Kiwi doctors can now prescribe medical cannabis without MOH approval

Today the New Zealand government announced it will be removing many of the restrictions surrounding medical cannabis.

Under the new rules, Kiwi doctors will no longer be required to gain approval from the Ministry of Health prior to prescribing cannabidiol (CBD) based products. This means that your local doctor will be able to prescribe you medical cannabis just as they would any other medicine. The move is expected to improve patient accessibility to medical marijuana and bring New Zealand cannabis laws “in line with international developments.”

The progression of New Zealand’s medical cannabis prescription process


Once a bureaucratic nightmare, the medical cannabis prescription process has become increasingly simple in recent months.

Historically, doctors required approval from the Minister of Health before prescribing any cannabis-based products. This changed in February 2017, when Ministerial approval shifted from the Minister of Health to the Ministry of Health. Fast forward just four short months to today’s announcement and the power of approval – at least where CBD is concerned – has now filtered down to doctors.

“I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change,” explained Mr Dunne in a press release.

“Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly.”

This is a very clear path of progression and reflects the global change in attitude toward medical marijuana.

What else has changed under the new rules?

Enabling doctors to prescribe CBD isn’t the only change the government is making. Under the new rules, pharmacies, wholesalers and other providers will no longer be required to obtain an import license to bring CBD-based products into New Zealand. In addition, doctors will be able to prescribe up to three months worth of CBD – up from just one month under the current regulations.

What can CBD be used for?

From a medical perspective, CBD is probably the most important cannabinoid found in cannabis. It has been the subject of hundreds of studies, with research suggesting it offers tangible therapeutic value for a range of conditions, including:

● Epilepsy
● Multiple sclerosis
● Neuropathic pain
● Parkinson’s disease
● Anxiety

…and more. If you’ve found traditional forms of treatment to be ineffective for your health condition, talk to your doctor to see if CBD could be right for you.

Today marks an important milestone for patients, doctors and cannabis supporters alike. Removing the restrictions on CBD prescriptions will improve accessibility for patients up and down the country and provide many with a higher quality of life. We look forward to seeing the positive impact these changes have on the country and hope the New Zealand government continues down this path to marijuana law reform.