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Extension of Medicinal Cannabis Scheme transitional arrangements to 30 September 2021on 19 March
Extension of Medicinal Cannabis Scheme transitional arrangements to 30 September 2021
The Government remains committed to continuing patient access to prescribed medicinal cannabis products and has agreed to further extend the transitional period to 30 September 2021.
The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) came into effect on 1 April last year. The Regulations set a minimum quality standard for medicinal cannabis ingredients and products and introduced a licensing regime to enable the establishment of a domestic industry to cultivate, manufacture and supply medicinal cannabis.
The Regulations also provided for a transitional period to enable medicinal cannabis products that had already been imported into New Zealand as at 1 April 2020, to continue to be supplied without a product assessment until 1 October 2020. The transitional provisions were put in place to ensure that patients currently accessing these products were able to continue doing so while importers and suppliers provide evidence to the Medicinal Cannabis Agency to verify that their products meet the minimum quality standard.
Suppliers have indicated difficulties in providing evidence to establish that their existing products meet the quality standard, which is further complicated by COVID-19 affecting global supply chains. Cabinet have previously supported importers and suppliers to ensure that the supply of existing medicinal cannabis products was not disrupted, by extending the transitional period to 31 March 2021.
Pharmacies will still be able to source their patients’ currently prescribed medicinal cannabis products through their existing suppliers, with products not required to meet the quality standards until 1 October 2021. Prescribers can be assured there is no inadvertent disruption to the supply of medicinal cannabis products they prescribe to their patients.
Prescribers can access a list of products once verified on the Ministry of Health website.