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  • Writer's pictureZeacann

NZ's medicinal cannabis scheme to be running within 12 months, and allow local genetics

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

The New Zealand Government has tabled in parliament changes to the medicinal cannabis bill, expected to become law by the end of the year. These include:

  • A new definition for CBD products

  • Widening the temporary exemption to cover palliative care

  • Ensuring the scheme is up and running within 12 months

  • Allowing products made from cannabis already established in New Zealand

Zeacann supports these changes. Although we think the exemption should cover more patients and we pushed to allow self-provision, it is good that an estimated 25,000 more patients will be immediately covered within the statutory defence. An even greater number of people will benefit from implementing the scheme for all patients before the end of 2019, rather than dragging on for several years.

The 12-month timeframe also gives certainty for Zeacann's plans to build high-tech production and R&D facilities, and expand our research programme to develop new, cheaper and locally-made, medicinal cannabis products to better serve patient needs.

Each strain or cross can contain varying amounts of cannabinoids and other active ingredients such as terpenes, or have a greater yield, pest-resistance, or be better suited to local climates.

Allowing varieties that are already established in New Zealand will help support a thriving Kiwi cannabis industry, with a role for genuine breeders and pioneers.

Zeacann is ideally placed to research local varieties and develop new products that can be brought to market both in New Zealand and exported to over 20 legal markets around the world.

Our research partnership with AUT to research and develop new medicinal cannabis products means we have access to highly skilled researchers and can use the latest technology to identify unique characteristics in local varieties, such as interesting cannabinoid profiles or better production qualities.

Zeacann's co-founder Chris Fowlie can draw on 25 years of experience documenting local cannabis varieties, through his work as a cannabis expert witness, writer and magazine publisher, cannabis photographer and organiser of eight local cannabis cups.

We invite local breeders and expert growers to contact us if they would like to be part of our research and development programme.

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