Radio NZ Article: Medicinal cannabis industry growing as regulation overhaul given green light

Medicinal cannabis producers are looking at growing more plants and exploring different product options as regulations are being relaxed.

The government has approved changes to New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis scheme, expected to make it cheaper for patients getting a prescription.

Currently, the average cost for patients’ prescriptions from a pharmacy is several hundred dollars for up to a couple of months’ supply.

Cabinet released the changes in July and Medsafe, which regulated medicines and medical devices, said broadening the medicinal cannabis categories meant a wider range of plants could be grown locally, and more cannabis products exported.

Acting group manager Derek Fitzgerald said changing the quality labelling requirements for exports of medicinal cannabis meant New Zealand companies could access markets more readily.

He said because New Zealand had a small population, our medicinal cannabis market was also small.

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