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Former New Zealand Prime Minister backs cannabis legalization

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has urged Kiwis to vote in favour of recreational cannabis being legalized at next year’s referendum.

She recently set up a think tank called The Helen Clark Foundation and it has just issued a report called “The Case for YES”. It recommends expunging minor cannabis convictions and ushering in a legal market that can regulate marijuana in a responsible fashion.


Do teens find cannabis uncool?

Are teens passing on pot? A study published this August seems to indicate that might be the case.

The study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Aug. 16 found that cannabis use is on the decline among high school students. A study in the U.S. had similar findings.


New medical cannabis policies in New Zealand are coming for controlled substances

New Zealand’s ministry of health is coming up with a scheme for medicinal marijuana in the country. This scheme will legalize domestic and commercial cannabis cultivation and production for medical uses.

The ministry is looking to making good quality medical marijuana more accessible to people so that more patients can access medical cannabis products. Physicians will be responsible for prescribing medical marijuana products.


Let’s explore New Zealand’s ‘medicinal cannabis scheme’

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health have developed a ‘medicinal cannabis scheme.’ Here we take a look at what this means for the use of medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health are developing a ‘medicinal cannabis scheme’ which enables the domestic commercial cultivation and manufacture of medical cannabis. According to the ministry: “enabling domestic cultivation and manufacture is expected to make quality medicinal cannabis products more readily available. This will remove a barrier for patients accessing medicinal cannabis, as health practitioners will be able to prescribe these products with confidence.”


Into the light: New Zealand's cannabis growers gear up for referendum

Dave has been growing cannabis since he was 14 years old, when he began using it to treat his ADHD. Known in his part of New Zealand as a “green fairy”– someone who grows and supplies cannabis to patients suffering from pain and disability – he estimates he has supplied more than 1,000 people over the last decade.

With a few hundred plants on the go, the 33-year-old says what was once a hobby has morphed into a full-time occupation, mostly avoiding the attention of police.

“I have been doing it a long time and I have learned how to do it as carefully as possible,” he says.


Canadian company invests millions in Kiwi research to improve cannabis crops

The world's largest grower and supplier of medicinal cannabis has invested more than $2 million in a small Kiwi agri-tech company.

Canadian company Canopy Rivers' investment of US$1.5m (NZ$2.2m) in BioLumic is for the development of UV treatments that improve the performance and yield of cannabis crops.

Palmerston North-based BioLumic's chief executive Warren Bebb said it was satisfying to see more global companies choose to invest in the "world-leading" company. 

"New Zealand agri-tech companies are starting to make a mark globally... It's a testament to the value of scientific research.

"Given our results with other flowering crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and soybeans, medicinal cannabis is a natural fit for our technology," Bebb said.


Weed Week: Will Australia fear to tread where NZ steps with cannabis legalisation?

The New Zealand government has drawn the outline of the kind of recreational marijuana use it wants to see, including an age limit of 20 and regulation on how potent legal cannabis products will be allowed to be.

Interestingly, it includes a focus on making cannabis a health issue by noting that an increase in investment in health and social services will be required from any tax placed on pot products.

In Australia, constitutionally, adult use or recreational cannabis is a state — not a federal — prerogative, so it could be a state that moves first on this issue.


New Zealand’s cannabis market may shrink after legalization

Several months ago the Kiwi Parliament passed a law legalizing medical
cannabis, and now they are debating what should be done in regards to recreational cannabis.

The green wave has been growing over the pass few years, and now it has reached some of the most distant places in the world.

New Zealand has had a law that classified cannabis as an illegal drug since 1927, way back when it was known as Indian hemp.

The law was known as the Dangerous Drugs Act, and by passing this law the New Zealand parliament scheduled, among other substances, cannabis, resin collected from it, and all extracts and tinctures made from it.


New Zealand to vote on cannabis legalization

New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalizing cannabis during the 2020 general election, the government announced Tuesday.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the vote would be binding, but it will ultimately be up to the next administration to enact the legislation.


What will New Zealanders be voting on? 

Little said voters would be asked "a simple Yes/No question on the bases of a draft piece of legislation." The draft law will include:


Growing demand - NZ's budding cannabis businesses

Business is booming in Canada and some US states, where cannabis use is no longer an offence. With a binding referendum on whether to legalise for personal use set for 2020, Insight's reporter Teresa Cowie takes a look at what some of the promises, pitfalls and potential for a 'cannabusiness' sector in New Zealand might be.

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