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Patients in New Zealand benefit from new rules around medicinal cannabis

New rules have been introduced in New Zealand which could see patients face fewer barriers in accessing cannabis products.



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The Ministry of Healths Medicinal Cannabis Agency is to introduce a new process for cultivators and manufacturers of medicinal cannabis, which, it is hoped, will make the process for cultivator and manufacturer licenses to be granted.

The move is also set to benefit patients through it being made easier for doctors to prescribe products without the need for specialist visits, although they will only be able to prescribe products that have been approved by the Ministry of Healths quality standards. 

The new rules include quality standards for domestic and imported medicinal cannabis, alongside a licensing framework.

Cannabis products must meet Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards.

Furthermore, patients will only be able to access dose formmedications such as oils, tablets, and creams.

The new rules build on the progress made in the country in December 2018, when New Zealand introduced laws which protected patients requiring palliation, many of whom had terminal illnesses, from prosecution for use of medical cannabis.

While the new rules came into force in early April, experts predict it could be several months until they are able to be fully implemented due to the slowdown caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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