Final Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill to be voted on at referendum

A ‘complete and final’ version of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill will be voted on in a referendum as a part of this year’s election currently scheduled for September.

The wording of the cannabis referendum question has also been confirmed as a straight Yes/No question:

Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

  • Yes, I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill
  • No, I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

I’m pleased about this, we will know exactly what we’re voting for or against.

Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill released

Publication of the exposure draft Bill on follows the release of an interim version of the Bill in December last year and is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring the voting public have ample opportunity to be informed ahead of this year’s referendums.

“It is important that all eligible voters have the opportunity to be informed about the upcoming referendums. The Government is committed to providing impartial, unbiased information on the referendums and its process,” Andrew Little said.

The exposure draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been updated and includes details about:

  • how the cannabis market would work and the phased introduction of cannabis starting with fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis plants and seeds
  • how the regulation of consumption premises would work
  • the approvals process for cannabis products and which products would be prohibited
  • the licensing requirements
  • how the Bill proposes to reduce young people’s exposure to cannabis; and
  • infringements and penalties

No further updates of the Bill will be made before the referendum.

From the Referendums website: Summary of the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

The Bill’s purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities

The Bill would do this by:

  • providing access to legal cannabis that meets quality and potency requirements
  • eliminating the illegal supply of cannabis
  • raising awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use
  • restricting young people’s access to cannabis
  • limiting the public visibility of cannabis
  • requiring health warnings on packaging and at the time of purchase
  • improving access to health and social services, and other kinds of support for families/whānau
  • making sure the response to any breach of the law is fair, encourages compliance and reduces overall harm.

People aged 20 or over could buy cannabis

A person aged 20 or over would be able to:

  • buy cannabis, but only from businesses with a licence to sell cannabis
  • enter licensed premises where cannabis is sold or consumed
  • consume cannabis at a home or at licensed premises
  • purchase up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) per day
  • share up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) with another person aged 20 or over.

People aged 20 or over could grow, possess and consume cannabis

A person aged 20 or over would be able to grow 2 cannabis plants. The maximum number of plants per household is 4. Plants would need to be grown at home and out of sight, or not be accessible from public areas.

A person aged 20 or over would be able to possess up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) in public.

The Bill would establish that 14 grams of dried cannabis is equal to:

  • 70 grams of fresh cannabis
  • 14 cannabis seeds
  • 210 grams of cannabis edibles
  • 980 grams of liquids
  • 3.5 grams of concentrates.

The Bill would prohibit people younger than 20 from growing, possessing and consuming cannabis

A person under age 20 found in possession of cannabis would receive a health-based response such as an education session, social or health service, or they would pay a small fee or fine. This would not lead to a conviction.

Rules for premises where cannabis is sold or consumed

Age limit

A person must be aged 20 or over to enter, or work at, premises where cannabis is sold or consumed.

Restrictions on the appearance of premises

There would be restrictions on the appearance of premises. These would include rules against promoting the fact that cannabis is available for purchase inside.

Host responsibilities

People operating retail and consumption premises would need to:

  • ensure their employees have responsible host training (this would be compulsory)
  • display information about the legal requirements they must meet, including minimising harm and meeting their obligations towards people who may be impaired by cannabis consumption
  • comply with restrictions on the display of higher risk products.

What products could be bought and sold?

Licensed cannabis products would become legal in stages, starting with dried cannabis, fresh cannabis, cannabis plants, and cannabis seeds.

The Authority would have the power to authorise the introduction of other licensed products for sale, including concentrates and cannabis edibles, through regulations.

Some products would be banned

A number of licensed products would be prohibited, including:

  • beverages that include cannabis
  • products containing substances known to be harmful or to have harmful interactions with cannabis (such as alcohol and tobacco)
  • products designed to increase the psychoactive or addictive effects of cannabis
  • packaged dried or fresh cannabis containing roots or stems
  • products that involve ways of consuming cannabis that are higher risk, including injectables, suppositories, and products for the eyes, ears or nose.

People would be prohibited from feeding cannabis or cannabis products to animals.

Cannabis edibles would have to meet specific requirements

Cannabis edibles are cannabis products that are consumed in the same manner as food. They would be required to be solid at room temperature.

More specific requirements for cannabis edibles would include:

  • they must be restricted to baked products that do not require refrigeration or heating
  • they must be produced in separate premises to those used for conventional food production
  • they would be banned if they are found to appeal to children and young people.

What would be illegal?

Some things would be illegal, including:

  • consuming cannabis in public
  • possessing more than 14 grams of cannabis (or its equivalent) in public
  • growing more cannabis plants at home than the individual or household limit
  • growing cannabis in public
  • exposing people under age 20 to cannabis smoke or vape
  • supplying cannabis to people under age 20
  • selling cannabis without a licence
  • importing or exporting cannabis
  • supplying cannabis by mail order or courier
  • breaching the conditions of a licence.

More details:

Leave a comment


  1. NOEL

     /  1st May 2020

    So I will be voting on a draft Bill that may be subject to change at the SC after I have voted?

    • The way I read this we will be voting on the final bill with no changes able to be made to it (other than through full bill process in Parliament).

    • Duker

       /  1st May 2020

      Surely Noel doesnt want a ‘Cannabis with No control Bill’ before parliament…it would be roundly defeated by referendum.
      Putting the controls in allows some wavers on board.
      Then again people could vote national who are ‘Opposed’ …but then they fully supported ‘at least’ a 4 week level 4 lockdown but now seem to have flip flopped after it worked/ party donations dried up.

  2. NOEL

     /  1st May 2020

    Here’s a better option.
    Do you want legalisation of Cannabis YES/NO

    • Here’s a better option.
      Do you want legalisation of Cannabis YES/NO
      sez NOEL

      pls define ‘Legalisation’.. if you ask 100 folks you may get 100 different answers, that why many prefer the word ‘Regulate’
      >only legal with very strict rules; as this appears to be.

  3. Corky

     /  1st May 2020

    Old granny Jones ginger fudge will cure her arthritic pains and make her a happy camper.
    However, when you vote on this bill, you’ll be voting on the self inflicted genocide of the Maori race should your vote be in the affirmative. Not that I’m expecting anyone to feel guilty. We all have free choice…it’s just some folk don’t want to accept the consequences of their free choice.

    • It will hardly be genocide.

      • Corky

         /  1st May 2020

        What will it be? Cultural collateral damage? What would you know about Maori culture…seriously?

    • really corky.. genocide ?
      Maybe you need to ‘inhale’ & then realise what drivel you wrote

      btw: do you know that ‘Reefer Madness’ WAS widely discredited in 1960-70s..
      Cannabis is not the EVIL, Insidious Narcotic that they told us, nor does it cause Mass insanity OR is a gateway that leads everyone onto Heroin/Hard DRUGZZ.. as the ‘authorities’ also claimed.. way back when ?!

      Its a herb from God 🙂

      • Duker

         /  1st May 2020

        So is Atropa belladonna..enjoy

      • Corky

         /  1st May 2020

        My criticism is not about herb. It’s about what it’ll do to Maori. Herb has already wasted large tracts of Maoridom. That was before P started to become a problem.

  4. Zedd

     /  1st May 2020

    Yes.. the vote will effectively be ‘do you want status quo OR change’ ?
    They can try to baffle us will B-S but, i doubt that IF the Reeferendum passes, the final bill will be drastically changed, from the draft one.

    btw; we cant do much worse than the current Gangsters V Cops nonsense.. which is totally unregulated, even kids can get herbZ from the Black-market.
    Thats what we need to get rid of: the status quo

    Jday tomorrow 🙂

    • Duker

       /  1st May 2020

      The status quo will remain much more than you think.. gangs , tinny houses, plantations … just the middle class will be more openly smokers and buy from cutesy little shops and people in white coats

    • Duker

       /  1st May 2020

      I forgot to add prostitution hardly changed after ‘legalisation and control’… some of the wording in legislation is very similar

      • Zedd

         /  1st May 2020


        I dont think anyone believes that ‘Cannabis Regulation’ will totally get rid of the Black-market 100%.. frankly that extremist drivel
        BUT many I know just think, Status quo/Prohibition has failed & its time to try something else

        btw: It failed too with Alcohol in 1920s USA.. but they didnt learn OR deliberately moved from one to another.. to maintain the ‘Gangsters v Cops’ scenario.. that keeps 1000s of Cops ‘gainfully employed’ & is this the real reason it has lasted this long; MODA 75

        • Duker

           /  1st May 2020

          The police interest in drugs is because of the crime connected to drugs…from burgs all the way up, very little of their time is spent on cannabis compared to those that attract higher sentences. We can clearly see in NZ annual homicide stats that a definite jump occurred in late 69s entirely because of drug trade became a thing.
          Alcohol was previously legal was the reason it failed and no Canada had no gansters when they had most of the country in prohibition.
          You live in false dreams about most of the real world anyway..just like that dude Let’s Bruin here the other day. He was totally convinced labour hadn’t met it’s election promise to introduce medicinal cannabis within 100 days…I proved it with links to show they did..what had caught him out was Norml publicity that 100 days was the passing of legislation, that would only occur for the very highest priority stuff and the party promises definitely said introduce.
          It’s a common political catch word , introduce as a substitute for action words like pass or implement. Any way in real world medicinal cannabis isn’t a priority as the medical case is generally weak.
          Real world polls say recreational cannabis has a steep hill to climb to pass at election time , it doesn’t really seem it’s time as the medical side has passed and the non criminal option has passed too.

          • thus spake Duker 🙂
            >BUT I disagree with much of it….. most of the negativity around cannabis is still being seen, through the lens 45 years of ZERO-tolerance/prohibition, NOT the actual truth about Cannabis.
            In my discussions over the years, one thing is clear; the majority of adults, who have tried both Drugs, consider alcohol to be more harmful & yet the law says the opposite. Maybe its time to take those lens’ off & consider, the actuality, rather than just ongoing Prohibitionist BS rhetoric ? 😦

            • Duker

               /  2nd May 2020

              We cant wind back the clock on alcohol … even the vague dreams of a better place with unrestricted trading and 18 yr old drinking has been a flop.
              Why make the same mistakes with liberalising cannabis.

              How can it even be about prohibiting cannabis when we have both non court options when the police are involved and the medicinal side all approved in the last year or so.
              Its your constant rants which disconnected from reality shows too clearly the long term effects of cannabis …you doth protest too much

    • Older people are more likely to vote, and are more likely to vote no to the cannabis legislation, so it could be tough getting the law changed.

      However the cannabis referendum could be incentive to get people voting who normally can’t be bothered or aren’t interested in party politics.

      What if Ardern says “Be kind to people who want to use cannabis”.

      • Duker

         /  1st May 2020

        Yes the national party coming out opposed has doomed the refeerendum. Much as not having labour support doomed Keys dumb flag thing…it’s not a big difference but enough to swing it

    • you maybe surprised how many >50s still ‘inhale’, either medical or personal use

      in places like Colorado, they are finding the youth are losing interest, but the ‘older folks’ are taking it up or restarting it.. now its legal 🙂


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