Kia ora! This week I got a new prescription for NZ grown Kikuya Peak cannabis, plus we cover off some other cannabis news from around the globe this week on Marijuana Media on 95bFM, with hosts Jonny and Corey from bFM Drive and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore.
Unboxing New Zealand’s first legally available homegrown bud
Five years since Labour’s medicinal cannabis law was passed and three years since the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme came into effect, we finally have a homegrown bud legally available for prescription here. It’s called Kikuya Peak – and it is good. Stocks hit the shelves this week. After renewing my prescription this week, here’s the unboxing:
This is the best quality legal bud I’ve come across in New Zealand, and right up there with the best Cup winning entries around the world. It’s that good! Congratulations and huge respect to Kalyx’s Jesse O’Steen and the NUBU team for producing cannabis to this high grade and getting it through the world’s toughest standards.
The dispensary helpfully provided a terpene analysis which shows the ‘indica dominant cannabis flower’ is high in myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene and humulene and is generally prescribed for chronic pain and insomnia, with patient-reported effects of sleepy, calming and relaxing. As it is high strength, at 25% THC, it is “not suitable for inexperienced users.”
The process to get a prescription is straightforward, with any doctor able to prescribe to any person for any reason. The specialist cannabis clinics are often more experienced and familiar with both the products and any potential contraindications to discuss. I booked an appointment with CannaPlus as they’re closest to me, but you can find them all by googling ‘cannabis doctor nz’ – or see my guide for how to access medicinal cannabis in New Zealand for the contact details of all the clinics. You can also travel with it to Australia – or vice versa, and hopefully soon this will extent to the Cook Islands.
Cook Island Cannabis: NZ ‘study tour’ to finalise medicinal cannabis policy
As reported last week on Marijuana Media, members of the Cook Islands cannabis referendum committee will soon be travelling to Aotearoa New Zealand to learn from what has and hasn’t worked here. Cook Island News reports:
In a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, it says that a New Zealand study tour to investigate lessons-learnt for licensing, prescribing, and dispensing, and potentially producing medicinal cannabis products in the Cook Islands is proposed for next month.
That’s right – they’ll be here in June, and meeting with licensed growers, patient advocates and other experts. Radio New Zealand Pacific News reported more details on Wednesday:
A Cook Islands government spokesperson says members of the country’s Cannabis Referendum Committee aim to go to New Zealand next month as they prepare to make medicinal cannabis legal. The spokesperson said the committee will investigate lessons learnt for licensing and prescribing medicinal cannabis products on the trip. The committee chairperson, Tingika Elikana, said in order to develop a regulatory framework for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis research needs to be carried out in countries where it is legal.
Swiss study legalisation through pharmacies
A new trial in four Swiss cities will test the health and social effects of selling cannabis in strictly regulated, non-profit pharmacies. The SCRIPT project (Safer Cannabis – Research in Pharmacies Trial) will run in Bern, Beil and Lucerne. Similar studies have already been authorized in Basel and Zurich, with more planned.
But the bummer is that only half the participants will be able to legally purchase cannabis from pharmacies. The other half will stay illegal – and the researchers will study their fate. The expectation is that group will be exposed to harmful contaminants, synthetic additives, risky practices, and dodgy providers. On the other hand the pharmacy-sold products will be standardised, in neutral packaging, and staff will be trained in harm reduction and the use of vaporisers.
“The distribution in pharmacies allows better information and the possibility of reducing risks. Cannabis sold on the illicit market can contain synthetic cannabinoids, pesticides, or fungal contamination, some of which are very dangerous,” said the project’s authors in a press release. “The comparison of the fate of people in the two groups should make it possible to obtain study results that are as scientifically rigorous as possible.”
Thailand’s election may derail legalisation
Thailand was the first country in Asia to make cannabis legal but this may be short lived following election results announced last Sunday. Reuters reported the health minister and cannabis advocate Anutin Charnvirakul had turned heads while casting his vote at a polling station “wearing a dark shirt with bright green marijuana leaves.”
The 58-year-old preseidential candidate’s Bhumjaithai Party was aligned with the Government but the main opposition party, Move Forward Party (MFP) has now taken the most seats. The MFP had criticised the extent of legalisation there, which has occurred without the regulations and rules typically found elsewhere. Thai growers and sellers had also complained they were being undercut by illegal imports from the U.S. that sell for a fraction of the price of homegrown buds.
Anutin had promised that if re-elected, he would tighten regulations to curb recreational use and restrict cannabis use to medical purposes only – and his party’s votes may still be needed for the MFP to form a government.
- NZ’s “mussel man”, Ron Park, is raising millions to take on the global extraction industry – including cannabis extractions – according to this article on BusinessDesk(paywalled).
- NZX-listed Cannasouth is celebrating receiving a GMP Licence to Manufacture Medicines covering all their post-harvest activities including the production of flower, cannabis-based ingredients and oral solutions. They intend to file for product approvals soon.
Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at 95bFM.com (or via iTunes / RSS feed). Thanks to The Hemp Store!