Minister no longer to decide on medicinal cannabis

The Herald reports:

Patients seeking medical for pain relief will no longer need approval from a minister, the Government confirmed this morning.

As of today, the responsibility for approving applications has been delegated to the Ministry of Health.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced the policy change this morning following a review of the approval process.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman hinted at the change yesterday, suggesting that the approvals process could be delegated to specialists.

But Dunne said today that responsibility would instead lie with the ministry.

Doctors will apply to the ministry for approval if a patient requests access to cannabis-based medical products.

As part of the policy change, Dunne also planned to create a list of internationally available, pharmaceutical grade cannabis-based products “to prodive additional clarity on the issue”.

Dunne said he told the Director-General of Health last week specialists seeking access to non-pharmaceutical, cannabis-based products would no longer needed ministerial approval from today.

A minor step in the right direction. It was daft that individual cases were being decided by the Minister previously. Having the Ministry of Health decide is more sensible. Of course I’d go much further.

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