Members of the Cannabis Referendum Committee led by Chair Tingika Elikana, met with Cabinet members recently to present its preliminary overview for the reform of legislation regarding medical cannabis in the Cook Islands.
It was noted in the presentation that the legislation of cannabis for medical purposes was supported by 62% of voters at the referendum which was held in August, 2002. Furthermore the reform is in alignment with a number of National Sustainable Development Agenda objectives.
Public policy concerns such as protection of youth, public health matters and criminal justice were also discussed at the meeting. Cabinet acknowledged that ongoing research is required to progress this matter and also discussed the importance of education and training at all levels.
The reform was proposed to progress in two main stages: firstly, the prescription and importation of medical cannabis and secondly, the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of the product. Cabinet members agreed that the interpretation of current legislation needs to be reviewed by ministries to clarify what medical cannabis products are permitted under the exemption in The Pharmacy and Therapeutic Products Regulations 2013.
A platform with information on the reform will be created on the OPM website shortly for public engagement on this matter and a member of the committee will be engaged to carry out further research.
ENDS: Media queries to Jaewynn.McKay@cookislands.gov.ck; +682 55486