For people all over the world cannabidiol, or CBD, has reduced pain, cured illnesses and made life bearable. Now, thanks to a new directive from the country’s health ministry, doctors in New Zealand will be able to prescribe CBD as they would any other medicine.
According to the Otago Daily Times, the medical marijuana announcement came from Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who suggested the CBD deregulation.
"I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change," Dunne said. "Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly.”
Before Dunne’s patient-first recommendation, cannabidiol was a controlled substance, with medical marijuana cases considered on a case-by-case basis by the Health Ministry itself. That will all change with the new rules.
"In practical terms, the changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine." Dunne said.
With the medical marijuana shift set, New Zealand will need to figure out how to best import larger quantities of the cannabis derivative. With countries like the U.S. still classifying the life-saving medicine as a life-threatening drug, getting CBD into New Zealand won’t be easy.
Still, Dunne says that doctors will be able to prescribe cannabidiol medications in as soon as two months, giving New Zealanders across the country reason to celebrate.