Alex Person

New Zealand Expands Medical Cannabis; Adult-Use Referendum Expected

New Zealand lawmakers have passed a comprehensive medical cannabis law that will allow for immediate use by terminally ill patients, ABC News reports.

The full medical cannabis regulations will take time to roll out, which is why the law provides protection for those who may not have the time to wait. New Zealand is also expected to hold an adult-use legalization referendum within the next two years.

Prior to this development, medical cannabis in the country has been highly restricted. The new regulations will allow patients to have much broader access to cannabis.

“People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain.” — Dr. David Clark, Health Minister for New Zealand, via ABC News

Opponents of the new law call it “decriminalization by stealth” and say dry herb cannabis is “not a medicine.”

New Zealand‘s Ministry of Health is expected to release a paper explaining the coming medical cannabis market’s structure sometime early next year, which will be followed by a period of open public comment.

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