New Zealand draft recreational cannabis legislation released

New Zealand draft recreational cannabis legislation released

Whether you like it or not, having both medical and non-medical cannabis frameworks in place means there will be interaction between the two. Despite the qualitative differences between medical and non-medical products, services, regulations and patients/consumers, the legalisation of non-medical cannabis impacts medical users. 

FreshLeaf Analytics and the rest of the Southern Cannabis Holdings companies are exclusively focused on medical cannabis. But it would be negligent for a medical cannabis market intelligence company to ignore significant policy developments likely to impact the medical cannabis sector.

With that in mind, the New Zealand draft recreational cannabis legislation, the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, has been released. There are still lots of gaps to fill, and further details will be added in subsequent months, but it provides enough detail to get a flavour for the final bill that will be put to a Yes/No referendum question at the next NZ federal election.

Here is a brief summary on the key aspects of the draft bill:

  • 14g possession limits

It is proposed that Kiwis should only be able to hold up to 14g of dried cannabis in a public place (fine) and should only be able to purchase up to 14g of dried cannabis per day (problematic). Buying in bulk saves money so this is bad news for people on a budget.

  • No home delivery

No delivery or courier services are likely to be permitted, presumably to reduce risk and discourage work-arounds to the 14g daily limit. But this is bad for remote/rural communities who might not be serviced by a local store.

  • Limited home-grow

Home-grow is likely to be allowed, but only up to 2 plants per person or 4 plants per household. Home-made cookies etc. will be permitted, but no-one will be allowed to make home-made rosin or concentrates. Gifting up to 14g will also be permitted.

  • Everything will be licensed

A bunch of activities will require specific licenses from the government including transporting products, testing products and conducting research on products. Medical cannabis products are of course exempt from this framework.

  • No advertising (at all)

Very strict advertising and packaging laws will prevent all promotional activity. From our reading of the draft bill, not even plain-packaged cannabis products will be visible within licensed retail stores. You won’t be able to smell or see the product until you get back home.

  • Licensed consumption venues

Or until you get to a licensed consumption venue. These are specifically included in the draft bill and will be allowed to sell cannabis and cannabis products as well as food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Keep in mind this is the first publicly available draft and will be expanded and edited in subsequent versions. It’s going to be an interesting year in NZ – the new medical cannabis regulations are due out any day now!


FreshLeaf Analytics, a division of Southern Cannabis Holdings, is the leading supplier of data about the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia. We have access to medicinal cannabis product, pricing and clinical data sets from some of Australia’s leading healthcare companies and organizations including healthcare clinics, pharmacies, product suppliers and the TGA. The FreshLeaf Analytics team provides custom research, analysis and consulting services in the Medicinal Cannabis market in Australia. The FreshLeaf Analytics team can be contacted on +61 2 8203 8741 or info@freshleafanalytics.com.au 

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