On 7 December 2016, the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Customs Service posted updated information which may be of interest to travellers arriving from the United States.

This information will impact on travellers possessing cannabis-based products which have been lawfully supplied in the United States, and are intended for medical use.

Cannabis-based products supplied in the United States of America cannot be carried with you when entering or leaving New Zealand.

A number of US states permit the medical use of cannabis. However cannabis-based products for medical use from the United States are not considered lawfully supplied under federal law, unless the product has US Food and Drug Administration approval. To date, no drug product containing or derived from botanical cannabis (the cannabis plant) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Customs staff will be working to the updated information from Wednesday 7 December 2016.

The updated information is available on both the Health and Customs websites.

There is an existing process for the prescribing of cannabis-based products within New Zealand. Information is provided here.

Both Health and Customs caution that travel to any country with any cannabis related product, even if prescribed, may also breach local laws in other countries and result in prosecution, penalties or travel delay.