“Doctors are increasingly engaged about medicinal cannabis. They’re receiving a lot more enquiries from patients and so they’re keen to learn more about prescribing it,” says Don Budge of MCinfo, a dedicated and comprehensive medicinal cannabis information service built and run by DATAPHARM.

He added that public interest is partly driven by the fact that the products are affordable. “We got a lot more approaches from delegates this year, which was really heartening. GPs’ interest is partly patient driven as Kiwis wake up to the fact New Zealand CBD products have been available for nine months, and in many cases, are nowhere near as expensive,” said Budge.

Budge went on to say that unfortunately the media gives the impression that Kiwi-made products are not widely available when in fact they are. In fact official information recently released by the Ministry of Health, has confirmed overall monthly growth in the number of medicinal cannabis packs supplied since the start of last year.

Medical practitioners try to keep up

Budge said that from January 2021 to March 2022, the number of packs of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) rose from 1891 to 2618. “These are not huge numbers but there’s a definite upward trend when you consider the total of medicinal cannabis packs supplied each month has doubled from just over 2,000 in January last year to just over 4,000 in March this year. No wonder GPs and pharmacists are wanting to upskill themselves as more Kiwis are asking questions and pressing for natural, plant-based solutions,” he explained.

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