New Zealand hosts medical cannabis workshops for industry, aboriginal stakeholders

New Zealand regulators are hosting a series of workshops starting this week to give aboriginal and industry stakeholders the information they need to prepare applications for federal medical cannabis licenses – including cultivation, research and supply.

The workshops will take place in February and March at six locations throughout the country.

A session for Maori stakeholders will include information on the various government programs and initiatives available to support their businesses, a ministry spokesperson told Marijuana Business Daily, including funding and helping foster connections and relationships between aboriginal and other organizations.

“The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting equitable access to the economic benefits of the medicinal cannabis industry for Maori as well as supporting New Zealand’s overall trade and economic objectives,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

The Ministry of Health contacted other government agencies and will provide information on these programs and initiatives at the workshops.

The sessions for all industry stakeholders will focus on guidance for preparing license applications.

The regulatory foundation for the industry takes effect April 1, when the newly formed Medicinal Cannabis Agency will be ready to receive applications.

The Medicinal Cannabis Agency recently released the draft guidance document that will help applicants apply for the licenses.

Businesses will be able to apply for a single medical cannabis permit authorizing the holder to carry out one or more of the following activities:

  • Cultivation.
  • Nursery.
  • Research.
  • Possession for manufacturing activity.
  • Supply activity.

“You can choose whichever activity or combination of activities for which you wish to be licensed,” according to the draft guidance.

“The licensing framework enables you to submit a single application to conduct multiple activities, with the intention of reducing the overall administrative burden on applicants.”

Licenses are valid for one year and may be renewed.

Businesses may apply for activities to be added to the license at any time during year, but those activities will be authorized only for the duration of the original license.

The guidance, which remains a work in progress, was prepared for discussion at the workshops.

The workshops take place:

  1. Feb. 18 in Whangarei.
  2. Feb. 19 in Auckland.
  3. Feb. 20 in Rotorua.
  4. March 3 in Nelson.
  5. March 4 in Christchurch.
  6. March 5 in Wellington.

The Medicinal Cannabis Agency said no more seats are available at the workshops.

The presentation will be published online in mid-March.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at