Minor MOH changes on cannabis based products

The Ministry of health has made minor changes to guidelines for medicinal cannabis applications.

Changes to terminology around applications for cannabis-based products

The Ministry of Health has made changes to terminology used in its descriptions of and applications for cannabis-based products.

These changes are visible on the Ministry’s website, where the previously used description medicinal cannabis has been replaced by cannabis-based products.

Additionally, the previously used term criteria has been replaced byguidelines to better reflect how applications in this area are assessed.

Forms used during the application process for such products have been changed to incorporate the new description.

The changes do not impact on the legal status of cannabis or any cannabis-based products.

They have been made to provide more clarity and consistency in describing cannabis-based products, when compared to other products or substances in the area of medicines control.

More information is available on the Prescribing cannabis-based products page.

Additionally, the Ministry is today publishing a document which it believes may be of public interest. The document outlines external consultation which recently took place on the guidelines used to assess applications to prescribe cannabis-based products.

Included is an amendment to the guidelines which means that a patient no longer needs to be hospitalised when treatment with a non-pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based product is initiated:

Stuff reports: Guidelines for applying for medicinal cannabis barely touched following review

Almost no changes have been made to guidelines for people applying for medicinal cannabis –  a process that failed to deliver pain relief for former union boss Helen Kelly.

The guidelines were introduced last year after Nelson teenager, Alex Renton, successfully applied to Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne for a cannabis product, Elixinol.

Those guidelines were subsequently used by Kelly, former Council of Trade Unions boss, who criticised the process for being too complicated and requiring information that is “impossible to access”.

Kelly was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer more than a year ago – she is illegally sourcing her own cannabis for pain relief.

The feedback from the review was “unanimously supportive that the guidelines and process are sound,” Dunne said.

His position of a “robust and scientific” approach to cannabis has not changed, which means “identifying the greatest therapeutic benefits and determining the most appropriate ratios, dosage and delivery mechanisms”.

“Otherwise we are essentially flying blind and hoping for the best, an approach that flies in the face of evidence-based medicines policy.

“It is my hope that by releasing this feedback it will go some way to balancing out the irresponsible and ill-informed messages being passed off as fact, and provide a degree of reassurance to those who are genuinely looking for respite to significant health issues,” he said.



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  1. Another good post PG 🙂

  2. Bill

     /  20th May 2016

    “and provide a degree of reassurance to those who are genuinely looking for respite to significant health issues,” This last part of his statement speaks volumes, ‘genuinely’ as opposed to the ones who, well, you know. This man is a master of pathetic gibberish and his latest bid, to me seen as a progressive force for change, while actively blocking any timely and meaningful, remodeling of existing Cannabis laws. Just proves it’s business as usual for Peter Dunne.


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