New Zealand Medical Cannabis Agency: Update – pesticide use during medicinal cannabis cultivation

Here’s the update

The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) set the minimum quality standard that medicinal cannabis products and ingredients must meet before they can be supplied in New Zealand. Importers, manufacturers and suppliers must apply for assessment and provide evidence to the Medicinal Cannabis Agency (the Agency) to verify that their products meet the minimum quality standard.

Under regulation 18, the following must not be treated with a pesticide unless the pesticide is a trade name product that is registered under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 (ACVM Act) for use on cannabis:

  • any starting material intended for export
  • cannabis from which a cannabis-based ingredient is extracted
  • an ingredient of a medicinal cannabis product.

The Agency is aware that some growers wish to use pesticides on their crops and the Regulations currently do not allow this. While this issue is explored further, we propose an interim solution of allowing certain pesticide active ingredients to be used on medicinal cannabis crops. Licence holders must still comply with all other requirements of the Regulations, including Regulation 7, which specifies the pesticides that must be tested for and the limits that apply.

Users, importers, and manufacturers of pesticide products in New Zealand must also be aware of their obligations under other pieces of legislation.

More information on the list of pesticide active ingredients for which the Agency has no objection to the use of during the cultivation of cannabis can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

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