Skip to content

Guide to Medical Cannabis in Aotearoa New Zealand

This content is archived from the social media group "r/MedicalCannabisNZ" on Reddit. View the original post 

Medical Cannabis is available in New Zealand.

The first step is booking your appointment with a doctor.

There are a few paths you can take, with the recommended one being a medical cannabis specialist clinic paired with a pharmacy that has prior experience with medical cannabis dispensing.

In all cases, the prescribing process is:

  • An initial consult with a doctor.
  • A follow-up consult with a doctor or nurse:
    • About 1 month after your first product is dispensed
  • Continued follow-up consults with a doctor or nurse:
    • Every 3 months if prescribed THC, or
    • Every 6 months if prescribed CBD only

When discussing medicine with your doctor or nurse, you should indicate your choice of pharmacy to ensure no delays in the dispensing process.

Your clinic is only able to offer repeats of your medicine for your pharmacy of choice once you have your first follow-up.

Some clinics charge a fee to have your prescription sent to your pharmacy of choice, typically when they have an attached dispensary service or associated pharmacies.

Most clinics charge a fee to change your agreed treatment plan between consults, as the changes require additional clinical team oversight and processes.

Medical Cannabis Specialist

Specialist cannabis focused clinics tend to be more familiar with the process and have an existing range of experience with medical cannabis.

It is easiest to talk with medical cannabis specialists about cannabis, as they understand upfront where you are coming from, and have context around the range of patient journeys.

Any question you have about cannabis, a specialist should be able to give you that answer there and then

Some things that should come up in your conversation with a specialist:

  • Your prior cannabis usage
  • What you are looking for in your journey
  • What might work best for you
  • In depth treatment plans, and daily dosing schedules
  • Interactions with other medication
  • Devices and preparations
  • Sensitization protocols & tolerance breaks
  • Advice on inhalation, sublingual, oral, edible dosing
  • And more...!

If you have a question about cannabis, a medical cannabis specialist is the best person to answer.

Medical Cannabis Specialist Clinics

Dispensing with a Specialist Clinic

You can have your prescription dispensed anywhere you like, however some specialist clinics offer a combined dispensary service.

We recommend one of the pharmacies with medical cannabis experience listed below.

General Practitioners (GP)

A GP can prescribe medical cannabis in New Zealand.

Not all GPs in New Zealand are equipped with the knowledge or time to prescribe medical cannabis, they may suggest visiting a specialist clinic for this purpose.

Some specialist clinics like Cannabis Clinic offer to provide education for your GP so you can get the best outcome and the GP is able to use their newfound knowledge to offer a wider range of treatment plans for more patients.

Dispensing with a Specialist

A GP clinic may have an attached pharmacy and dispensary service, but they may not be equipped either to dispense medical cannabis products with care and at a reasonable price, we recommend one of the pharmacies with medical cannabis experience listed below.

Your GP can also reach out to the likes of Nga Hua for help with the prescribing and dispensing process.

Oncologist or Other Specialist

If you are working with an oncologist or other specialist doctor, they may be able to help with a medical cannabis prescription, and may be the best option as they should have deep insight into your health journey.

Though as with GPs, not all specialists are equipped with the knowledge or time to prescribe medical cannabis.

Dispensing with a Specialist

Specialists send prescriptions to your choice of pharmacy for dispensing.

We recommend one of the pharmacies with medical cannabis experience listed below.

Your specialist can reach out to the likes of Nga Hua for help with the prescribing and dispensing process.


Most pharmacies offer either a pickup, or courier service.

Pharmacies with medical cannabis experience

Some pharmacies have worked closely with their medical cannabis patients, these pharmacies are known to provide quality service and advice around medical cannabis, and availability.

They have proved themselves in this space and have consistently shown the community amazing value at fair prices.

Other pharmacies with good pricing

Up-to-date list of Ministry of Health approved medical cannabis products

Medicinal cannabis products that meet the minimum quality standard

Additional products are available outside this list.

Product Pricing

Pricing can change overnight, generally prices have been falling over time.

There is currently a reasonably up-to-date pricing guide available

Dry Herb Vaporisers

If you're looking to use inhalation as a method of dosing your medical cannabis, you'll want to reach out for a dry herb vaporiser.

These can be purchased from many stores in New Zealand, for example:

A typical suggestion for a device is Storz & Bickel Mighty Medic or Medic Plus

Vaporisers and the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990

Medicinal cannabis products are excluded from smokefree

Medicinal devices, such as a dry herb vaporiser, are excluded from smokefree.

See the related section of the medicines act here related to medical devices

Non Approved Vaporisers

A person who possesses a non-medically approved dry herb vaporiser for the purpose of taking their prescribed medicinal cannabis would not breach the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. This is because they are not using it “for the purpose of the commission of an offence against this Act” (s13(1)(a)). This also applies to a person, who possesses an accessory for the purpose of taking their prescribed medicinal cannabis. For example if you use a vape with an adapter to a bong, that is perfectly legal.

Smoking Cannabis

Medical cannabis products are not intended for smoking

Vaporiser Boil Chart

Want to know the temperature you should use your vape at? Checkout the Cannabinoid Boil Chart


If you're looking to have more discussion, you can also join the official Medical Cannabis Aotearoa New Zealand discord


Public Domain Mark
This work is free of known copyright restrictions and is licensed as CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)