Buying cannabis seeds is a tricky business around the world, what with so many people struggling to understand where buying cannabis seeds is legal, where it is not, and where cannabis buying is a legal grey area. As a result of this, it is important that you take the time to check out the rules of buying cannabis seeds in your chosen country, state, and the like before even considering making a purchase; this is imperative if you are to stay on the right side of the law.
But what about New Zealand? What is New Zealand’s stance on cannabis, and is buying cannabis seeds in New Zealand legal or should you be aware of the implications of doing so? Today, we’ll be looking into the legal aspects of cannabis use, possession, and sale in New Zealand so that you can make the right choices.
Is Cannabis Legal in New Zealand?
So, first things first, what is the legal status of cannabis in New Zealand? Well, unlike many other countries, New Zealand is actually quite progressive in terms of its stance towards cannabis, and the country has thus classified cannabis as a Class C drug – meaning that it only poses a moderate risk, and so is not so strictly regulated as other higher class drugs.
However, while cannabis might only be considered as a Class C drug in New Zealand, it would still be incorrect to say that cannabis is free for all drug in the country; indeed, its use and possession are still widely regulated and, as a result of this, you still need to make sure that you check the rules regarding its use carefully to make sure you’re staying on the right side of the law.
At present, there is a growing number of people calling for cannabis to be legalized, and this is an approach which is shared by New Zealand’s Green Party, thereby giving credit to the thought that cannabis could – at some point in time – end up being legalized in the country.
Current Cannabis Laws in New Zealand
Thus far, we’ve established already that cannabis is only considered to be a class C drug in New Zealand, unlike some other countries, however its use and possession is still widely controlled in the country. But what are the laws regarding the use of cannabis?
Well, cannabis is invariably still illegal in New Zealand – however, the stance of the police on cannabis use is often more lenient than in some other countries with firmer approaches to cannabis legality. Indeed, it is estimated that somewhere in the region of up to 15% of all New Zealand residents either do or will have at some point, smoked cannabis in their life; therefore, the number of people who are actively involved with cannabis is clearly much higher than one would expect if the laws regarding cannabis were more strict.
Cannabis Laws and Penalties for Possession
There are a number of different penalties that can be associated with marijuana and cannabis use and consumption in New Zealand, and if you are caught doing so, you could be liable for these. As is expected, the severity of your punishment and penalty will be in line with the severity of offence that you have committed; for example, people with a very small amount of personal cannabis could still be liable for penalties, however, their penalty would be far more lenient than for those individuals caught supplying large quantities to customers and the like.
For young people under the age of 17 will get a lot more lenient penalties than for an individual aged over 17 for the same offence. There is the potential for the individual to be arrested, especially if the police suspect that they might be acting as a supplier of cannabis. However, most often the punishments for the under 17s for cannabis possession will include being given a warning, alternative action, family group conference techniques or, finally, youth court attendance.
For individuals over 17 years of age, being given a warning is less likely on the whole and more widely expected action for the offence would include being given alternative action or being made to pay a fine. Fines for cannabis possession in New Zealand start from $500, however up to 14 years of jail time could be given out if supply or manufacturing of cannabis products is suspected.
The Stance on Medical Cannabis in New Zealand
Medicinal cannabis, in its most basic hemp form, is still illegal for use in New Zealand. The only form of cannabis product that is legal for use in New Zealand is Sativex, a medicinal marijuana drug that has been legalized as a prescription-only drug in many other countries around the world too. However, other such products including Marinol, Elixinol, and Cesamet are still illegal in New Zealand, and these are as such subject to ministerial approval if a medicinal marijuana user wants to try them.
However, there has been a gradual change in these practices in recent times, with medical cannabis products becoming slightly more available in recent years. In February 2017, it was announced by the Minister of Health that the laws regarding medical cannabis products were changing; this move released a list of products that could be obtained without needing ministerial approval, however, these were all still medicinal in nature. As such, recreational cannabis users will still have to wait to get their own cannabis use legalized.
Are Penalties Strict for Cannabis Possession in New Zealand?
Indeed, while cannabis use is illegal, the New Zealand police will most often let people caught with cannabis go with a slap on the wrist and a warning not to do so again; oftentimes, these police officers have other issues to be dealing with and so often won’t waste much time on cannabis users unless the scale of the operation is quite extensive. In fact, this has actually made New Zealand the ninth biggest user of illegal cannabis worldwide – quite an extensive use, then!
So, what’s the takeaway here, then? Well, in short, if you are planning on using cannabis in any form in New Zealand then doing so is illegal – so you should absolutely make sure that you are doing so somewhere that is discrete and which won’t land you in trouble with your housemates, neighbors, and the like. Notably, if you allow someone else to use cannabis on your own property (or, vice versa, they allow you to use cannabis on their property) then the penalty can be up to three years in prison – and this is something that the police are more strict on, so it is absolutely worth thinking about.
Potential Cannabis Law Reform on the Horizon?
Looking to the future for New Zealand residents, then, what is likely to be the state of cannabis laws in the future? Well, a 2020 referendum actually could stand to change or even revolutionize the current cannabis laws in New Zealand!
Indeed, this referendum is still being worked on, but it provides the opportunity for over 20s to use, cultivate and even sell cannabis; those under this age would still be unable to do so, unsurprisingly. This would make it possible for a wide range of different cannabis products to be sold legally in the country and used more safely and would be applicable both for medicinal and recreational users if the new laws were passed.
As such, as a cannabis user in New Zealand, there is optimism for the future of the New Zealand cannabis industry. Moreover, with around 13% of people already using cannabis and an expectedly high number of people supporting its legalization – at the very least for medicinal purposes, if not also for recreational purposes – then there could be plenty of potential for the referendum to go through and the new laws to be passed legalizing marijuana in New Zealand.
The Legalities of Cannabis Seeds
In many countries around the world, there is a legal grey area covering the possession of cannabis seeds since the seeds themselves technically do not contain THC – the psychoactive chemical responsible for giving people a high. However, this is not the case sadly in New Zealand, meaning that the possession of cannabis seeds is just as illegal as the possession of cannabis itself.
What does this mean, then, if you’ve been wanting to buy your own cannabis seeds? Well, it’s illegal – plain and simple.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t still get hold of cannabis seeds and grow your own cannabis plants on a small scale if you are prepared to suffer the legal consequences. Indeed, while the New Zealand police often don’t want to make arrests for cannabis consumption and will let many offenders get away with a small fine or a gentle warning not to do it again, there’s still the potential that you could find yourself getting into trouble.
Where to Buy Cannabis Seeds in New Zealand
Since cannabis and cannabis seeds are both illegal in New Zealand, there are no seed banks that run from the country itself – however, there are still options if you are wanting to buy high-quality cannabis and cannabis seeds from other, non-local seedbanks!
Two seed banks that ship to New Zealand which we highly recommend if you’re looking to grow your own cannabis seeds are MSNL and Crop King Seeds, both of which offer high-quality products which could be exactly what you’ve been looking for!
- MSNL –
- MSNL is a UK based seed bank which Is well known for providing premium quality seeds globally. The company has been running since 1999 and ships worldwide, meaning that it can also deliver cannabis seeds to you in New Zealand as well. They offer a number of different steal shipping options to keep your order discrete and have reasonably priced products, thanks to their ability to buy in their seeds in bulk orders from Dutch-based growers. They accept payment by a number of different methods including Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and cash.
- Crop King Seeds – established in 2005, Crop King Seeds is a Canadian based seed bank which is one of the most highly reputed seed banks globally. They offer premium quality, homegrown seed strains and are well known for the potency and quality of their seeds; since all of their seeds are produced by their own growers, it is safe to say that quality is kept a top priority and they are able to carefully monitor their seeds at all stages of production. Some of their most famous product strains include white cookies, purple kish, and dark angel, just to name a few! They accept payment in numerous ways, too, including Visa and Mastercard; cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin; and more.
Will the Legal Status of Cannabis Change in the Coming Years?
At present, cannabis is illegal in all forms in New Zealand, with the exception of a very limited number of products that were approved by the Minister for Health in 2017. As a result of this, cannabis growers and users in New Zealand need to do so with full awareness of the fact that it is illegal, and they could find themselves getting in trouble and liable for expensive penalties, fines, or even jail time if they are caught! But what about looking to the future? Will cannabis become legalized in the future for New Zealand?
Well, it’s naturally hard to say for sure, however, we would be optimistic that there is potential for cannabis in New Zealand to be legalized in the coming years. As well as the fact that cannabis is only considered a class C (low risk) drug, steps have already been taken to promote the legal status of cannabis and legalize it. The 2020 referendum on cannabis use could prove to be a turning point, especially considering that 13% of Kiwis are already actively using cannabis! Moreover, with parties such as the Green Party pushing for the legalization of cannabis in the country, and the rapidly growing number of countries legalizing cannabis, it seems safe to say that cannabis will one day be legalized for medicinal and/or recreational growers in New Zealand too.
If you’ve been wanting to grow your own cannabis in New Zealand then, unfortunately, you’re not going to like the news that cannabis is still considered a class C drug in the country and is regulated by law, with cannabis use, possession, or supply all being illegal. Furthermore, medicinal cannabis use is also widely frowned upon, with the exception of a few specific products.
However, the stance of the New Zealand public towards cannabis is changing, and this could represent a change in the country’s entire cannabis laws! Indeed, in the future, it wouldn’t be such a surprise if cannabis was legalized for use in the country.