Medicinal cannabis bill provisions questioned

Beverley Aldridge, Otamatea Grey Power president

National’s medicinal cannabis regime ‘lacks compassion for ordinary Kiwis’ according to Otamatea Grey Power.

Last week National lodged a member’s bill to implement a comprehensive medicinal cannabis regime to widen access to medicinal cannabis and license high-quality domestic production.

The proposed regime calls for medicinal cannabis products to be approved in the same way medicine is approved by Medsafe along with a number of other regulations. Otamatea Grey Power president, Beverley Aldridge, is unimpressed with the party’s proposals.

“Their insistence on pharmaceutical grade only is an amazingly benevolent windfall for the pharmaceutical companies who are currently lining up to line their pockets,” she says. 

“It must be paid for privately, making it available to the rich, including MPs and retired MPs who receive very generous pensions and perks. After nine years in power, they have produced this bill, which will make them part of an exclusive health club.”

 Leader of the opposition, Simon Bridges, says National has been considering the issue of medicinal cannabis while the Health Caucus committee has been hearing submissions on the government’s own medicinal cannabis bill.

“The government’s bill utterly fails both those tests, so we will vote against it. It includes only minor improvements to how cannabidiol products are treated, which the previous National government had already facilitated.

“It is also totally silent on how a medicinal cannabis regime would operate in practice,” Mr Bridges says.  


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