Is CBD Oil Legal in New Zealand?

by in International Law October 1, 2019

CBD has become a worldwide sensation, with some estimates guessing that the compound will generate an impressive $20 billion by 2024. The reason for this? The drug has become wildly popular, and now boasts millions of users. Countless anecdotal reports and some scientific evidence suggests that CBD shows promise in being very helpful for addressing a variety of physical and emotional ailments.

At the same time, many countries around the world have reexamined the way in which they regulate the substance, acknowledging that it is not marijuana and should be treated differently. One such example is New Zealand, which recently changed their laws after receiving such advice from their Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs.

Is CBD Oil Allowed in New Zealand?

CBD oil is legal in New Zealand, but only with a valid doctor’s prescription.

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, recent legislation reclassified CBD from a class B1 controlled drug – the use of which is illegal – to a prescription medicine. As a result, the compound is no longer illegal. Instead, however, it’s use is strictly regulated. For CBD to be legal, even with a prescription, it must contain no more than .2% THC (or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the active ingredient in cannabis commonly associated with intoxication).

No one traveling to New Zealand may bring CBD with them – even if they have a prescription from a Doctor or other medical practitioner. Individuals who have been prescribed CBD may import a three months supply into the country.

Hemp Production in New Zealand

Hemp production is legal in the country. In 2018, the industry had grown so popular that a hemp education hub was actually opened. The industry was expected to rapidly expand with a change in rules which allows for edible hemp seeds to be eaten by humans, not just animals.

Interestingly, hemp could be grown if it had a THC content of up to .35% THC – a number slightly higher than that used in the United States and Europe (usually between .2 and .3%). In order to obtain a permit for hemp growth, farmers had to fill out an application and pay a fee of $511.

Other Drug Laws in New Zealand

Recreational cannabis is illegal in New Zealand, despite the fact that its consumption is the fourth-most used recreational drug (caffeine, alcohol and tobacco) and the most popular illegal drug. However, 2020 could be an interesting year for cannabis legalization in the country, as the government has put a non-binding referendum on the ballot. The referendum would question whether or not to legalize cannabis consumption for personal use, and a formal vote is expected by November 21, 2020. A poll in early August 2019 showed “Against” beating “For,” 49-37%, with another 14% undecided.

Author: Leafwindow Team

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