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The New Zealand government passed a law on December 11, 2018, that will establish a regulated medical cannabis scheme within one year.
The New Zealand government passed a law on December 11, 2018, that will establish a regulated medical cannabis scheme within one year (1,2). The new law will also permit terminally ill patients immediate access to cannabis without prosecution. This measure is intended to bridge the gap until the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme is established in the country. Once the scheme is set up, patient access will be simpler with pharmacies allowed to sell regulated cannabis products.
New Zealand’s Health Minister David Clark said this is the most progressive legislation on medicinal cannabis that has ever passed through the Parliament (1). "We're doing things to make sure supply will be more available and more affordable over time, and we're taking a compassionate measure in the meantime to give a defense to those to use illicit cannabis who are in the final stages of life," said Clark.
Clark also said that the Ministry of Health would release a paper on the planned medicinal scheme early next year, which will be open to public consultation. "We think it's important that those who are in the industry, those who are users, those who are consumers of products, and those with a wider interest be able to submit their views as the regulations are established, so that we get the highest quality scheme," said Clark (1).
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