Medicinal cannabis producers are looking at growing more plants and exploring different product options as regulations are being relaxed. The government has approved changes to New Zealand's medicinal cannabis scheme, expected to make it cheaper for patients getting a prescription.
Currently, the average cost for patients' prescriptions from a pharmacy is several hundred dollars for up to a couple of months' supply. Cabinet released the changes in July, and Medsafe, which regulated medicines and medical devices, said broadening the medicinal cannabis categories meant a wider range of plants could be grown locally and more cannabis products exported.
Acting group manager Derek Fitzgerald said changing the quality labeling requirements for exports of medicinal cannabis meant New Zealand companies could access markets more readily. He said because New Zealand had a small population, our medicinal cannabis market was also small.
"We recognize that access to export markets is necessary to help ensure our local industry can continue to be commercially viable. "The changes are designed to streamline and update the scheme's compliance requirements without compromising the overall quality of cannabis-based ingredients and medicinal cannabis products supplied to New Zealand patients. This will help ensure a sustainable medicinal cannabis industry in New Zealand."
Read more at rnz.co.nz