New Zealand Law Society - Committee divided on medicinal cannabis law

Committee divided on medicinal cannabis law

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Parliament's Health Committee has released its final report on the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.

The committee says it has been unable to reach agreement and therefore cannot recommend that the bill proceed.

The Government bill seeks to improve access to, and the quality of, medicinal cannabis. It would introduce an exception and a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis and to possess a cannabis utensil. It would also amend Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 to remove cannabidiol and CBD products from classification as controlled drugs.

The bill would also provide a regulation-making power to enable the setting of standards that products manufactured, imported, or supplied under licence must meet.

The committee says it received 1,786 written submissions on the bill, with only 1% not supporting its intent.

The report says Labour members of the committee support key provisions in the bill as part of establishing a medicinal cannabis scheme to increase the supply of quality medicinal cannabis products.

National Party members say important issues are involved and they are unable to support a bill that does not submit details of a blanket regulation making authority for a full medicinal cannabis scheme.

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