cannabis.

Top image of New Zealand Parliament via Deposit Photos

 

jared@mugglehead.com

@JaredGnam

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