There is a heated debate going on surrounding cannabis legalization worldwide right now. New Zealand is not any different. While many countries have legalized medicinal or recreational usage for citizens, you may find the regulations concerning possession and cultivation of cannabis in New Zealand harsh. If you want to buy high-quality cannabis in New Zealand, Cheers! You’ve come to the right place.
If you are visiting the country or reside in New Zealand, it’s good to know the marijuana laws. At 420 Expert Adviser, we have gathered all the necessary information just for you to make your purchase pleasant.
So, why wait? Let’s begin with the role of cannabis in New Zealand history!
- 1 Cannabis In The History Of New Zealand
- 2 Marijuana Legalization In New Zealand
- 3 Hemp Industry in New Zealand
- 4 What Are The Rules To Buy Cannabis Seeds In New Zealand
- 5 Cannabis Referendum In New Zealand
- 6 It’s a YES – NO Battle!
- 7 Last Thoughts
Cannabis In The History Of New Zealand
Before the arrival of the Europeans, there wasn’t much contact between cannabis and New Zealand. However, when the British colonized, they introduced drugs to the Maori people, generally as ‘pain killers.’
Back then, there were no drug regulations and charges in place, so New Zealanders were able to consume them freely.
In 1927, the government passed the Dangerous Drugs Act, which listed ‘Indian Hemp‘ as a regulated substance. However, people still used it as prescribed medicine at this time.
When New Zealand endorsed the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961, the authorities banned cannabis altogether. The government reinforced that decision in the Narcotics Act of 1965.
During the sixties, recreational cannabis was popular. Younger people started doing more experiments with psychotropic drugs. To this day, its utility continues prevailing.
In fact, it is the most popularly adopted recreational drug after caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
Marijuana Legalization In New Zealand
Police are devoted to lowering the demand for marijuana and breaking the supply chain. Each year police target the people who produce and supply cannabis by aerial hunts throughout New Zealand.
They seize and destroy illegal crops. Police can also take assets and money that the person earned through the supply of marijuana.
New Zealand Laws: Possession And Consumption of Cannabis
As said in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, it is currently illegal to occupy or use any regulated drugs in New Zealand, including weed.
The government has listed cannabis as a Class B drug, which indicates that it is considered as presenting a “high risk of harm.” It suggests that the judge in court must impose a custodial sentence, unlike a Class C drug.
If the policemen catch a person using or possessing marijuana, the court may give the offender a three-month jail order, a fine not more than $500, or both.
In reality, the police force often turns a blind eye to its usage, particularly in small quantities.
The judge can waive the prison sentence if the person can prove that they got possession of the marijuana to stop someone else from doing an offense with it, or that they took it to transfer it on to someone who was legally allowed to have it.
However, all this is about to reform in New Zealand. In 2017, the government declared that they would be taking a cannabis referendum in 2020 to collect information about the public’s opinion on decriminalizing or even legalizing recreational marijuana usage.
Sandra Murray, the campaign manager for #makeitlegal, commented in The Guardian, “We know from polls over a number of years that a majority of New Zealanders support cannabis law reform.”
Can I Grow Cannabis Plant In New Zealand
You cannot cultivate ‘prohibited plants’ in New Zealand. If the police find a person doing so, the offender could get a prison order of up to seven years.
Despite this, people still cultivate cannabis in New Zealand. The primary reasons for growing cannabis plants were for private use and for sharing with others.
Some people develop it for therapeutic purposes, as it’s currently hard to get medical marijuana products on prescription. A researcher from Massey University discovered that 16% of the cannabis growers in New Zealand had come into touch with the police.
Laws About Medical Marijuana And CBD In New Zealand
Before the end of 2018, medical marijuana products were ready in New Zealand; but there was limited access to them. Because of no domestic manufacturing facilities in the country. Due to that, products like Sativex were expensive and hard to get.
The practitioner may approve some unlicensed products such as Cesamet or Marinol on a case-by-case basis, but this doesn’t happen more often.
The government made essential revisions to the law in December 2018. These included the following:
- Safer access for terminally ill sufferers who can now buy cannabis without requiring a prescription.
- The elimination of CBD from the list of controlled items makes it easily accessible for patients who need it.
- New regulation-making authority, setting quality standards for medicinal marijuana products produced or imported into the nation.
Health Minister David Clarke commented that people nearing the edge of their lives should not worry about being captured or jailed for trying to manage their illness. This is a kind and caring legislation that will make an actual difference to people.
The Prohibition Partners asked Manu Caddie, CEO of Hikurangi Cannabis Company, about his views on the future of the medicinal marijuana industry.
They expect 3-4 serious medicinal marijuana companies to be established and licensed in New Zealand over the next two years. They also expect some of the Canadian companies to partner with New Zealand companies, said Manu Caddie.
Before 2018, CBD was accessible on prescription only. However, the government passed a revision to that rule at the end of 2018, which changed its legal status.
Now, CBD is no longer classified as a regulated drug, and people can buy and use it with a prescription for up to three months. However, the condition for the people to follow is that the levels of THC must not surpass 2% of the total CBD and other psychoactive products.
Hemp Industry in New Zealand
Breeders can legally grow hemp in New Zealand, as long as the producer has a license. They can get it from the government.
Hemp is classified as a regulated drug in the Misuse of Drugs Act. The law allows its farming, as long as the THC ratio is ‘generally’ below 0.35%.
Though, the law clearly says that the vendors will not promote the hemp for psychoactive ideas or provided to unauthorized people. The farmers can grow only certain types of species, which are defined by the Director-General of Health.
A standard license to cultivate hemp persists till one year and costs $511.11. The producers can also get an extra research and breeding license, which costs a further $153.33.
Industrial hemp farming is becoming more prevalent in the nation. In 2018, the first Hemp Summit was held in Wellington, where visitants got a chance to learn more about the business.
What Are The Rules To Buy Cannabis Seeds In New Zealand
As of now, since the authorities have not declared or established the law, it is still illegal to occupy or cultivate cannabis. Yet, citizens in New Zealand do have the alternative of buying cannabis seeds for their personal accumulation.
If you’re looking for cannabis in New Zealand, you can visit the local dispensaries and stores to explore more.
People in New Zealand may not be able to buy weed seeds locally due to limited availability, but that doesn’t imply they cannot start collecting cannabis seeds.
Instead, they’ll need to purchase souvenir cannabis seeds. These kinds of seeds are equivalent to those meant for germination, but people buy them with the idea of starting a collection rather than germination.
They are still usable seeds, and you can germinate them in the future. The intention behind this is chiefly to start getting seeds now, so when the rules do change, the user will already have several strains to pick from and can begin with the cultivation of their own plants right away.
Your seed collection can be as little or as big as you would like. Buyers can choose the strains they want and order the cannabis seeds online from reliable seed banks like Crop King Seeds, i49, or MSNL.
To purchase CBD products, you require a medical expert to write you a prescript and then have them or a pharmacy provides you the CBD oil. Any dispensary can order in some CBD for you if they don’t have it on hand.
However, this can be very expensive, depending on the markup of the pharmacy.
If you want to explore the hemp world, HempNZ is home to the biggest and most iconic hemp brands in New Zealand. They have a diversity of bulk and retail options along with medicinal and hemp fiber.
Cannabis Referendum In New Zealand
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern committed to holding a ‘cannabis referendum’ by 2020 at the election time. This referendum would allow the public a chance to share their opinions on decriminalizing recreational cannabis use, among other things.
The government of New Zealand has declared the final details of a marijuana legalization project that will occur on the September general election ballot.
Citizens will vote on the policy reform through a poll, where they will have to vote “yes” or “no” to allowing the “Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.” They released the early details about the measure in December. Andrew Little, the Member of the New Zealand Parliament tweeted about this and said the following:
At this year’s General Election you will be asked to make a choice on 2 different referendums – for cannabis legalisation and control, and end of life choice. Here’s factual, impartial info so you can be confident about what you’re voting on.
— Andrew Little (@AndrewLittleMP) May 1, 2020
The government revealed that the purpose of the legislation is to reduce the illegal market, support public health, and guarantee quality control on cannabis products. Under the measure, cannabis businesses could not advertise.
If more than 50 percent of electors support the ballot question, marijuana wouldn’t be instantly legalized. Instead, it would then be obligatory on the legislature to pass the bill that is the referendum’s subject. This would come after lawmakers collected public input on the reform movement.
While some people desired the referendum to be self-executing, indicating that the law would take impact as soon as the voters approve.
This version is “irrevocable” in the sense that administrators are adequately needed to pass the bill. But they could still amend it, and it’s not clear how vital those reforms could end up being.
Main Features of the Cannabis Referendum
The target of this bill is to reduce harm from marijuana use by monitoring and regulating all phases of the supply chain, including producing, providing, consuming, and selling cannabis in New Zealand.
The bill achieves this by:
- granting access to legal marijuana that matches quality and potency specifications
- excluding the illegal supply of weed
- increasing awareness of the health risks connected with cannabis usage
- restraining young people’s access to marijuana
- narrowing the public visibility of weed
- demanding health advice on packaging and at the time of buying
- gaining access to health and social services and other sorts of support for families/whānau
- Ensuring the reply to any violation of the law is fair, supports compliance, and diminishes overall harm.
According to recent surveys, there is increasing support for the case, but specialists believe it will be a close call. In the meantime, the imminent decision on marijuana has resulted in CBD oil businesses starting up in the nation, waiting for the vast possibilities that total legalization could bring.
Referendum tallies will not be counted on election night. The Electoral Commission will publish preliminary referendum results on Friday, 30 October. They will release the official decisions on Friday, 6 November.
You can read the referendum bill at referendums.govt.nz, or for a quick read, there is a bill review. You may also find a list of Frequently Asked Questions and see the technical guide.
It’s a YES – NO Battle!
Some organizations are operating to educate people about the benefits of cannabis, while some oppose the legalization. Let’s see one from each!
The founders established the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in 1980. They strive to end marijuana prohibition in New Zealand.
NORML’s purpose is to affect public sentiment enough to legalize the efficient use of cannabis by grown-ups. It also works as an advocate for customers to ensure they have access to high-quality cannabis that is reliable, convenient, and affordable.
NORML New Zealand supports the referendum’s Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill and suggests the residents enroll and vote YES!
New Zealand will be the first nation to operate a poll to choose whether to legalize the sale, possession, and production of marijuana. If the people vote yes in September, New Zealand will be only one of the few countries where recreational and medical marijuana is legal.
Say Nope to Dope
Say Nope to Dope is a project of a group of concerned corporations and people. They resist any effort to legalize cannabis for recreational objectives.
They believe that drug use is both a criminal and a wellness concern. Any plan to go soft on drug usage, drug cultivation, and drug dealing at any level should be rejected entirely.
Maintaining its illegality but making a smart prevention policy linked with the law’s coercion is the correct answer to drug usage.
Which one is right? Whom should the residents follow? Only the future of the country beholds the answer.
What Would It Mean for the Nation if the People and Politicians of New Zealand Chose Cannabis?
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand could be the next big performer on the global marijuana market when every single penny counts.
Experts estimate that the global market for legal marijuana can be worth $73.6 billion (USD) by 2027!
The suggested bill would allow grown-ups over 20 to buy and possess up to 14 grams of weed per day. Only the licensed companies will sell cannabis products with a little THC set at 15%.
Also, families will be able to cultivate up to a maximum of four cannabis plants.
The NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) predicts that the legal marijuana industry could get approximately half a billion USD a year in the nation.
Stuff records that, apart from the cash from sales and taxes, the government would also accumulate millions of dollars on the police and court expenses connected with marijuana crimes.
In total, legalizing cannabis would put around an extra billion dollars a year in the pocket of the country.
The government has legalized medical marijuana for a while now in New Zealand, but a assumed yes to recreational usage could also help the CBD and Hemp market.
Reports imply that people started establishing a large number of CBD companies in the faith that they can earn profit from the current state of affairs.
The government has taken successive actions in terms of making medicinal marijuana more available and promoting the growth of industrial hemp production.
It remains to be witnessed whether New Zealand citizens will support the plan, as polling on the subject has evoked mixed results.
One of the most recent analysis, published in March, revealed that 54 percent of citizens are in support of legalizing weed for private use—a six percentage point rise since the earlier poll.
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