Cook Islands looks into producing medicinal cannabis itself

Radio NZ reports

The Cook Islands could start growing its own cannabis following the country voting in favour of it being allowed for medicinal use.

A legally non-binding referendum on medicinal cannabis was held in August 2022 alongside the Cook Islands general election.

Sixty-two percent of respondents voted “yes” to the question: “Should we review our cannabis laws to allow for research and medicinal use?”

The Government has since created a committee to look into rules, regulations and availability for medicinal cannabis.

Committee chair Tingika Elikana said the country might need to change its laws to allow cannabis to be manufactured.

“If the opportunity is cheaper for us to manufacture our own to treat those with ailments in the country, then we might have to go down that road and encourage people to get that opportunity,” Elikana said.

“If we’re going to go down the road of manufacturing our own medicinal cannabis, then we might have to look at the issue of possession, because you don’t want to catch everybody who are legally entitled to possess because of being involved in the manufacturing of cannabis medicine in the Cook Islands.”

Elikana said the Cook Islands may allocate manufacturing licences or allow people to grow a certain amount for personal use.

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