New Zealand


New Zealand passes laws to make medical marijuana widely available

New Zealand’s government has passed a law that will make medical marijuana widely available for thousands of patients over time, after years of campaigning by chronically ill New Zealanders who say the drug is the only thing that eases their pain.

The legislation will also allow terminally ill patients to begin smoking illegal pot immediately without facing the possibility of prosecution.

The health minister, David Clarke, said thousands of New Zealanders were living with chronic and end-of-life pain and the evidence that marijuana could safely help ease their suffering was sound.


NZers want medicinal cannabis bill to go further

A new survey of more than 2,000 Kiwi adults finds they overwhelmingly want doctors and nurse practitioners to be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis as they see fit, on a patient by patient basis, and for it to be treated like any other medicine in New Zealand.

However, Parliament could pass a law as early as this Tuesday (December 11th) which is far less specific.

Paul Manning, Executive Director of Helius Therapeutics, which is making a major investment to research and develop medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand, says it’s not yet clear if there is the time for a majority of MPs, from all or some parties, to implement a more specific regime, rather than leave it to officials to develop the rules.


New Zealand: Iwi industrial hemp production deal could create 150 jobs

A Dannevirke-based iwi plans to go into industrial hemp production in a joint venture which could create more than 150 jobs. After signing a deal with a Chinese processor, the iwi plans include building a processing factory in the Tararua region.

NgńĀti Kahungunu ki TńĀmaki nui-a-Rua Trust has just announced its partnership with international hemp food production company Jinzhou Qiaopai Biotech.

Trust chairman Hayden Hape said the venture was timely given this week's Government regulatory changes allowing the sale of hemp seed as food in New Zealand.

The iwi and Qiaopai Biotech have entered into an agreement with Massey University to begin hemp planting trials in Manawatu, Tararua and Hawke's Bay this month.


Hemp cookies to hit market as NZ legalises sale of seeds as food

Hemp growers and food producers are celebrating news hemp seed can be sold for food.  The Government announced on Tuesday that hemp seed would be treated as just another edible seed.  Hemp is currently grown under permit and is used for fibre and hemp seed oil. 

From Monday, the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 and the Food Regulations 2015 will be amended to allow the sale of hemp seed as food. Hemp flowers and leaves will not be permitted.

West Coast farmers Sarah Gibson and Aaron Silcock grow hemp on their Reefton dairy farm.  This year will be the couple's second season growing hemp to sell for animal food. 


New Zealand City has 10 synthetic cannabis overdoses in 48 hours

Christchurch has seen a spike in people consuming and being harmed by a synthetic drug known as AB.

The New Zealand city of  Christchurch has seen at least 10 synthetic cannabis overdoses in the last two days, according to media reports. Hospital officials report the victims were stricken separately and had come from different areas of the city. Christchurch is New Zealand’s third largest city with a population of about 370,000 and is located on the country’s South Island.


New Zealand awards first-ever medical cannabis growing license

Hikurangi Cannabis crowdfunded $1.8 million in small investments from 1,500 local residents who hope to benefit from the cannabis industry.

The island nation of New Zealand has never taken a very kind approach to marijuana, as evidenced by the military-supported drug raids New Zealand law enforcement agencies conduct every year over the country’s vast hinterlands. Under the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act, possessing any amount of cannabis for any reason is illegal. There have been attempts to decriminalize it and even efforts to legalize medical marijuana. But all have failed to end the blanket prohibition on New Zealand weed.


Lake Hawea hemp grower promotes industrial uses of cannabis plant

A Lake Hawea man is promoting the farming of the "industrial hemp" version of the cannabis plant.

T.J. Irvin is well known in the Upper Clutha for his "slammer tool", used for digging, but is now turning some of his attention to growing cannabis.

"It is time we grew up and started looking at it as a crop that can be farmed for profit ‚ÄĒ building materials, food, medicine."

He has organised an information session to be held at Lake Hawea on September 5, but is making clear the cannabis he is talking about is not the "recreational" variety but one of 12 cultivars approved by the Ministry of Health.

Mr Irvin has a licence to grow industrial hemp and will be sowing 1ha of land on the West Coast this spring.


New Zealand sees spike in synthetic marijuana-caused deaths

Synthetic cannabis seems to be a public health problem everywhere.

The coroner’s office in New Zealand has seen a spike in deaths caused by synthetic marijuana, according to local media. In the past year, the island nation has seen 40-45 deaths of people who had used synthetic marijuana. There was only one death from the illicit substance in the previous five years.

St. John Ambulance reported that it receives approximately 30 calls per week to help people suffering from ill effects of the drug.


'The law sucks, they're just making criminals out of patients,' says New Zealand cannabis activist

Last December, the New Zealand government introduced legislation that allows patients with terminal illnesses to legally grow and use their own cannabis, writes James McClure.


This hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions

Combining social justice and medical marijuana, this hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions.

People with marijuana convictions on their record often have a difficult time finding gainful employment. Sure, a number of states have legalized marijuana.

But pot offenders are often treated like pariahs when looking for work. It is for this reason that one hemp company wants to hire growers with marijuana convictions.

The goal is to put their felonious talents to work in the legitimate medical marijuana industry.


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