Supplementary Order Paper No 177

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) amends the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.

As introduced, the Bill provided an exception and a defence to the offence of possessing and using cannabis for people with a terminal illness. This SOP proposes to broaden the exception and defence so that they apply to people who require palliation. A person requires palliation if, in the opinion of a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, the person has an advanced progressive life-limiting condition and is nearing the end of their life.

This SOP proposes to give further guidance about the regulation-making power to prescribe minimum quality standards for products that contain controlled drugs. The proposed amendments—

  • allow minimum quality standards to be prescribed for a product or for the processes by which a product is cultivated, manufactured, produced, imported, or supplied; and

  • allow minimum quality standards to apply generally to a product, or only if specified criteria are met; and

  • ensure that minimum quality standards that relate to products containing cannabis cannot require that the variety of plant contained in the product was brought into New Zealand with authorisation, if the variety is established in New Zealand at the time the product is manufactured or produced; and

  • require the Minister of Health to recommend the making of regulations setting minimum standards for products containing cannabis no later than 1 year after the date on which the Bill comes into force.

This SOP also proposes—

  • to exempt substances that naturally occur in cannabis from being controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 if the substances are not capable of inducing more than a minor psychoactive effect; and

  • to amend the definition of CBD product to reflect that such products may potentially contain small amounts of THC-related psychoactive substances.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Ministry of Health is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Supplementary Order Paper. It provides access to information about any material policy changes to the Bill and identifies any new significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill as amended.

The Honourable Dr David Clark, in Committee, to propose the amendments shown in the following document.