What NZ’s Cannabis Referendum Means for Home Growing

With Jacinda’s new coalition government, Kiwis are finally going to be given the chance to vote on the legalisation of cannabis.

This was one of the concessions made by the incoming Labour government in order to gain the support of the Green Party, required to form a coalition government.

You may have seen this news, but what does a referendum actually mean and what form is “legalisation” likely to take in New Zealand?

This is an interesting proposition for hobby home growers and hydroponic enthusiasts, but what does the referendum really mean?

Here are the key points that we know so far and what they actually mean:

1. Within the next three years, a public referendum will be held on legalising cannabis. This means all Kiwi’s will get to vote and have their say. There hasn’t been much released yet on the timing of this other than to say that the referendum will take place prior to the 2020 election.

2. But what will Legalisation actually look like? Well, the answer is that it depends – the range between legalisation and decriminalisation is a sliding scale and it will be interesting to see where the policy makers land. Our guess is that Kiwis will get a chance to vote between two options in the referendum: full legalization, and decriminalisation.

Legalisation would mean that cannabis would be legal to grow, sell, buy, consume, etc. It would likely still be highly regulated — either via “medical cannabis” type regulation or via the same methods that we currently use to regulate alcohol and tobacco.

Decriminalisation could take a few different forms. Likely it would no longer be a criminal offence to possess, use, and grow cannabis for personal use, however, distribution may still be an offence.

Regardless of which of these paths, we as a country take, it will mean that is it legal to grow cannabis at home for personal use. This will be great news for hydroponic enthusiasts. We know that all of our customers currently only grow tomatoes, herbs, and gully-starts, however, we think it would be great to expand the hobby of home hydroponic growing into cannabis cultivation as well.

We think it is highly likely that this referendum will pass, end prohibition, and welcome New Zealand into the growing group of countries with sensible cannabis laws.

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