Access to medicinal cannabis for patients in New Zealand will become easier after the government today released details of its proposed medicinal cannabis scheme.

The Kiwi government committed to establishing a medicinal cannabis scheme to improve access to quality medicinal cannabis products.

This will be done by enabling the commercial cultivation of the drug and the manufacture of products in the country.

It also sought to set standards for the products so that medical practitioners “can prescribe them with more confidence”.

In a 109-page consultation document released today, the Ministry of Health has opened its scheme to the public in order to seek feedback from the public, industry, health care professionals.

This feedback will then be used to roll out the scheme in the near future, serving as a plank for the regulation and infrastructure that will need to be built.

“Medicinal cannabis products are available on prescription with ministerial approval. However, there is a lack of affordable products made to a quality standard available in New Zealand,” the document says.

“The scheme proposes to increase supply of products through licensing the cultivating of cannabis in New Zealand and the manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis products made to quality standards.

“It must deliver quality, affordable products to patients and be commercially sustainable.”

New Zealand is further down the road than Australia, which is currently struggling to improve access for patients.

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