Medical Cannabis Regulations in New Zealand

New Zealand's Progressive Leap: Enhancements to Medical Cannabis Regulations

Revolutionising Medical Cannabis Regulations in New Zealand

New Zealand is on the brink of a significant transformation in its medical cannabis sector. The nation's Ministry of Health has recently approved a series of changes to its existing regulations, signalling a progressive approach to the industry and its potential benefits for patients.

Background: The Current State of Medical Cannabis in New Zealand

The medical cannabis landscape in New Zealand is relatively nascent compared to several other countries. Despite the growth witnessed each year, a significant number of patients still face challenges in accessing safe and effective medical cannabis treatments. The recent changes introduced by the Ministry of Health aim to address these challenges and further bolster the industry.

Key Changes to the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019

The Ministry of Health's recent amendments target the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019.

These changes primarily focus on enhancing economic opportunities and research potential within the medicinal cannabis sector. Some of the notable modifications include:

  • Broadening the definitions of 'starting material' and 'cannabis-based ingredient'.
  • Facilitating the export of cannabis seeds under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.
  • Allowing the export and import of specific cannabis materials and products for testing, analysis, or research purposes without adhering to the minimum quality standard.
  • Eliminating the need for certain cannabis products to meet the minimum quality standard before export, provided they adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and satisfy the importing country's quality criteria.
  • Granting licences for non-therapeutic research activities using medicinal cannabis or industrial hemp.

Additional Technical Enhancements

Beyond the primary changes, the Ministry of Health has also implemented several minor technical modifications to refine and clarify the existing quality standards. These include updating pesticide requirements, expanding permitted pharmacopeial tests, and reducing redundant testing procedures.

Implications and Future Prospects

The newly introduced changes are anticipated to take effect by the end of the current year. While these amendments are undeniably significant, their true impact on New Zealand's medical cannabis industry and its patient community remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the proactive approach of the Ministry of Health is a promising sign for the future of medical cannabis in New Zealand.


As nations worldwide continue to evolve their stance on cannabis, New Zealand's recent regulatory changes underscore its commitment to fostering a robust medical cannabis industry. By addressing existing challenges and paving the way for future growth, the country is positioning itself as a leader in the global medical cannabis arena.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.