Cannabis referendum: how legalisation could change access for medicinal cannabis patients

Many medicinal cannabis patients say they’re “holding out all hope” for recreational cannabis to be legalised, so they have safer, more affordable options, and can stop turning to the illicit market.

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In September, New Zealanders will vote on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which has been written to give Kiwis an idea of what the law for recreational cannabis might look like.

If the bill is passed and brought into law after the election, what would change for medicinal cannabis patients?

New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis regime officially took effect on April 1, 2020, but thousands of Kiwis are still relying on the illicit market, due to the limited and extremely high cost of accessing cannabis-based prescriptions.

For those who have gone down the legal route, their only option is to pay hundreds of dollars each month for a handful of approved but non-funded medicines.

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