Should Northland become a haven for legally growing medicinal cannabis as a cash crop?

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Cannabis campaigners are pushing for the Government to consider the benefits of growing medical marijuana in New Zealand.

Last week, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne released a list of approved medical cannabis products, most of which are sprays or pills.
Source: 1 NEWS

Laws surrounding the use of marijuana for medical purposes have been softened and now there's a push for us to grow our own instead of importing it, which activists say is expensive.

Last week, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne released a list of approved medical cannabis products, most of which are sprays or pills.

Despite that, the Associate Health Minister says the government won't interfere with Pharmac funding decisions.
Source: 1 NEWS

For the first time the Netherlands based company Bedrocan has been given approval for its flower product, that's also known as a bud or flos.

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Medical Cannabis Awareness spokesman Shane Le Brun questions why New Zealand can't produce a similar product, given how well cannabis grows here.

He says it would mean a cheaper product for patients and the hassles of importation would be eliminated.

But Bedrocan's chief advisor for Australia Martin Woodbridge says it's given no consideration to setting up shop here.

Peter Dunne has put the health ministry in charge of signing off cannabis-based medicinal products.
Source: 1 NEWS

He also questions how easy it would be for others to replicate what Bedrocan does, saying they have "developed unique, proprietary processes which bring unparalleled precision to cannabis production."

"Each of our standardised varieties is genetically identical to those we developed up to 20 years ago. Each strain originates from one single seed," Mr Woodbridge says.

Labour's Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis wants the Government to investigate medical marijuana.

He says it could be a great regional development opportunity.

"Cannabis is easily grown here in the north and with the right security arrangements around a crop there's no reason why the people of the north can't be employed to grow the stuff for medicinal marijuana," Mr Davis says.

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