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Are cannabis seeds legal in new zealand

New Zealand

While New Zealand still looks forward to a 2020 General Election Referendum on cannabis decriminalization (the actual ballot text is not yet available), medicinal use is legal in very limited circumstances. The decriminalization referendum came about from a petition in the legislature, and the referendum before voters will be binding, meaning it will be required to be implemented if it wins a majority of votes. Interested parties should refer to the Electoral Commission site for updates on the text and voter information.

Medical use was legalized under limited circumstances via the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act Bill 12-2 in December 2018. Exemption from prosecution is secure for qualified patients prior to the implementation of a national cultivation supply, which must occur by December 2019.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Sativex are possible to prescribe without ministerial approval. Industrial hemp must contain less than 0.35% THC and must be made by a licensed producer. Advertising hemp with intoxicating properties is illegal and is governed by the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 .

All other cannabis products are Class B1 controlled substances, and can be prescribed only to those with a terminal illness requiring palliative care. Palliation is certified by a medicinal practitioner or nurse practitioner who attests that the individual has an advanced, progressive, life-limiting condition and is nearing the end of life. Previously, the only use permitted was for those in the last 12 months of life, as determined by a physician. Cannabis use is also permitted for multiple sclerosis spasticity, but both conditions require a medicinal practitioner to submit an application.

Regulatory authority

The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing and enforcing rules around medicinal cannabis as well as cultivation licensing, guidance for growers, and formulation of a domestic cultivation and taxation framework. They also govern industrial hemp and CBD regulations.

Prescribing medical cannabis

The Ministry of Health developed a flowchart to help clinicians navigate the process of prescribing and the numerous approvals that are required. The options for prescription are extremely limited and generally approved via a case-by-case application submitted by a medical or nurse practitioner. Complete guidelines are available here .

  1. Sativex is a nasal spray which must be prescribed per Medsafe guidelines . There is a long titration period of gradual dosage increase which must be adhered to. A prescription for Sativex to treat multiple sclerosis does not require an application.
  2. Applications for other new pharmaceutical-grade and nonpharmaceutical-grade products must meet a list of requirements and be sent to [email protected] .
  3. CBD products that contain enough THC to be intoxicating are available only through a prescription.

Consuming medicinal cannabis

All plant and plant derivatives are allowable under strict medicinal conditions.


New Zealand offers guidance for importing medicines and the national laws and regulations are universally applied within its borders. No U.S. products are permitted, as the U.S. still federally prohibits cannabis. Otherwise, import is permitted if a patient declares the following to N.Z. Customs, certifying that the drug:

  • is required for treating a medicinal condition for you or for someone under your care who is traveling with you;
  • has been lawfully supplied to you in the country of origin
  • is no more than one month’s supply.

Cultivation licensing

Personal cultivation is not legal and medicinal cannabis is tightly controlled. A license for growing cannabis can be only applied for a medicinal prescription application.

Per the Ministry of Health : “Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you do not have details of who your product will be supplied to or that person does not yet have the appropriate licenses, you may have a condition on the license that product cannot be supplied. This can be updated as more information becomes available.”

Formal licensure can be pursued only for medicinal use or scientific research in clinical trials. Commercial cultivation is prohibited. There is a fee schedule available:

Currently, there is no cultivation licensure fee for:

  • growing cannabis
  • harvesting cannabis
  • drying cannabis
  • storing cannabis
  • possessing cannabis and its seed.

Currently, a NZ$966 fee applies for dealing licensure:

  • possessing cannabis, seeds or cannabis products
  • storing cannabis, seeds or cannabis products
  • extracting, processing or hulling cannabis and its seed
  • manufacturing products from cannabis, cannabis extracts, or cannabis seed for scientific research only
  • selling or distributing cannabis, seeds, or cannabis products.

Currently, a NZ$13,750 fee applies for manufacturing medicinal cannabis products or active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for therapeutic use, currently allowed to be manufactured for clinical trials only.

A separate import or export application fee of NZ$194.22 is added to a dealing license, requiring separate applications for each activity.

Industrial Hemp licensure is NZ$511 and can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

CBD and hemp

The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Act Amendment Bill 12-2 permits up to 2% trace THC in a product before requiring it to be prescribed as a THC product. The Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006 define industrial hemp by its THC content, which must be below 0.35%.

Are cannabis seeds legal in new zealand

Marijuana legalization is a hot topic throughout the world right now, and it’s no different in New Zealand. While many places have legalized medical or recreational use for residents, New Zealand still has strict laws regarding possession and cultivation. However, a new referendum is in place that could change these laws and allow residents to enjoy medical or recreational marijuana throughout the country. As of right now, since the laws have not passed or been enacted, it is still illegal to possess or cultivate marijuana. Still, residents in New Zealand do have the option of purchasing cannabis seeds for their personal collection. If you’re in New Zealand and looking for marijuana seeds, check out our large selection now to find the best ones to add to your collection.

Marijuana Laws and Legislation in New Zealand

Right now, it is not legal to possess or consume marijuana for recreational or medical purposes in New Zealand. However, there is a referendum that is up to vote on regarding the legalization of marijuana. This is still in the very early stages, but it does provide hope that legalization is just a short while away. This referendum would set a minimum age for the possession of marijuana as well as restrict where it can be consumed and create a license for businesses. It would also limit advertisements and promote public health education in all of the states of New Zealand.

New Zealand states, including Auckland, Waikato, Northland, and Taranaki, do not have individual laws right now allowing for the possession of marijuana. Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, and residents of Manawatu-Wanganui, as well as Wellington and the remaining states, do, however, have the option of voting on the referendum and have a say in what could happen in the future.

One state, Northland, has been pushing for legalization for some time now. Known unofficially as the “marijuana capital of New Zealand,” Northland has made headlines in the past with major grow operations being busted. The area is known for its weather and would be a perfect environment to grow marijuana if it were legal to do so. Northland has been trying to trial marijuana legalization as far back as 2012. As of the time writing this article it is still illegal to cultivate marijuana in Northland and other states, though changes may be coming to New Zealand as a whole.

Right now, the referendum in New Zealand does not quite have the support needed to pass. As of December 2019, there were around 45% of voters who were for passing the referendum. If it does pass, it will take some time for everything to get sorted out and for laws to change before marijuana will become legal.

Can You Still Buy Marijuana Seeds?

Those in New Zealand may not be able to purchase marijuana seeds locally because of little availability, but that doesn’t mean they cannot start a collection of marijuana seeds. Instead, they’ll want to purchase souvenir cannabis seeds. These are the same as those intended for germination, but they’re bought with the idea of starting a collection instead of germination. They are still viable seeds and can be germinated in the future. The idea behind this is mainly to start collecting seeds now, so when the laws do change, the buyer will already have a number of strains to pick from and can start growing their own plants right away.

A seed collection can be as small or as large as the collector would like. It’s just important to ensure the seeds are high-quality seeds and to make sure they are the strains the collector finds interesting or that they might like to grow if the laws change. Cannabis seeds can be collected and saved for the future, though seeds that are known as being more difficult to germinate may not be as good as an option for souvenir marijuana seeds compared to ones that are easier to germinate.

Buying Seeds to Use as Souvenir Seeds

Any marijuana seeds can count as souvenir cannabis seeds, as long as they’re not germinated. The intention is what matters here as seeds can be collected but cultivation is still illegal. Buyers can pick out the strains they prefer and order the seeds online through a reputable seed bank like i49. This gives them the opportunity to purchase different strains as well as different types so they can have a large collection ready once laws do change.

It is not yet known if the new laws that could come into play are going to allow for cultivation. However, if marijuana is legalized, cultivation could be allowed from the beginning or may be legalized later on. Those who collect seeds will be able to use their seeds as soon as cultivation is legal, especially if they have stored them properly. Those who are starting a collection with the intention of cultivating marijuana once it becomes legal can buy as many seeds as they would like, pre-legalization.

Marijuana seeds need to be stored in air-tight jars to prevent moisture from getting to them. They also need to be stored somewhere that is cool, and that is dark all of the time. This helps prevent light and warmth from reaching the seeds. As long as the seeds are stored properly, they will continue to be viable for at least three years. This way, if the laws do take some time to change, the collectors won’t have to worry about whether they will be able to germinate the seeds once cultivation becomes legal.

After cultivation becomes legal, some collectors may have older seeds that they will want to try to germinate. As long as they’ve purchased high-quality cannabis seeds from the beginning and made sure they stored them properly, this shouldn’t be an issue. Seeds can be tested to see if they are still viable, a process that can happen just before planting. Once the collector is ready to grow a plant, they can germinate the seed to produce a taproot that will be planted into soil.

What Type of Marijuana Seeds to Buy?

Marijuana seeds come with different labels, depending on the type of seed they are and what is needed to grow them. This includes regular seeds, feminized seeds, and auto-flowering seeds, all of which will be a great option depending on what the person wants when they grow the plants.

  • Regular Marijuana Seeds – Regular marijuana seeds produce both male and female plants. This is great for the grower who wants to breed new strains, as the male plants will pollinate the female ones. This is not so good for those who are just looking to harvest marijuana for personal consumption. This means growers will need to watch the plants carefully during the vegetative phase so male plants can be removed and used for something else before pollination can occur.
  • Feminized Marijuana Seeds – Feminized marijuana seeds remove the worry about male plants growing for those who just want to grow marijuana and not worry about saving seeds or breeding new strains. Those growing feminized seeds, especially indoors, will need to pay attention to the lighting schedule for the plants as they near the end of the vegetative stage. Marijuana plants are photo-dependent, so the number of daylight hours will need to be adjusted to enable them to begin flowering.
  • Auto-Flowering Marijuana Seeds – The last type of cannabis seeds is auto-flowering. These produce plants that are not photo-dependent, which means they will start to flower at the right point in their growth cycle, even if the lighting schedule isn’t changed. Often, auto-flowering seeds are also feminized, so they only produce female plants. This makes them an excellent option for beginners, as they are relatively easy to grow and don’t require as much care compared to photoperiod plants.

Try Out These Cannabis Seeds

When you want to purchase cannabis seeds, whether they’re for a collection or for growing, it’s important to choose the right ones to buy. There are a number of different ways to sort through the hundreds of seeds available on our website to make sure you find the perfect one. We offer a number of different categories, so you can find what you’re looking for and browse through everything that might be available to find new strains you might not have tried before.

For beginners, it’s helpful to look for seeds that are easier to grow. This enables them to get started with a smaller time commitment and have a much higher chance of getting a good harvest out of the plants they grow. Auto-flowering seeds like our Auto Moby Dick feminized seeds, as well as our Auto Gorilla Glue #4 feminized seeds, are some of the easiest to grow. Feminized seeds like our LA Confidential feminized seeds and Trainwreck feminized seeds are very easy to grow as well.

New collectors may want to go with what’s the least expensive to ensure they don’t spend a lot of money in case they find they don’t like growing their own marijuana once it does become legal. We offer a number of cheap seeds. Though regular seeds are often the least expensive, we do have some inexpensive auto-flowering seeds like Auto Gelato feminized seeds and Auto OG Kush feminized seeds. We also offer inexpensive feminized seeds like our Purple Kush feminized seeds and Blue Haze feminized seeds. Any of these are likely a good option for a beginner.

Most people will want to get as much as possible out of each plant. If the number of plants is limited per household once cultivation is legalized, this can be crucial since there can’t be a lot of plants grown at one time. Auto-flowering options that tend to have higher yields include our Auto Critical 2.0 feminized seeds and Auto Devil XXL feminized seeds. We also offer feminized seeds that are high-yield, including Grape Ape feminized seeds and Lemon OG feminized seeds.

Why Should You Purchase Marijuana Seeds from i49?

Marijuana seeds can be difficult to come by in New Zealand since cultivation and possession is illegal. For this reason, most collectors will purchase their seeds online. It can be risky to do this since there are many websites that will claim to offer marijuana seeds but will send out low-quality seeds, if they send any seeds at all. Instead, it’s always a better idea to look for a reputable seed bank to ensure the seeds are high-quality.

Our seed bank offers hundreds of different strains, making it easy for you to find the perfect ones to add to your collection. We only store high-quality marijuana seeds and hand-select all seeds before shipping them to your door. We also have a customer support team available if you have any questions before or after purchasing your seeds. Our goal is to make it easy for you to find marijuana seeds to add to your collection and to offer as many strains as possible so you can find what you’re looking for.

Marijuana may not yet be legal in New Zealand, but the laws are changing, and it is possible that cultivation will become legal in the near future. For now, it’s possible to purchase marijuana seeds and begin a seed collection. If you’d like to buy cannabis seeds in New Zealand, browse our store now and take a look at the hundreds of strains we have available or contact the i49 support team.

Cannabis in New Zealand – Laws, Use, and History

It’s currently illegal to use cannabis in New Zealand. However, the forthcoming cannabis referendum may change this. Under the current coalition government, the medicinal cannabis laws have already been altered, making it easier for patients to access cannabis products; and another law may soon be changed, decriminalising recreational cannabis use.

    • CBD Products
    • Legal
    • Recreational cannabis
    • Illegal
    • Medicinal cannabis
    • Legal

    Cannabis laws in New Zealand

    Can you possess and use cannabis in New Zealand?

    At present, it’s illegal to possess or use any controlled drugs in New Zealand, including cannabis, as stated in the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1975. Cannabis is listed as a Class B drug, which means that it’s regarded as presenting a “high risk of harm”. This means that, unlike a Class C drug, the Judge in court must impose a custodial sentence.

    If caught using or possessing cannabis, the individual may be given a three-month prison sentence, a fine not exceeding $500, or both. In reality, the police force often turn a blind eye to its use, especially in small amounts.

    The prison sentence may be waived if the individual can prove that they took possession of the cannabis to prevent someone else from committing an offence with it, or that they took it in order to pass it on to someone who was lawfully entitled to have it.

    It looked like the law was set to change in New Zealand. In 2017, the government stated that they would be holding a cannabis referendum in 2020, to gather information about the public’s view on decriminalising or even legalising recreational cannabis use.

    Sandra Murray, the campaign manager for #makeitlegal, commented in The Guardian, “We know from polls over a number of years that a majority of New Zealanders support cannabis law reform”.

    However, the referendum was overshadowed by 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, and polls indicated that public support of legalising cannabis was on the wane.

    Andrew Geddis, a public law professor (University of Otago) commented: “Those wanting to see a yes vote had to convince a reasonable number of people that their previous prohibitionist views were mistaken. At the moment, it doesn’t look like they have been able to do so and time really is running out.”

    It’s unclear whether Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s admission about using cannabis in the past will work for or against her. Unfortunately, the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, was defeated with a 50.7% majority.

    Can you sell cannabis in New Zealand?

    Selling and supplying cannabis is also illegal in New Zealand. In the Misuse of Drugs Act, it’s not differentiated from possessing or using; which means the same penalties apply.

    However, cannabis trafficking, or large-scale selling or supply, is regarded as a far more serious offence. If caught exporting or importing the drug, the offender may receive up to seven years in prison.

    Can you grow cannabis in New Zealand?

    It’s illegal to cultivate ‘prohibited plants’ in New Zealand. If caught doing so, the offender could receive a prison sentence of up to seven years.

    Despite this, cannabis is still grown in the country. The leading reasons for growing cannabis were for personal use and for sharing with others. Some grow it for medicinal reasons, as it’s currently difficult to obtain medicinal cannabis products on prescription. A researcher from Massey University found that 16% of New Zealand’s cannabis growers had come into contact with the police.

    Is CBD legal in New Zealand?

    Prior to 2018, CBD was available on prescription only. However, at the end of 2018, an amendment was passed, which altered its legal status. Now, CBD is no longer listed as a controlled drug, and can be purchased and used with a prescription, for up to three months. However, the levels of THC must not “exceed 2% of the total CBD THC and psychoactive related substances content in the product”.

    Can cannabis seeds be sent to New Zealand?

    At present, it’s still illegal to send cannabis seeds into New Zealand via the post. 19,000 seeds were seized by border control officials in 2018 alone.

    Medicinal cannabis in New Zealand

    Prior to the end of 2018, medicinal cannabis products were available in New Zealand; but access to them was limited. Due to the country having no domestic manufacturing facilities, the products (like Sativex) were costly and hard to obtain. Some unapproved products such as Cesamet or Marinol could be approved on a case-by-case basis, but this hardly ever occurred.

    • Better access for terminally ill patients (who can now obtain cannabis without needing a prescription).
    • The removal of CBD from the list of controlled substances – making it freely available for patients who need it.
    • New regulation-making power, establishing quality standards for medicinal cannabis products manufactured or imported into the country.

    Health Minister David Clarke commented: “People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain. This is compassionate and caring legislation that will make a real difference to people.”

    Manu Caddie, CEO of Hikurangi Cannabis Company, was asked by Prohibition Partners about his thoughts on the future of the medicinal cannabis industry. He commented: “We expect 3-4 serious medicinal cannabis companies to be established and licenced in New Zealand over the next two years. We also expect some of the Canadian companies to partner with New Zealand companies.”

    In 2019, the Ministry of Health approved new legislation, which was designed to make medicinal cannabis more accessible; through both domestic production and the relaxing of stringent prescription regulations.

    The medicinal cannabis minimum quality standard, was also introduced to ensure the consistency, and quality of the products available.

    A year later, the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme was finally put into action. It’s anticipated that this will improve availability for patients, and boost the medicinal cannabis industry as a whole.

    The original scheme provided a transitional period for medicinal cannabis products imported into New Zealand before 1 April, 2020, to continue to be supplied until 1 October, 2020. An extension has been granted enabling medicinal products to be supplied without a product assessment until 30 September, 2021.

    In October, 2021, New Zealand is set to host the prestigious MedCan medicinal cannabis summit. MedCan representatives commented: “the event has set out to build a solid foundation of scientific understanding for the advancement of the medicinal cannabis industry”

    Zahra Champion, Executive Director, of BioTechNZ expresses their “goal is to ensure all MedCan attendees come away with a comprehensive understanding about all that lies ahead and how we can best maximise this exciting sector’s success”. She additionally remarks that “with over $100 million invested so far in New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry, 2021 is our year to shine”.

    Industrial hemp in New Zealand

    Hemp can be legally grown in New Zealand, as long as the farmer has a licence. This can be obtained from the government.

    Hemp is listed as a controlled drug in the Misuse of Drugs Act, but its cultivation is permitted, as long as THC levels are ‘generally’ below 0.35%. However, the law clearly states that the hemp must not be advertised for “psychoactive” purposes or supplied to unauthorised persons. Only certain varieties can be grown, which are determined by the Director-General of Health.

    A general licence to grow hemp lasts one year and costs $511.11. An additional research and breeding licence can also be obtained, which costs a further $153.33.

    Industrial hemp cultivation is becoming more popular in the country. In 2018, the first Hemp Summit was held in Wellington, where visitors were able to learn more about the industry.

    Political parties and cannabis

    New Zealand’s coalition government (the Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First) passed a law in December 2018, which allowed terminally ill patients to use cannabis. They also stated that they would be holding a referendum in the future, to determine whether or not recreational cannabis use should be decriminalised. Their new laws also meant that medicinal cannabis products could be manufactured domestically, which would make them more accessible to patients.

    Chloe Swarbrick, an MP for the Green Party, backed the plans, saying that it showed commitment to addressing the problem of drug addiction, rather than labelling it as a criminal activity.

    However, not everyone supports the Labour Party’s views. Some parties, like the New Zealand National Party (the government’s centre-right opposition) are against the new law. Dr Shane Reti, the party’s health spokesman, referred to it as “lazy and dangerous”, as it will encourage people to start smoking it in public.

    Simon Bridges (also the National Party) referred to the referendum as a ‘cynical’ move; and accused the government of trying to distract voters from other key issues. He also expressed concerns about normalising cannabis use.

    Good to know

    If you are travelling to New Zealand (or currently live there), you may be interested to know the following: