13th August 2020
By Roland Sebestyén

New Zealand will be the first country to hold a referendum to decide whether to legalise the sale, possession, and production of cannabis. If the public vote yes in September, New Zealand will be only one of the few places where the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal.

According to recent polls, there is growing support for the cause, but experts believe it will be a tight race. In the meantime, the looming decision on cannabis has resulted in CBD oil businesses opening up in the country waiting for the huge opportunities that complete legalisation could bring.

As research shows, prohibition hasn’t been able to stop people from accessing marijuana in New Zealand, as well as in the rest of the world.  In fact, the popularity of cannabis around the world is at an all-time high.

In 2017, after the general election, the Labour Party and the Green Party made a confidence and supply agreement: the government must “have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.”

Although it is still unclear how Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would vote in the referendum, many other prominent New Zealand politicians have come out in favour of legalisation.

The general election, which will be held concurrently with the referendum, will be crucial for campaigners on both sides as a hypothetical National Party majority-led Parliament may hold up the bill. Although it is hoped that the referendum will offer a clear view of public attitudes towards cannabis, the elected government would not be bound to legalise the drug in the case of a ‘yes’ vote. The bill would still have to pass through parliament in order to be written into New Zealand law.

But what would it mean for the country if its people and politicians chose to cannabis?

Well, according to the experts, New Zealand could be the next hot spot.

Welcome to the Global cannabis market

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, when every single penny counts, New Zealand could be the next big player on the global cannabis market. It is thought that the global market for legal cannabis – both medical and recreational – could be worth $73.6 billion (USD) by 2027.

The proposed bill would permit adults over the age of 20 to purchase and possess up to 14 grams of cannabis per day. Cannabis products will be available through licensed businesses with a THC limit set at 15%. In addition, households will be able to grow up to a maximum of four plants.

The NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) projects that the legal cannabis industry could grow about half a billion US dollars a year in the country.

Stuff writes that, apart from the money from sales and taxes, the government would also be able to save hundreds of millions of dollars on police and court expenditures in connection with cannabis offenses. In total, legalising cannabis would put approximately an extra billion dollars a year in the country’s pocket.

CBD oil businesses are rubbing their hands

Medicinal cannabis has been legalised for a while now in New Zealand, but a supposed yes to recreational use could also benefit the CBD and Hemp industry.

Reports suggest that a large number of CBD businesses have been establishing in the hope that they can gain profit from the current state of affairs.

CBD is one of the most important compounds in the cannabis plant. As it’s not psychoactive in comparison to THC, it’s muchly appreciated among athletes and customers who are after its supposed potentials.

Many say that they consume CBD oil for its ability to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to ease the symptoms of spasticity-related conditions and diseases. Others claim it helps them to sleep, and it is an efficient pain-killers.

Although there is still a lot of research to be done, the CBD market is already flourishing worldwide. A yes to cannabis in New Zealand could definitely take the industry to the next level.

 

Related Stories

Would you like to know the results of our polls? Please complete the data request form by clicking here.

About the Author

Roland Sebestyén
Roland Sebestyen is a Hungarian journalist with over six years experience in the field. He has worked for some of the most popular, independent national newspapers in his country. In 2019 he moved to Sheffield to study on the NCTJ-accredited MA journalism course at the University of Sheffield. Roland is now a news and feature writer for Canex.