The arrival of a new, cheaper medicinal cannabis product in New Zealand is good news for patients but will still be prohibitively expensive for many, advocates say.
The cannabis oil, produced by Canadian company Tilray, was first granted an export licence to New Zealand in February, but until now has only been shipped to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.
However, the first shipment that will be made available for GPs to prescribe has now arrived in the country.
It contains cannabidiol (CBD) – a cannabinoid that has been shown to have therapeutic properties, but is considered a class B drug under New Zealand law so cannot be advertised or promoted by the company.
Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand coordinator Shane Le Brun said the product had arrived “in the last week or so”.
“It is now available for GPs to prescribe… [but] as an unregistered medicine they can’t make therapeutic claims and as