- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 10:06PM
New Zealand has reached the first step toward allowing cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes.
Patients in Aotearoa who are in chronic pain from terminal illnesses are one step closer to getting access to quality medicinal cannabis products.
This means that companies are now able to legally manufacture medicinal cannabis products for both local and international markets.
Health Minister David Clark says that rules, regulations, and quality control standards around medicinal cannabis will be shaped by expert advice within the next year.
In the meantime though, it means that although marijuana/cannabis will stay illegal, patients smoking illegal cannabis to ease their pain during this period have a "statutory legal defense if facing prosecution."
This is so that the regulations can be established.
The bill passed in parliament today with the support of the Labour Party, the Green Party, and NZ First.