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20 Sept 2017 – Can I import CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) into New Zealand?

Q. Can I import CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) into New Zealand?

Following inquiries from customers there, initial discussions have been underway with various parties in New Zealand to see if we can start to ship CBD products to the country.

The laws surrounding the possession, use, import and sale of CBD are somewhat contradictory and confusing. We are very lucky to have advice and help from a NZ Lawyer who is familiar with the laws and legislation on Cannabis (medicinal or otherwise) and Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) products.

At the time of writing, we have been advised that the law in New Zealand states:

14A – Authority to import CBD products
A medical practitioner, a person who holds a licence to operate a pharmacy under the Medicines Act 1981, or a person who holds a licence to deal in controlled drugs under the Act may—
(a) import a CBD product; and
(b) possess or supply a CBD product that the person imports.

This would seem to suggest that GPs and Pharmacists can import CBD and hold stock. Theoretically, a patient could ask their doctor for a prescription and supply that to a pharmacist to order and supply them with CBD.

We also understand that a prescription is required for CBD. In contradiction to this many believe that CBD has been defined in law as a Dietary / Food Supplement and therefore does not require a prescription…

We are working to iron out these discrepancies and will post updates as they occur. 

Leaving aside the fact that many GPs are reluctant to recommend outside of the allopathic /pharmaceutical paradigm for prescription items and known ‘over the counter’ products there are some inherent problems or questions that arise. 

Q. How can GPs prescribe or recommend CBD?

GPs normally prescribe by drug name, a suggested or strict dosage in milligrams and brand name (this can be amended to an alternative or generic brand by the pharmacist) The problem with this for CBD is that a GP cannot prescribe or recommend anything from a vacuum – they need information. This can be solved by companies like ours supplying information directly to Doctors, Specialists, Practitioners, Pharmacists and of course to patients to share with their practitioner or pharmacist. 

Q. Do I need a Prescription for CBD?

The advice we have had from our NZ Lawyer contact is that the short answer is yes however many believe that you don’t. We will operate under the premise that you do need a prescription for CBD in NZ for the moment. If for example, your practitioner felt you needed something that was controlled but available ‘over the counter’ like say Panamax Forte or similar the pharmacist would normally need to see a prescription. So for the moment try to get your Doctor to prescribe CBD – if they say that can’t because they don’t have the information they need (dosage, name, brand) or do not know of a product that is compliant contact us and we may be able to help.

We feel that whether this is the case or not there should be some advantage in patients finding (an enlightened) GP that is happy to prescribe CBD (whether you need a scrip or not), this certainly could not hurt when dealing with the pharmacist or ordering CBD online and having it shipped (imported) directly into NZ.

If and when we find that CBD has indeed been reclassified as a food or dietary supplement (as it should be since it is in fact harmless) we will be shouting it from the rooftops. 

For the record

The Good Earth is a USA based CBD brand. Our products are technically ‘legal’ in NZ since they contain not more than .02% THC. All products are manufactured at a facility in the USA from raw materials 100% sourced in the USA from certified organic plantations. The products are manufactured and exported in a fully compliant manner including:

  • USA (state) Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Safety Permit
  • Independent laboratory Certificate of Analyses for both dry and liquid CBD products
  • USA FDA Certificate of Registration
  • NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) / ANSI Food Safety Certification
  • Independent laboratory Cannabinoid potency and profile analysis
  • USA (State) manufacturing Licence
  • All shipments include an Export License and batch Certificate of Analysis.

Current status

We are hoping to make contact with GPs and Pharmacists in NZ who are happy to test the process of importing CBD into NZ from start to finish independently or with a patient. We can provide them all the product technical and content information that is available to help them prescribe/recommend CBD.

If your friendly GP or Pharmacist is willing and able to see a test run all the way through with us please make contact. The only proviso is that they be very familiar with, and convinced of, the benefits of CBD:) At this stage we really don’t want to spend too much time on education and breaking paradigms – that can come later. Right now we need to be preaching to the converted..