New Zealand


Hopes For NZ Medical Cannabis “Amnesty” Fade

There appears to be growing impatience among New Zealanders regarding the government’s approach to medical cannabis.

Since the passing of the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act 2018, terminally ill New Zealanders have had a legal defence for the possession and use of small amounts of dried cannabis for medicinal purposes while a proper scheme was being set up.


New Zealand’s ‘green fairy’ has wings clipped for giving elderly free cannabis

Jason Tong, dubbed the “green fairy” for his efforts in recent years to give free cannabis to elderly New Zealanders who are in pain, has pleaded not guilty to cannabis-related charges and has asked that the police drop the charges.

Arguing he has done nothing wrong and was only trying to help those in need, Tong pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and two counts of supplying a Class C controlled drug, reports RNZ.


Harvest Of NZ’s Largest Medical Cannabis Crop Commences

New Zealand medical cannabis company Puro has kicked off the harvest of its crop, which it claims to be the largest in the country to date.

Planted in December last year, tens of thousands of plants have been grown on the 10-hectare site in Kēkerengū, on the Kaikōura coast of NZ’s South Island (Te Waipounamu). Cultivated under organic protocols, harvesting is being carried out entirely by hand by more than 40 workers over a period of around 5 weeks.


NZ Medical Cannabis Imports “Out Of Control”

medical doctor writing on paper

The New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council claims the country’s government scheme is being undermined by unregulated medical cannabis imports.

The NZMCC says some medical practitioners are importing products and selling directly to patients, taking advantage of a loophole in Section 25 of NZ’s Medicines Act.

That section provides an exemption allowing all authorised prescribers to “procure the supply of any medicine”; including approved and unapproved medicines. Among other things, it allows an authorised prescriber to obtain a medicine by direct importation.

The Council claims currently there is less regulatory oversight of Section 25 imports than vitamins sold in supermarkets.


NZ medicinal cannabis is facing a looming crisis

cbd oil dropper in front of marijuana plants

New Zealand is facing a collapse of legal medicinal cannabis supply after March 31, when a deadline to meet stiff new government rules is expected to keep the products of three of the country’s five main importers out of the market, reports NZ Herald’s Kate MacNamara in this Herald Premium article.

Last April, the government unveiled a new regulatory system to create more safe, widespread and affordable access to medicinal cannabis. It has not yet approved a single product.


New Zealand police ground annual aerial cannabis hunt

Two helicopters flying

New Zealand police are putting an end to the annual practice of searching for cannabis grows using helicopters and planes, reportsStuff

The operation has reportedly been taking place for more than 20 years and costs upwards of $700,000 annually.

“With the increased harm in many communities arising from other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, a one-size-fits-all annual aerial national cannabis operation no longer represents the most appropriate deployment of police resources,” a police spokesperson told Stuff.


Was New Zealand's ‘no’ vote on cannabis legalization a result of misinformation?

Dr. Fiona Hutton, an associate professor in the Institute of Criminology at New Zealand’s Victoria University, says the ‘no’ vote on the country’s cannabis referendum is a victory for those who traffic in fear-mongering and misinformation.

Writing in The Guardian, Hutton says she been reduced to tears in the aftermath of the close vote, where 50.7 per cent of voters said ‘no’ to legal weed.

“I have been receiving heartbreaking emails from people thanking me for my work to try and get the evidence out there, to try and stem the tide of fear-mongering and misinformation about cannabis and those who use it,” she writes.


New Zealand: Concerns that cannabis referendum result will affect medicinal options

The outcome of the cannabis referendum has raised concerns about the availability of medicinal options.

Just over 53 percent of people voted no to legalisation, while 46 percent voted yes.

Medicinal cannabis company Cannasouth's chief executive Mark Lucas told Francesca Rudkin a yes vote would have helped more people gain better and cheaper access to medical cannabis.

"There's no denying that some patients will access medicinal cannabis currently from the black market,  and if there was a white market, if you like, they would have been accessing very basic formulations of cannabis from that market."

The official result of the referendum, including special votes, will be announced on Friday. 


New Zealand votes to legalise euthanasia – but not cannabis

In a legally binding referendumNew Zealand has voted to approve euthanasia as an option for people with a terminal illness to seek medical assistance to end their lives.

The preliminary results come from two referendum questions posed to the public while New Zealanders were casting votes in the 17 October general election, which witnessed the return of prime minister Jacinda Ardern for a second term.


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