New Zealand has been one of the favorite places among travelers to visit. However, if you are planning a journey there and you have dreamed about enjoying weed while sightseeing then hold on!
Doesn’t matter whether you are living in the country or a normal traveler planning a trip, make sure to know the cannabis laws in the country so that you can be perfectly ready to roam there without any issues.
Cannabis Seeds in New Zealand – Overview
Cannabis laws in New Zealand have been a controversial topic in recent years in politics, also, there have been certain changes in the legislation that changed marijuana existence in the country. Therefore, you must know the laws in action in the region so that you can avoid any kind of legal trouble while dealing with marijuana.
However, before dealing with cannabis it is also must know that if cannabis is legal in the country or not. It will be revealed soon, make sure you read along to know everything about marijuana in New Zealand!
Is Cannabis Legal in New Zealand?
First thing first, marijuana in New Zealand is not legal officially yet. The country follows the misuse drug act of 1975 under which marijuana has been classified as a ‘Class C’ drug. Basically, that means cannabis is referred to as a drug that is moderately risky for the citizens.
Therefore, if you are residing there then you are sure that at least you wouldn’t indulge in weed activity publicly. The same implies to a traveler as well.
Well, as cannabis is illegal in the country that doesn’t mean cannabis doesn’t exist there. You will be surprised to know that according to a report, around 13% of New Zealanders between ages 15 to 64 confessed to smoke pot in their life.
That means there has been something that made marijuana exist in the region, apart from strict guidelines and illegality. As there have been strict laws for possessing weed in public places, it will be quite risky to smoke pot, as the cops will fine heavily. Even they can put you in jail, which depends on their discretion and severity of the offense as well. We’ll be discussing this too, further but it will be quite interesting to know the journey of marijuana in the country first.
However, let’s start from scratch, how the cannabis lovers in the country got access to weed!
History of Cannabis in New Zealand
Cannabis in New Zealand was known until the British colonized. At that time, New Zealanders got introduced to marijuana. Well, at that time, they are more likely to use cannabis as their pain killer or medication. Apart from this, there was no strictness from the authorities over it, therefore, the Kiwis were free to consume it either recreationally or medically.
However, the good time of marijuana didn’t last long in the country until 1927, when the government passed out the Dangerous Drug Act which listed cannabis as a controlled substance. However, medical marijuana was still in usage as a medication by physicians.
From that time to the next few years there has not been any major change in cannabis laws in the country until 1965 when the Narcotic Drug Act completely banned cannabis from the region. Well, at that time, many of the other drugs were also banned. During the 20th century, there has been rare use of recreational cannabis in the country.
However, the authorities have seen a regular demand among young adults including students for cannabis during the late 1990s. Even in a survey, it is found that cannabis usage among 15-45 age group people was around 20% in the year 2003, which was somehow dropped to 17% in 2010.
With that said, it is sure that there has been some underground source of cannabis that is regularly fulfilling the demand of weeders in the region. However, the government has regularly looked up the illegal sources of cannabis and illegal usage as well but somehow, the small possession, consumption was still in practice in the country which led marijuana to exist.
Ultimately, the government is following the 1975’s Misuse of Drug Act, which considers any amount of marijuana possession, cultivation, and consumption illegal. Even the law was so strict that anyone found with one ounce of cannabis in the public space then he or she will be caught by the cops resulting in a legal trial of the courts.
Overall, considering the history of New Zealand, cannabis had a popular choice among weeders to get access to their personal and recreational usage in ancient times. however, within the time the laws got tightened for avoiding the misuse of this herb, which declined the popularity of marijuana in the country.
However, it is also true that in recent times, as the world is accepting marijuana’s importance, New Zealanders also raised their voice to legalize cannabis. Therefore, there have been attractive offers for legalizing cannabis recreationally from one of the popular political parties.
Laws for Possession, Cultivation, and Consumption
1975 drug law considers crime to possess any amount of cannabis in the country. Especially in public space if someone is found having cannabis in a larger amount then the cops are eligible to put a fine of up to $500 and send to jail for up to 5 months. However, the punishment also depends on the severity of the offense.
Even medical marijuana in the country was in trouble as it was not legal before 2016. In 2006, there was a bill proposed by the Green Party which was in favor of medical marijuana enthusiasts allowing them to grow their own cannabis plants and avail treatment from marijuana products. Somehow, the bill got defeated during the votes.
Cultivating cannabis in New Zealand is an offense under the law which is similar to possession. If anyone is found dealing with marijuana seeds or growing marijuana in public space or for purpose of selling then the maximum imprisonment is for 7 years. Although, Sativex, a medical cannabis product is allowed in the country with a doctor’s prescription.
Smoking pot in the country in private space is somehow tolerable until the cops didn’t find you with a larger quantity to export it to the others but cultivating marijuana plants will be highly risky and the cops may treat you as a drug trafficker despite you were cultivating it for personal usage.
Some surveys and reports have already said that Kiwis have been in some kind of marijuana activity in their lifetime at least once. With that said, the illegality of marijuana is somehow couldn’t vanish cannabis completely. That is why if someone is found smoking pot in his or her shop then the cops are less likely to bother you as it comes under personal usage. Well, it also depends on the cops and you, as if you are caught selling cannabis to someone other then it might put you in legal trouble.
Medical Marijuana in New Zealand
As said earlier, after the 1975’s cannabis ban in the country, even medical marijuana was not permitted to the patients of the country to avail marijuana products for their treatment. Well, considering marijuana’s medical importance one of the bills was offered by the authorities which somehow didn’t succeed.
However, the good time for medical marijuana came in 2016, when medical marijuana got legalized in the country with some regulations. At that time, one of the cannabis products, Sativex was available in pharmaceutical stores of cannabis. Well, in the beginning, it was quite hard to get access to marijuana-derived products. Also, due to less availability, it was highly-priced too.
Even there has been mandatory consent needed from the authority and doctor as well to get a medical marijuana facility, which made it quite a difficult process to access those products quickly.
Finally, in 2017, a relaxing official statement came, which stated that there has been no ministerial approval needed for some specific medical marijuana products. Well, it was quite positive to make marijuana accessible quickly to those who need them. It also made the process hassle-free!
In August 2018, Hikurangi Cannabis became the first New Zealand company to be issued a license to cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes. It was one of the historical steps of the government to regulate medical marijuana in the country. It was also necessary as there has been less manufacturing of the marijuana-derived products in the region which was resulting in high prices and less availability of the product.
However, to make these regulations work in the right direction the authorities introduced New Zealand Medical Cannabis Council in the same year after one month of issuing a license.
Overall, the New Zealand government has been considering medical marijuana as their priority and trying to put it forward for making it available to the right people. That is why in recent times, there have been quite changes in legislation.
Can You Grow Cannabis Plants in New Zealand?
In recent times, the government has consistently worked on medical marijuana in the country. Somehow, recreational marijuana is quite restricted under the law. Therefore, in 2023, New Zealand laws prohibit any individual to cultivate their own marijuana plants either for personal usage or medical usage. Therefore, there will be no doubt that you will be putting yourself in trouble to grow marijuana plants in the country.
Even the 2018’s license was issued to a New Zealand company for only cultivating marijuana plants for medicinal purposes. That comes under the government’s regulations. It is also believed that it was the initiation of marijuana-derived products to be manufactured in the country.
As the cultivation and growth of cannabis seeds were completely banned, there were quite difficult to make marijuana-based medical products available to the patients.
Therefore, we can say that you cannot grow cannabis seeds in the country but the future of cannabis can make it happen as most of the developed countries are doing so.
Can You Legally Buy Cannabis Seeds in New Zealand?
It is not legal to deal with cannabis seeds just like other by-products until consent from authorities. As the Kiwis are now raising their voice to legalize cannabis in the country, therefore, we can hope that the government will consider the demand of the citizens. However, right now, If you are found with 28 grams or 100 joints then you will be considered as a dealer and sentenced to jail for up to 8 years.
That is quite similar to the penalty for growing cannabis plants as 7 years of imprisonment and up to a $2000 fine or just fine, depending on the severity of the offense.
As cannabis growth and seeds are illegal under the law, therefore, you will not be able to find physical seed stores in the country. Somehow, there could be some underground sellers who will be dealing at higher rates but that will be quite risky and not worth it as the quality may vary.
Therefore, many people opt for buying cannabis seeds online as it is more reliable and trustworthy when you want to deal with marijuana privately without anyone let know. With that said, you can look over the seed banks that ship to New Zealand. However, we recommend you first check out from these stores. As you are sure to have the best experience of buying marijuana seeds online.
Seed Banks That Ship to New Zealand
We always recommend our readers follow the rules, guidelines, and laws of their region before putting a step into the marijuana world. Once you are ready to buy seeds online, here are our top three picks:
Ships worldwide. Excellent customer services, varieties of seeds. 24/7 live chat support and multiple payment ways.
One of the best seed banks in the market. Best for beginner growers, top-notch customer service, and multiple ways to place the order.
Before buying marijuana from MSNL seed bank, Check out user reviews on seedfinder.
Future of Cannabis in New Zealand
The New Zealand government has been looking forward to making cannabis more beneficial for its citizens. As in recent times, the laws are quite favorable to medical marijuana enthusiasts in the country. Even the government has tried to make medical cannabis easily accessible to those who need them. Therefore, we can say that cannabis laws have been changed positively and even one of the recent laws which are pending can result in a huge positive change in legislation.
Therefore, we can hope for the bright future of cannabis in New Zealand within the upcoming time.
Until then, you can read our guide to the world’s best seed banks!