A series of government-run medical cannabis workshops in New Zealand for industry kicked off yesterday – and all have been fully booked.
New Zealand’s Regulations for its Medicinal Cannabis Scheme were passed by Cabinet in December last year. The rules are to come into effect on April 1 (when applications start being accepted) and it’s expected the first licences to be issued by the middle of this year.
The regulations provide the framework for the licensing regime for the cultivation, manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis products and provision for assessment of products against minimum quality standards.
To assist those interested in getting a foot in the door, the Ministry of Health has started holding application workshops, which will run into March. The workshops are being provided in six locations throughout New Zealand with two sessions at each location.
It appears the workshops were booked out fairly quickly. But for those who missed out, the presentation will be made available on the Ministry of Health’s website after all of the workshops have been run – the final one is on March 5.
NZ’s Medical Cannabis Scheme will take a single licence approach, enabling an entity to start out with just one activity and then add various activities as required; such as cultivation, research and possession for manufacturing and supply.
In other recent cannabis related news out of New Zealand, the country’s government announced its referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill will be held on 19 September 2020, the same date as the general election. Should the referendum result in a majority yes note, it could mean the beginning of the end the prohibition of non-prescription therapeutic and recreational use of cannabis in New Zealand.
However, a yes vote isn’t a given. A recent 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll indicated 51% of voters want cannabis to remain illegal for recreational/non-therapeutic use.
Between now and September, both the “yes” and “no” camps will be pulling out all the stops to win hearts and minds in their respective direction – and no doubt the lead-up and result will be watched closely across the ditch in Australia.