More widespread access to medicinal cannabis products is a step closer with the release of proposals for regulations says Minister of Health Dr David Clark.
The Ministry of Health has published the proposed regulations and standards for medicinal cannabis, covering everything from cultivation to quality standards. Public consultation is open for four weeks.
“Making medicinal cannabis more readily available has the potential to help ease the suffering of thousands of people who are living in pain, so it’s important we get these regulations right,” Dr Clark says.
“The legislation Parliament passed in December paved the way for greater access to medicinal cannabis products and ultimately will allow New Zealand companies to manufacture quality medicinal cannabis products for local and international markets.
“This is another example of the progress the Coalition Government is making on enhancing the wellbeing of New Zealanders, while also boosting business opportunities.
“We’re now looking for feedback on whether the proposals in the consultation document meet our overall goal of improving patient access to quality medicinal cannabis products.
“We are also looking for views on how these products are prescribed, the quality standards for medicinal cannabis products, licensing for cultivators and manufacturers, barriers to patients accessing these medicines and several other proposals.
“I encourage the health sector, industry and the public to engage so the final regulations can be shaped by a wide range of perspectives,” says Dr Clark.
The regulations supporting the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme will be finalised by 18 December 2019 and the Ministry of Health anticipate having the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme operational in the first quarter of 2020.
The consultation proposal was informed by feedback from a medical cannabis advisory group that includes medical professionals and consumer and industry representatives. This group will continue to provide feedback as the medicinal cannabis scheme is developed.
How to have your say
The closing date for submissions is 5.00 pm, Wednesday 7 August 2019.
We suggest you start by reading the Short Guide to the Consultation Document (coming soon), which highlights the areas of interest for different audiences. Then read the sections of the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme Public Consultation Document relevant to your interests:
You can then provide feedback by:
Your feedback is important because it will help shape the final proposals, ensuring they are workable and that the purpose of the legislation is achieved. We appreciate you taking the time to make a submission.
The Ministry of Health are also holding information sessions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and will be providing additional material for those who can’t attend.
If you have any questions, or want more information on the information sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found on the Ministry of Health website here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/medicinal-cannabis-scheme-consultation
Next steps after the consultation
The Ministry of Health will analyse the feedback and consult with the Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Group before providing advice to the Government on the outcomes of the consultation, including any proposed changes. The Ministry of Health will then seek approval from Cabinet on the regulatory proposals and work with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to draft the proposed Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations.
They are aiming to have the regulations made by 18 December 2019 and to have the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme operational in the first quarter of 2020.