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News of UN cannabis classification downgrade welcomed

News of UN cannabis classification downgrade welcomed

A World Health Organisation report to the United Nations on the classification of cannabis could help boost exports, says New Zealand’s largest licenced medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics.

“Cannabis has long been wrongly categorised by the United Nations, lumping it with some of the worst drugs in the world for decades. Changing its UN classification will make international controls and conventions around cannabis less restrictive, ultimately creating a more open global market, driving more research and more medicinal use,” says Paul Manning, Executive Director of Helius Therapeutics.

Mr Manning's comments follow international media reports that member states of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs have now received the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence’s cannabis recommendations.

One key recommendation of the report is for cannabis to be removed from the United Nation’s Schedule Four - the most restrictive drug category in place since 1961. The report also recommends that controls on THC medicines are relaxed.

“It’s expected that United Nation member states probably won’t get to formally consider this change of classification until 2020, by which time New Zealand will have its own medical cannabis scheme in place, and Helius will be manufacturing medicinal cannabis products for both local and international markets.

“We can't wait to help the thousands of sick Kiwis who have been advocating for legal access to quality cannabis products for therapeutic reasons for years. With the passing of the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act late last year legal access will soon be a reality.

“However, with the WHO now recommending a downgrade of the UN's international classification of cannabis, there are set to be even more opportunities for a certified ‘New Zealand Grown’ medicinal cannabis company like ours. Not to mention a potential boost to our country’s export receipts,” says Paul Manning.

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