Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

  • defeated on 31 January 2018

Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill

270—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

The medical use of cannabis should be legal, accessible and affordable.

The purpose of this Bill is to make it legal for New Zealanders who are suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition to use cannabis or cannabis products with the support of a registered medical practitioner.

The Bill amends the Misuse of Drugs Act to make a specific exemption for any person with a qualifying medical condition to cultivate, possess or use the cannabis plant and/or cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, provided they have the support of a registered medical practitioner. The exemption for cultivation and possession would also apply to an immediate relative or any other person nominated by the person with such a diagnosis, for the sole purpose of administering or supplying cannabis or its related products to the person.

The Bill also ensures that non-psychoactive cannabis plants and products are not controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It clarifies that a non-psychoactive compound, Cannabidiol (CBD), is excluded from the definition of cannabis, and therefore exempt.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 is the commencement clause. It provides that the Bill comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Clause 3 states that the Bill amends the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 (the principal Act ).

Clause 4 amends section 2, which relates to the interpretation, by inserting definitions of terms, such as medicinal cannabis, that are used in clause 5.

Clause 5 inserts new section 9A , which creates an exemption from the Act and other enactments for medicinal cannabis in the circumstances specified in that section.

Clause 6 amends section 37, which concerns the making of regulations. The amendments provide for the making of regulations that—

  • prohibit, limit, restrict, and impose conditions on the cultivation, administration, supply, use, or possession of medicinal cannabis:

  • prescribe information to be contained in the supportive medical report.