The Government today released the full and final Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill that New Zealanders will be voting for at the referendum on 19 September.
“These final new details strengthen the controls from the initial draft, making it a world-leading piece of public health legislation. The Bill delivers government-controlled regulations over the production, supply and use of cannabis, with the intent of reducing harms, particularly for young people,” said Ross Bell, Drug Foundation Executive Director.
“At a time when comprehensive public health controls are proving their worth and saving lives, we applaud the Government’s work at designing cannabis regulations appropriate for New Zealand’s local needs. This final version gives all the information New Zealanders need to help inform their vote”
“In true Kiwi fashion, this Bill doesn’t just follow in the footsteps of other nations, instead the government has created terms and conditions to control cannabis which meet the key needs of New Zealand.
“There are almost 600,000 regular consumers currently accessing cannabis from an un-controlled, illicit market. This Bill doesn’t create a cannabis market, it puts solid public health controls over this existing market,” said Mr Bell.
The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill creates a system of licenses and regulation over cultivation, the quality and strength of products that are made, where those can be sold and who they can be sold to:
- Cannabis will only be available to adults aged 20 years or older; It will not be sold to teenagers.
- Only specialist stores licenced by the government will be able to sell cannabis
- The tax collected from the sale of cannabis will be put towards health and education programmes for all New Zealanders
- The potency of cannabis will be limited
- Cannabis use will be allowed in private homes and specifically licensed premises; it cannot be used in public
- No advertising for cannabis products will be allowed, and consumer and health warnings will be required
- A phased approach will be taken to carefully control when new and novel products are allowed to be sold.
“Under this Bill, the government takes control over the cannabis market, from seed to sale. It raises new revenue with an excise tax and special cannabis levy to be spent on treatment and drug education services for the benefit of all New Zealanders.